Monday, July 31, 2017

An exploratory hike in the area around the Mount Butler H.F. Radio Receiving Station

One day, I'll get over to that trigonometrical station...
For now, I'll content myself with my having been up
that unnamed hill topped by interesting rocks nearby ;b
Another hike highlight: coming across a lovely looking
rock pool filled with clear fresh water from a hill stream :)
Some day (soon), I'll find it: i.e., a path that will lead me from the trailhead located behind the St Joan of Arc Secondary School on Braemar Hill Road across the area bordering the northwestern border of Tai Tam Country Park (Quarry Bay Extension) whose main landmark is the Mount Butler H.F. Radio Receiving Station over to Siu Ma Shan Bridge.  Hopefully it'll be third time lucky after my failed attempt earlier this month and my failed attempt earlier today on what was only my second hike of the month (due to such as bad weather and a trip back to Penang for durian!). 
Whereas the last time, I ended up going all the way west to Wong Nai Chung Gap largely along the western section of Sir Cecil's Ride, today's hike ended up taking me along another section of that former bridle path favored by Sir Cecil Clementi when he was Governor of Hong Kong over to Mount Parker Road and down to Quarry Bay.  But in between traipsing along sections of Sir Cecil's Ride, I also ventured onto unfamiliar ground in the form of a few kilometers worth of overgrown -- and possibly also in some cases unmarked -- trails that took me up and down a couple of different unnamed hills in the vicinity of the aforementioned radio receiving station and also Braemar Hill.     
Although I did have the correct Countryside Map with me this time around, I must admit to having decided to let visuals -- in particular, one of the radio receiving station's tall antennae -- guide me for part of the way.  But while I did manage to get up close to that particular antenna, I discovered upon getting up the hill on which it's located that there wasn't a discernible trail leading in a straightforward manner from it to Siu Ma Shan Bridge!
Instead, I found a trail with ribbons left by fellow hikers marking the way (rather than signs posted by the relevant authorities) that led me further into unknown territory, through tall brush which left me with scratches and I prayed wasn't hiding snakes and other creatures that I really didn't want to encounter at that point in the hike.  Moving in a direction that I figured would mean my connecting at some point with either Sir Cecil's Ride or Mount Parker Road (in the event, it was both!), I first was led to, up and over a hill with interesting large rocks -- one of which resembled a fossilized dinosaur head to my mind! -- and then to a scenic hill stream whose fast flowing water I could hear long before I caught side of it.
Adding to the paradisical feel of this area was a natural rock pool that looked plenty inviting to jump into on this very hot (even if not as bad as yesterday, when temperatures soared up to 37 degrees Celsius in parts of Hong Kong!) day.  Somehow, I managed to resist that impulse; making do instead just with dipping my cap into the cool, fresh water with then cooled as well as wet my head when I put that cap back on!     
As I sat for a bit on the side of the hill stream, I spotted only the fourth person I came across after getting off the green minibus that had deposited me near the trailhead close to two hours earlier.  Deciding to accord him some quiet time on his own in that beauty spot, I went down the trail which I had seen him come up on and found that this area that I had previously never been in is actually located just a stone's throw away from a morning walkers' garden that I have passed by a couple of times before!     

Back on familiar ground, I decided to extend my hike and end it down in Quarry Bay.  Walking along a largely unpaved but wide and flat trail, I now looked forward to spotting some interesting critters -- and was rewarded by the sight of a number of Golden Orb Weavers.  Put another way: it's the season for big spiders once more! ;b


Anonymous said...

Hi Yvonne,

That rock was quite a hot spot for photographers shooting the harbour at sun set. At this time of the year it must be much overgrown. Maybe sometime cooler. Please see the screen capture I sent to your mailbox for a map.


YTSL said...

Hi T --

Yeah, I can imagine that it'd be easier to get to at a drier time of the year. As it is, I've got quite a few scratches on my legs (I was wearing shorts) from today's hike! And yep, have received that screen capture. :)

peppylady (Dora) said...

I don't about your area. But some time the trail head here isn't marked well.
Coffee is on

YTSL said...

Hi peppylady --

There are a number of trails that are very well-marked here but there also quite a few which are not. I sometimes find it funny how certain trails are overly marked, especially when other trails are crying out for helpful signage!

Anonymous said...

Hi There,

Walked by the junction earlier today and found there are ribbons showing the path going up to the top. I did not go up, but looking up at the bottom, some bush whacking is required for a short distance. Maybe later, when it is not this hot.

I also noticed a small group of people were up there enjoying the view despite the afternoon sun.


YTSL said...

Hi once more T --

Maybe later, when the snakes are likely to have gone into hibernation... ;)