Perhaps it was psychomatic, but after getting tear gassed on Christmas Eve, I coughed up flam later that night and still felt like there was gunk in my respiratory system after I woke up the next morning. A part of me wondered if I should abandon the Christmas Day hiking plans I had made with a couple of friends but there was another part that figured that a good hike would be a good way to get the remaining tear gas residue inside me out. After listening to the latter, I'm glad I went ahead and had a day out in Lantau yesterday.
As it so happened, there was more tear gas, pepper spraying (in ways which obviously violate their own internal police manual and international police codes of conduct) and general trouble from the Hong Kong police on
Christmas Day. All those goings-on over in Kowloon felt like it was
happening hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from where I was though for much of the day as the hike I went on took me far away
from most other people to a marvelously scenic part of Hong Kong that not
many people have been in.
On reason why the crowds are kept at bay is that 465-meter-high Lo Fu Tau (trans. Tiger Head mountain) is only accessible on foot and via pretty rugged trails to boot. Thus it was that yesterday broke my three day streak of encountering riot police, seeing as I had been to protest rallies on Sunday and Monday that had attracted the local constabulary's attention and teams of them were in the vicinity of their venue: one more reason why yesterday's hike proved to be really enjoyable!
It was so unseasonably warm yesterday that some butterflies
looked to have mistakenly thought that spring had arrived!
See Mui Wo in the distance? That's where we started the hike from!
It really is possible (still) to go away from
the madding crowd in Hong Kong
It really was one of the hikes where the scenery seemed
to get more and more beautiful the further up one climbed :)
Not far to go to the top from here... :)
Atop Lo Fu Tau, looking downwards to Discovery Bay
And yes, we had to hike all the way down afterwards
but I was not complaining, with views like this along the way :)