Sunday, November 23, 2014

Recent weekend activities: hiking and touring

The weather has been really nice these past couple of weeks. It's been sunny and warm. I usually take a light jacket out with me in the morning but haven't really needed it. The only places that are really cold are indoor places due to the cold air from ACs.

After the strenuous hike up and down the 8 Immortals, I did another hike that was much more chill. This one was out in the Saikung area and the hike ended at a beach. I hadn't realized how long it's been since I went out to Saikung. When I lived in Kowloon, I used to go every now and then, sometimes just to wander around the town area. I think I blogged about this before. Anyway, it was really nice to get out there again and it was hot that day.

My roommate, her boyfriend, and I were joined by another friend when we got out to Saikung. We ate some noodles for lunch and then set off to find the trailhead. It always amazes me how many local people are out on hiking excursions. These outer reaches of HK are local vacation spots that are always very alive with people during weekends and public holidays. We hiked for less than 2 hours on trails with slight inclines and declines and then found ourselves at a really nice beach.

The beach is also a camping area and we saw some tents pitched on the sand. It was generally really nice and quiet there. The beach was not crowded at all since it's a trek to get out there. We jumped in the water but didn't go too far out as the waves were really strong. I definitely felt myself being carried around by the waves. I just stayed near the shore area and floated around. I fell asleep on the beach afterwards and we made a collective decision to head back rather than to keep going on the trail. I think this was a good decision as the sunset was complete by the time we got back out to the road area to wait for the bus. We got dinner in Saikung before finding that there's a minibus that goes right to where we live. So convenient!

Last week, Sally had some friends visiting. They were moving from France to Australia and this was part of their layover. We took them out to dim sum and they said that this was their first or second time having dim sum. Chinese food is not so easy to find in France. We also took them to see the Occupied staging area. It was also my first time out to the main one in Admiralty. It's really amazing how they've managed to cut off a central thoroughfare in the middle of the city. We approached the blockade from the eastern end and walked for a while on an empty multi-lane expressway. There were kids on rollerblades and bicycles just clearly making use of the free space. We walked around the camp areas where people were putting various prints on blank t-shirts, making speeches, and studying. There are designated areas with tables and chairs for students to study. Places were really well organized with makeshift steps and stairs. I wonder how this is all going to end.