Friday, January 30, 2009

Hong Kong Hiking

Here is my cousin Paul. He is Hong Kong hiking.  Looks pretty rough, huh? A paved trail. Wrought iron rails. Gosh if you happened to be in spiky boots, a fitted blazer, your do done just right, face full of makeup and a big Gucci purse, real or fake, you could still Hong Kong hike. How egalitarian, right?
What would a Hong Kong hike be without taking the tram uphill first?  The second day I was here, out of the Shanghai cold, a week after the Nanjing chill, Paul and Tom accompanied me Hong Kong hiking by first taking the Victoria Peak Tram. Here we are on the ascent of our hike.
Can you tell we're hiking upwards because of the slight tilt? At one point, hike/tram feels like everyone is at a 45 degree angle. You really have to hold onto something during this part of the hike.
And once we make it to the top of the hike, we arrived in time for our 12:45 pm lunch reservation at the Peak Outlook restaurant. We had to rest after that grueling hike upward. It was a perfect day.
Here's one of the many trees with red envelops found all over the restaurant (and the whole city for that matter) for the new year. The oranges represent nuggets of gold. The Hong Kong folks are super superstitious but for this year, they are gonna have to turn up the lucky talismans (talismen?) a few billion megawatts.
You can see the orange bushes in the background of our perfect lunch. Tom kept telling me how lucky I was to be here during perfect weather. I'm thinking Hong Kong is always like this, just like back home in LA. I already feel more like myself here, with Hong Kong being super mod and polite and civilized and efficient. China proper is another frame of mind. I guess I was thinking that Shanghai would be more like Hong Kong. Paul says give it another 15 years.
And so, exiting the Peak Outlook, with all its good new year's tidings, Paul and I continued to hike--downward, back home toward the Mid-levels.
Here's proof that I put in the Hong Kong hiking time.  The worst part was, I forgot my canteen. Good thing we were mostly in the shade.

Now when my sister Su came to visit a week later, the hike became more--mysterious. Shrouded in fog and cloud, it gave off an eerie delight. So now I understood what Tom meant. Last Saturday was perfect and this is what Hong Kong is usually like--gray like Shanghai, but with less hackspitting. Now, Su and I would take a fresh hike for Chinese New Year day.

My sister Su is unique. She is one who would rather walk uphill and then take the tram downhill. Because of her knees, she says. So Su and I do the reverse of my original Hong Kong hike. And on this particular day, it is fortunate that it is cooler, even on the brink of raining, because going uphill, no matter how well it's paved, requires some good cardio conditioning, particularly at the pace we were going. A sunny day would have taken the Hong and the Kong out of this more athletic version of the hike.
We went a good thirty minutes uphill, by foot yes, and arrived to our destination much sooner than we expected. Su is used to hiking in Los Angeles, where you hike dirt trails, step atop rocks, and when you arrive to the top, it continues to be nature. Well on this Hong Kong hike, imagine her surprise when we arrived to the top and she saw the Peak Lookout restaurant with all of its lucky orange bushes, and also saw that it was across from a huge mall that was then connected to the Victoria Peak tram where folks lined up like a Disneyland ride, with lots of cantopop blaring and happy people eating Haggen Dasz. Su was puzzled. It's safe to say that it was anti-climactic for her. But hey, that's Hong Kong hiking for ya.
Here we are at the top. 

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home