Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sunset Peak

Kung hei fat choi everyone! What a surprise we had this morning when the slowly warming weather took a small dip overnight and today's cloud cover provided perfect weather for a new year hike. When SB and I have enough time for a long hike, we usually head over to Sai Kung's country park and beaches but today we wanted to do something different so we decided to visit Sunset Peak in Lantau. It was the furbabies' first ferry ride and aside from despising their required muzzles, they fared well. We thought that we would be relegated to the back of the boat but were allowed to sit in the regular downstairs seating with the dogs, who bravely looked out at the ocean through my legs.

Once in Lantau, we had another first experience with a buffalo. It was very funny because Elsie was busy attacking her sister and didn't notice the large beast in front of us who was placidly chewing grass until she was almost upon him, and then she turned tail and ran for the safety of my legs. Eventually brave, brave Sir Robin's curiosity got the better of her and she ventured over for a sniff but I cruelly stopped her because I wasn't confident about her survival instinct and didn't want to spend the day at the vet treating a hoof to the head. 

SB had consulted a hiking guidebook and informed me that the majority of the hike would be a gradual ascent. Ha! While you are not mountaineering, it is also not a gradual incline for the first thirty minutes. You will be huffing and puffing away. Hopefully you will not have to huff and puff near a large group of hikers who will leapfrog you for the entire first portion of the hike. The leader of the group passed us at a swift pace but the tail end of his group included several much less fit people and the group kept having to take breaks, at which point SB and I passed them at our plodding pace. Then five minutes later Mr. Fit would race by us with his group struggling behind. Even when we waited for five minutes for the group to go ahead, we still managed to catch them. And Mr. Fit was annoyed that the dogs didn't know to move aside immediately when he caught up with us. 

Despite the aggravation of leapfrogging with a dog disliker, we couldn't help but feel joyful with the beautiful day and lovely views of the forest. The second part of the hike has a less steep incline and the trees fall away to rocks and streams. SB and I decided to pick up our pace and blew past the hiking group. The leader seemed to be chasing us for a kilometer but we eventually were able to lose him entirely, probably when he realized that he needed to go back for the group that he was leading.  

Elsie found a friend along the way. I suspect that the monk had some bread in his pocket because she stayed very close to him for a while. Very close.

Eventually we made it to a lovely, grassy area before the final ascent. There are masonry structures dotting the hills which someone told us you could rent overnight. There were also a lot of tents along this area. It was a beautiful place to take a rest and enjoy the fantastic day.

We found an area where the ground was even and soft to have an impromptu picnic. Silly me, I had packed meals for the furbabies but not really anything for ourselves so we shared a couple of rolls from a bakery in Mui Wo. The weather was so nice with a bit of sun peeking out from the clouds, and I ended up taking a small nap.

Meanwhile, Tippytoes and Elsie played chase and hide n seek among the structures. They had a glorious time running through the tall grass and ambushing each other.

Eventually I was roused from my nap to finish the hike. It was too cloudy to see much from the top, unfortunately, but the lack of view didn't take away from how wonderful the hike was. SB and I plan to return for a full day next time. We could have spent hours playing in the grass and exploring all of the various other trails around the area. This was one of my favorite hikes in Hong Kong.

1 comment:

YTSL said...

I hiked up Sunset Peak on the first day of Chinese New Year 2013 and 2014. The first time around, it was on the misty side. The second time around, it was pleasantly clear. Am glad for you that the visibility was on the high side when you hiked up there. :)