Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Head for the Hills or The Hills are Alive or Hill Billy or

Hong Kong Island has a major trail that runs east and west called, oddly, the Hong Kong Trail. Eight sections make up the trail - here's a link to a website that breaks down the sections: Hong Kong Trail (when you come visit, we'll check out as many as you want).  My friend, Hannah Smith, introduced me to the section known as Dragon's Back - Section 8 at the western end of the trail. There are a couple of different places to start the trail - here's one way:

Take the MTR to the Shau Ke Wan stop, exit the station and catch the number 9 bus right outside the station (its the bus stop furthest from the building). The bus travels out of the little village within minutes and then winds its way around some very tight corners as it travels down towards the starting point of To Di Wan. Watch for the car park on the right side of the road and hit the stop button just as you pass. The bus stops at what looks like an indent in the rocks - but its really the start of the trail! There will be a wooden posted sign and arrows pointing up (and up and up and up).  This hike takes about 2 hours, depending on your pace, especially during the first hour as most of that is the climbing - which is worth the huffing and puffing because the views are amazing:

Hannah (pictured above) and I, wrapped up our hike in Shek O, meeting up with another group for lunch at a little village restaurant. We had Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice (which I later made for Mark and I - recipe here: Pineapple Fried Rice.) Let me digress for one moment. When I write "village restaurant," picture a typical American Rib Fest - that is, those general eating areas with tables and folding chairs stuck under large plastic tents. That's a "little village restaurant." We also had honey fried calamari (delicious!), curry chicken, and fish balls. Big Wave Bay is a part of Shek O and several little stores along the way sell beach toys, towels, bathing suits, etc. They even advertise beach chairs on the villages one and only roundabout:

Village Restaurant

Hopefully a misspell...


A few weeks later, Mark and I took the same hike - minus the lunch in Shek O. We treated ourselves to a cab ride back to Wanchai. A few shots from that hike:

Check out Fido on the roof.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rainy Days and Mondays...

Actually, today is Tuesday. Tuesday, July 12, 2011 - nearly 5 months after our last post. Recently someone sent me a messages that said, "We miss your updates!" And I replied, "Today I cleaned the cat box, paid a few bills online, and went to the grocery store."

And that's what happens, folks! We start off on something new - a job, a relationship, car, shoes, dog, and we want to share all the excitement with our friends. "My new boss is a hottie!" "My shoes looked smashing!' "The puppy peed on the carpet - so cute!" Over time, the excitement subsides into apathy ("Who? Oh, him. Yeah, I saw him clean his ears with his car keys"), disappointment ("Those shoes pinch my toes, so I have to walk on my heels"), or even, disgust, ("And then he swallowed my pantyhose and we spent $1,000 at the vet"). More than one well-integrated individual has said, "No matter where you move, there you are." Meaning, there YOU are - still you, still have curly hair, and still require two eggs over easy, english muffin and bacon on Sunday mornings. Meaning, its all about attitude.

Our attitude is: so much to do, so little time! Rather than apathy, disappointment or disgust, we're still enthralled with the adventure, still happy with our choice, and digging into local life even more.

Mark has been to India and Australia countless times. He's taken trips to New Zealand, Phillipines, Guam (I got to go, too!), and I think, Thailand. He was in India last week for eight days, is home for four days, leaving for Australia for nine days, home for overnight, then flying to the U.K. for four days, home for two days and back to Australia/New Zealand for two weeks. The only consolation is: I get to go with him this Thursday for my first visit to Australia- specifically Brisbane, Queensland.  Say it like you say "San Diego, California." I'll tell you all about it when I get back!

We went home to the U.S. for a great visit back in May and it hit me - how fast our time is going in HK. It has been a year since our first visit when we explored the possibility of even living here. In about 7 weeks, it will be our one year anniversary, with two years left on our contract. (So, if you're contemplating a visit - git a move on!)

I have fun updates for this blog - a recent hike on Dragon's Back, visits to Jade Market, Temple Night Street Market, Sham Shui Po market and a cemetery hike with local historian, Jason Wordie. And! I painted our apartment - well, at least the living room/dining room area - pictures will accompany that post, as well. See you soon!

Entrance to Jade Market