A little tired after the travel, but with enough adrenaline and a little help from my morning Joe and hearty breakfast, we were ready to hit the trails by 10 am and begin our long ( 4 hours) journey along the rolling Hills of the Southeast Island District. Better known as the Dragon’s Back, or 龍脊 in Chinese, this popular hike was selected by TIME Asia as “the best urban hiking trail” and for good reason. A little more strenuous of a hike then either Kel or I expected, but it was like we were right back in the Shenandoah Valley back in Virginia. It felt great to be Hiking again, one of my favorite fall past times. However, it was definitely not Fall when we hit the trails this time 😛
I think I may have driven our guides nuts with my stopping to take pictures along the way, as I loved feeling the fresh air and seeing the beautiful panoramic view of the Island from the mountain top, or maybe we were all happy to take a breather and hydrate during this extremely sunny day. I can’t begin to describe the breathtaking view, but I’ve added a few pictures to help me paint the picture of the winding mountaintop, of which the trail was named of course.
It took about two hours to reach the peak, and our friends knew all the right stopping places, a little off from the typical watering hole where travelers seem to pack to grab some shots of their own. Hmmm, I guess my photography portfolio of “Lines in Nature” was a good pick, for it seems to somehow creep back into my pictures today. Once we reached the peak, at 284 meters , it was another two hours down to the small coastal town we stopped at for some drinks, grub, and a stroll down the beautiful rustic streets before jumping right into the ocean at Stanley to cool down.
Man what a way to start the day, and the fact that there were shark nets all around the beach made Lauren a happy swimmer haha I didn’t realize until I was older that swimming in the Ocean wasn’t my favorite past time, but I just couldn’t resist these beautiful shores and surprisingly warm water. Forget ever trying to swim in Newport Rhode Island again! 😛
After sufficiently cooled we hopped in a Taxi, which I don’t think the driver liked too much, but hey we rinsed off and even put our sandy feet back into our shoes…with socks I might add! To prevent sandy shoe syndrome for the rest of our trip 😛
There’s no rest for the weary as we quickly unloaded, changed, and took a scenic walk along the coastline to the well known Stanly Market.
It was surprisingly cool-ish for a covered street market, but we didn’t stay too long. By then we all started to feel the burn from our morning hike and headed back to spend the evening catching up and jumping into the pool to cool down before Kel, and I turned in early-ish to prepare for our next early morning adventure….
***Oh I almost forgot, we tried Crickets!!!! Okay, so yes they were from the U.S. and came in some exotic flavors, i.e., salt and vinegar, bacon and cheese, and sour cream and onion it still counts right?! All four of us opted for Salt and Vinegar, but Kel and I made the mistake of looking at our food first and couldn’t stomach eating the head. But, honestly if I hadn’t looked they were so salty, and it was like biting into one of those dried green peas you’d never know you had just eaten a bug. Not sure I’ll be adding Crickets to my diet anytime soon though. For now, I’ll stick to getting my protein elsewhere.
The one regret I have is not purchasing a piece of Artwork, a painting to be more precise, of the beautiful Hong Kong Skyline or the iconic image of the old airport where planes flew right through the city! These paintings were all over Stanley Market and probably all over the Island as well, but I still think it would make a cool accent piece in any home and a great survivor.
Looking forward to what awaits us tomorrow….
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