Temple Hill hike

We went hiking today! We did Temple Hill, which is actually not too bad a hike. It was tiring, of course, but doable. So if I can do it, then you probably can too! 😊

A panoramic shot at the top of the hill 😊
It was a bit of a smoggy day, unfortunately

We took a few wrong turns, and we also stopped numerous times to take photos, but all up, it took us around 2.5 hours round trip. Not too bad! That’s actually a really short hike for HK, there are TONS of hikes that are 5+ hours. But a 2-hour hike, round trip, is perfect for me. I’ve gotta look for more hikes like this one 😊

It was a really good day to go hiking: it was COLD! I had to bring my not-so-puffy jacket with me today to give me an additional layer. And I also brought a scarf to keep my neck warm.

There weren’t too many people on this hike either, so social distancing was barely an issue. I’m not sure why there weren’t too many people on the hike today, if it was because of COVID; because it’s during the Christmas / New Year week; because it’s mid-week; or simply because this hike isn’t very popular or isn’t very well known. But I was happy for the quiet walk. It’s always nice to get away from the crowded streets of HK!

Now I’m just too tired to do anything. I also haven’t eaten much today either, which isn’t helping the situation! 😂 And it’s cold, so my body’s probably using more energy than usual to keep itself warm. So maybe I should go and eat dinner, huh 😜

I’ll also go and do some research on what to do tomorrow, NYE. Fireworks are cancelled this year. I was thinking of going down somewhere along Victoria Harbour to watch them, but apparently we’d be watching nothing if we did 😔 Plus this freezation isn’t making me want to do anything! Ughhhh…. Typical of 2020 to end the year with a cold front, literally and figuratively 🤣😒

HK and my new purchase 😜

We decided to go to Kowloon Walled City Park today. I like their little commemorative area, but the interactive section in this area is currently closed! Boohoo! I really like that section. There are plans to renovate/upgrade the section, but because of 🦠 they’ve brought the renos forward. Sighhh… I guess we’ll just have to come back again sometime next year.

N was going to meet a few mates for drinks this afternoon, so I just went shopping. I was in this rare mood to shop, so I actually bought a few things today, shock horror. The weirdest thing that I bought was a popsocket! 🤣 Something that the kids were getting into at one point and have probably gotten over now, but I’m seeing the practical use in them now. I was watching stuff on my phone today, and felt like I really needed to have a better grip of it, rather than have it just hanging precariously in my hand. And when I discovered that you can swap over the design for a personalised one – ie one with a photo of Kitty 😊 – then I was sold 😂

So now I’m trying not to use my phone more just because I want to use my new popsocket! So ridiculous 🤪

Anyway, since N has had quite a few drinks tonight, I’m not sure if he’ll be up for a hike tomorrow. I’m going to do some research on some easy hikes around HK anyway, whether or not we go tomorrow. I definitely want to do a hike with a good view at the top! An easy hike and one that has a good view at the top. That’s not too much to ask for, is it?? 😜

Hiking ideas

It was quite a relaxing start to our second Christmas holiday week. I just watched some more Gossip Girl and then we went to Sheung Wan for some laksa for lunch. We then went and did some grocery shopping so we had food to serve when a friend came over for dinner in the evening 😂

I then did a bit of research of easy hikes to do in HK. People keep saying Dragon’s Back is pretty easy, but it’s 3-4 hours! 😱 And knowing me, it’ll take me around 4 hours, if not longer. I don’t know if I want to be hiking for that long 😂

Then there’s High West, which I’d like to do, so we might do this one sometime this week.

There are actually quite a lot around, but they’re all quite far, so you really need to spare pretty much the entire day for the hike. And when I say far, geographically, it’s actually not that far away: usually, places are less than 20km away! But if something is that far in HK, then it’s probably going to take you about 1.5 hours to get there. That’s a 3-hour round trip. So it’s not really something that you can just do in half a day.

So maybe we can do Dragon’s Back and see how I survive that one…! 😂

HK, TV and vlogs

Okay, so we didn’t quite make it out of the hotel at 7am again like we did yesterday 😂 But I did get an awesome night’s sleep! I was so well rested that I was actually ready to go hiking again. And I hardly ever have this sort of energy!

But N was quite tired, so I just let him sleep while I filmed my next vlog. I don’t know if I have enough footage for a vlog, this is always my worry when it comes to vlogs. So let’s see. I guess I can just do the best I can with what I have, and hope that I learn from the mistakes that I made in previous vlogs!

So instead of going hiking again, we just went home 😆 I watched an episode or two of Gossip Girl before we headed down to Tamar Park later in the afternoon. N met up with a mate there to do some exercise, and a ton of other people apparently had the same idea. It was mega busy there today! There were people doing yoga, boxing, jogging, or just doing whatever exercises with their personal trainer. N goes there quite regularly with his mate to exercise, and usually it’s pretty quiet, but today was the complete opposite to that. I guess today’s warm weather brought everyone out: it reached mid 20s today! It’s supposed to be winter! Of course I’m not complaining 😆 But it’s supposed to drop quite dramatically next week, down to around 10 degrees. I’m not looking forward to that!

And then in the evening, we finished Russian Doll! That was good. We both really liked it. And we’re both also really happy to hear that a second season is in the works 👍 But alas, until season two is released, we have finished yet another show. What’s next??

A full day in Cheung Chau

We actually managed to get up at ridiculous o’clock this morning. Pretty close to 6am! 😱 The plan was to get to the Cheung Po Tsai cave by 7am, but we didn’t quite there at that time. We took a few wrong turns and we also stopped a few times to take photos / videos, so that added to the time. But I needn’t have worried, since no one was there at all. We hung around the cave for over an hour, and no one came by at all during that time.

I can see why it gets busy: the cave is tiny! It sorta reminds me of the Cu Chi tunnels, or at least how I imagine what they would be like. I’ve never actually been there before. I still think the tunnels would be narrower, though. It’s really just single file, and it’s not the easiest to climb down into the cave. Cu Chi tunnels, remember! So if there are even just a handful of people there, you would still have to wait while each person ahead of you finds their way down into the cave. So it was nice that we were able to take our time today and not feel rushed.

And there was still not a person in sight when we left the area to go back to the hotel. So yeah, I would highly recommend going as early as you can if you want to check out this cave in peace. And bring a torch (the one on your mobile is fine), it’s dark down there!

After a quick breakfast and a bit of a rest, we then walked along the mini Great Wall trail. There are a lot of different rock formations along this trail, but I only liked this one, it’s the only one I really wanted to see. It’s called the human face rock because it actually resembles a side profile of a face!

Human face rock 😱

The dine-in ban after 6pm is still in force, so we just bought takeaway at one of the bajillion restaurants on the island and brought it back to our room. We’re hoping to have another early night so we can wander around on the island tomorrow morning again before the throngs of people show up.

Christmas at Cheung Chau

Merry Christmas from Cheung Chau! 🎄🎅

We got to the island pretty much right at check-in, 3pm 😂 We took our time leaving the house, watching a few episodes of Gossip Girl before actually packing and getting ready to head out to the island. It was good timing, though. We were able to unpack and relax a bit before heading out to explore a bit of the island.

We went up to the northern part of the island and did a family trail that actually wasn’t too bad. I think I’ll stick to family trails, they seem to be more doable hikes 😆 N wouldn’t even classify it as a hike, just a bit of a walk 🤣

I managed to walk all the way to the small beach up there. Very few people were doing the hike, so N and I actually had the beach to ourselves. I would’ve stayed there for longer if it wasn’t so late in the day. I didn’t want to still be hiking after the sun went down. There were a few other people still up there, and a family was actually still walking up as we were heading down.

Our late afternoon hike in Cheung Chau
View of Cheung Chau once we got to the top of the mountain

We then did a quick family video chat when we got back to our room before we had dinner. The dine-in ban after 6pm is still in place in HK, so I thought we’d just order the in-room Christmas dinner in the hotel. Not a bad choice 👍🏻

There is this really popular tourist spot here that I want to check out tomorrow, the Cheung Po Tsai cave. But apparently it’s always mega busy, so I’m thinking of heading out there as early as possible tomorrow, like 7am. Is that possible?? 🤷‍♀️

Editing, TV and tomorrow!

I started working on a little video for N! I’m making a short video for him, taking some shots from that day when he went paragliding. They ask you to hold a GoPro while you’re up there so you can film your ride down the mountain. But the GoPro films the entire time that you’re in the air, so it’s really long video: N was up there for around half an hour. And nothing exciting happens most of the time. At least for the viewer. I’m sure N had a great time! So I’m cutting the video down to around 5 minutes, which includes a few shots that he took when they were hiking up the mountain. This whole video editing business is so much fun! 😊

We also started watching Russian Doll. It’s a bit wacky and odd, but it’s been quite fun so far. It’s not the sort of show that I would ordinarily watch, so it’s nice to watch something different. It only has one season so far, so it won’t take us long to finish it.

And I’m still making my way through Gossip Girl. One of the lead characters is sooo annoying, it’s making me just not want to watch it anymore. But thankfully there are other things going on in the show to keep me watching 😆 I’m a bit concerned that I won’t get through the series before they remove it. I still have three more seasons to get through! Although the last season doesn’t have too many episodes, so maybe it’s still possible. I’m just not a very good at binge watching! Three episodes is probably my max. But three episodes per day won’t cut it, unfortunately. I may have to just accept the fact that I may not finish watching the entire series 😔

And tomorrow, we’re off to Cheung Chau! I can’t wait to wander around there 😊 It’s one of the popular islands in HK, so I wonder if the place will be teeming with people during the few days that we’re there. Christmas Day is the only public holiday here, but it’s still effectively a long weekend, so I wonder just how many people will decide to head out to the outlying islands this weekend. Am I going to be able to get away from the crowds as I had hoped?? 😒 I’ll let you know tomorrow!

Merry Christmas! Stay safe during these holidays!

One can change

We went to Causeway Bay and Wan Chai to buy our Christmas presents for ourselves 😂 I say “for ourselves” because we bought technology, and we’re just going to share our new toys 😆 We would NEVER have done this in the past, since I wouldn’t have had any clue about what tech toys he would’ve wanted, and I never would’ve wanted anything techy for myself. A new phone would’ve been the most techy thing I would’ve ever wanted. But this year has changed me, and now it’s me wanting all this tech stuff! 😱

I said the other day, “I really like this guy’s videos (on YouTube). I just love the way he colour grades”. N turns to face me and says, “If I told you five years ago that in five years’ time, you would be saying a sentence like this, you would’ve just laughed in my face” 🤣 So true! I wasn’t appreciating cinematography and colour grading back then. Heck, even a year ago, I wouldn’t have even noticed these things! And I didn’t even know the concept of colour grading existed! Now, not only do I know about it, but I’m even trying to improve my own colour grading skills. Crazy stuff. Not that I want to go professional or anything, but if I can make nicer looking videos, on YouTube or otherwise, then I’m happy 😊

It’s amazing how one can change in such a short period of time, even at my age.

Paragliding and a staycation!

I booked us in to a hotel / B&B (not really sure which…!) on Cheung Chau for Christmas! 👏 A staycation! Terribly exciting 😁 We’ve never been to Cheung Chau, so I hope we enjoy this little trip out to this island. Plus we won’t be surrounded by the usual throngs of people like we usually are on HK Island, so that will make me feel a bit better on the COVID front. But of course I will continue to maintain my higher standards of hygiene, which is now the norm, thanks to 2020. Not a bad thing, I suppose!

And while I was researching Cheung Chau and booking our little staycation, N was out paragliding today! 😱 It looked like a ton of fun, but I’m not much of an adventure-type person, so I asked him to do a bit of reconnaissance first and report back to me on whether he thinks I would enjoy such a day 😂

I’m glad I asked him to do that because, after what he said, I don’t think I would really enjoy it. Firstly, there is the unpredictability of when you will meet: it could be as early as 9am somewhere in woop woop, or as late as 4pm. For them, it was 9am today 😱 Then there is the bus and hike to the top of whatever mountain you’ll be paragliding off. The hike is only half an hour, but it wasn’t like it was a nice, paved walk. Plus there were sections that were mega-steep, he said. Again, not really my thing. I could do it, yes, but would I enjoy it? Probably not.

And then there’s the waiting around. Because you’re so dependent on the weather, you could just take off straight away, or you may have to wait until the conditions are right. And for N today, they literally had to wait for HOURS. So the organisers ask you to bring food and drinks in case you have to wait, which they obviously had to today.

Oh, and there are no toilets up there! Um, yeah. Nah 🤣 I need my creature comforts.

And then the flight itself was nice, of course, but even N started to feel sick at about the 25-30 minute mark. They do warn you to take motion sickness pills if you are prone to getting sick, but N doesn’t usually need them. So yeah, I would definitely be taking them! But the problem with that as well is that you need to take these pills at least half an hour before you need to. And with the unpredictability of the weather, you could potentially be popping these pills all day.

So maybe if I only had to endure one of these things, I could do it. But all together, nah. Just not my thing. And even without anything else, the lack of toilets is already a deal breaker for me. So nope, not for me! I will probably enjoy out little staycation much more 😊

Christmas Break – Day 1

We decided to go and look at an apartment today, see what the market is like at the moment. With the protests last year and the 🦠 this year, we’re hoping that the real estate market in HK is a bit depressed, and we may be able to snap up a bargain somewhere.

The apartment was okayyy, neither of us absolutely loved it. And the more we discussed it, the more we think that we would be giving up stuff if we moved there. So we’re going to say no to this one and continue looking. And it’s not like we need to move, we just want to see what’s out there. And if luck is on our side and we find a good deal, then great. But if nothing comes up, then no biggie, we’re also quite happy to stay put. We just thought it would be a good idea to keep an eye on the market. Plus a lot of expats have gone home for good, so we thought there might be a few more vacancies. But it is winter, and Christmas, so it’s a pretty quiet time too, which might balance that out. So anyway, the hunt goes on.

And in the evening, we walked up and down the promenade from Central to Wan Chai and back. It’s a really nice walk! I think I’m going to try and walk around there more often – during the colder months! 😆 I think the walk would be pretty tough during summer, as there is no shade whatsoever. It might be ok in the evening, but during the day, I don’t think I could do it. And that’s coming from me, someone who likes the sun! I would need to stay well hydrated. But during winter, it’s a very pleasant walk 😊

So we had quite a nice start to our Christmas break 😊