31 December 2010

sketch

Just one sketch from very far away for the month.

Big mountains vanishing into the clouds of their own making.

08 December 2010

Lamma Island

Hong Kong

It turns out that there is hiking in Hong Kong, which is a bit more than a city of skyscrapers. I went out to Lamma Island, which is served by two public ferries and has a (paved) trail from one port to the other plus a few other routes. When I got to the ferry terminal, both were leaving within 5 minutes of each other, so I got on the one that came less frequently which came a little later although it was supposed to be earlier. Soon enough, I was on the island at Sok Kwu Wan. There's sea food restaurants along the path into the community as well as a public bathroom (including a western style stall and pictures on the doors to indicate which one) and a temple and ...

the harbor
The harbor at Sok Kwu Wan.

the harbor looking out of the bay
Looking out of the bay back to the skyscrapers.

Ten Thousand Buddhas

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has all kinds of steep hills, so there are plenty of urban hikes that are a bit of work even if they aren't so long. The trek up to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is short but steep and has a semi-urban route choice for returning. The main route is watched over by one after another large golden Buddha states each individually produced to represent a specific person.

the first few life sized buddhas
Entering the grounds, the path is suddenly lined with life sized statues.

02 December 2010

Himalayas: Chandrashila

Uttarakhand, India

<- Back to day two.

We climb out of bed for a breakfast, including chocolate chip pancakes, and the last bit of hiking, climbing to the top of Chandrashila. The trail up the mountain starts a little way up the road, so we drove up to it. Buildings to serve all the needs of the average tourist stood empty so no one tried to sell us postcards of where we were about to go. The trail starts off paved until an area of temple and shrines about halfway up that also stands abandoned in anticipation of the coming winter.

peacock as a game hen
A couple of male Himalayan monals, the state bird of Uttarakhand.

switchbacks
The paved path snaking up the mountain side.

01 December 2010

Himalayas: hiking

Uttarakhand, India

<- a="" back="" day="" one.="" to="">

The women of Sari came up the mountain in the morning early morning light, passing our still lazy selves chatting. They headed into the forest ahead of us where they climbed the trees (in their saris) and collected wood for the household. We got up for breakfast and had hot water for washing. Luxuries abound! The lake had formed a thin layer of ice on the surface in places and I wondered again about the orange trees such a short distance away. After breakfast, we packed up our personal stuff and grabbed what we wanted to have with us for the day and followed the women into the forest.

Chaukhamba in the morning light
Chaukhamba in the well established morning light.

one of the smaller local trees
A small tree hanging over Deoria Tal. The growth pattern of the trees seems a bit odd, perhaps influenced by all the growth on them.