Monday, 29 March 2010

Rugby Sevens, Hong Kong

The family (brother, cousin and in-laws) descended upon Hong Kong this weekend which coincided with the biggest party of the year in this neck o' the woods aka The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.  It was good 'craic' to be sure.  I'll think I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

Picasa Photos below




YouTube Video below


Tags: ..Rugby Sevens, Hong Kong..


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Monday, 22 March 2010

Hiking - Castle Peak - NE NT

How to get there: MTR to Tuen Mun then walk towards the highest peak you can see with a huge antenna on top (approx 30 minutes to the base) - Return the same way or head East across barren hilly wasteland) - Time taken: Approx 5 hours




Picasa pics below




Tags: ..Hiking - Castle Peak - NE NT..


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Hiking - Lantau Trail Stage 7 and 8

How to get there: MTR to Tung Chung then Bus 11 towards Tai O but hop off at Shek Pik Reservoir - To return: Get bus 11 back to Tung Chung




Deserted Spooky House

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Saturday, 20 March 2010

Hiking Wilson Trail - Stage 3

How to get there: MTR to Lam Tin - Exit C - turn right out onto Lei Yeu Mun Rd East (cross to opposite side at roundabout) and continue for about 20 minutes - all the way to the big cemetery - Climb to the top of the cemetery for the trail. Note: Some of the trail is not very well marked or signed e.g. a sign like this beside some steps "<-- Wilson Trail -->" pointing up and down the mountain actually meant continue straight ahead - Guess who went up the mountain for 30 minutes only to have to backtack - Ah well it was a nice view! - Return: by bus to Lam Tin or any other MTR. Time taken: 3 hours
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Tags: ..Hiking Wilson Trail - Stage 3..


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Hiking - Dragons Back and Pottinger Peak, Hong Kong

Very nice views over Shek O although the hike is a little dull till you get to the end. To get there: Walk out of Chai Wan MTR exit A and up through the cemetery (bear left for Pottinger Peak) To return: On Shek O Rd take a bus back to towards Chai Wan



Picasa below


Tags: ..Hiking - Dragons Back and Pottinger Peak, Hong Kong..


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Hiking Maclehose Trail - Stage 3






Picturesque Hike of approx 3 hours - Easy-ish

To get there: Take MTR to Choi Hung Exit C2 then Green minibis 1A to Sai Kung (last stop) then bus 94 to Pak Tam Au (top of the hill) which is actaully the end of the trail - ask driver to let you know where / when - Return bus 299 or 99 to Sai Kung


Tags: ..Hiking Maclehose Trail - Stage 3..


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Hiking - North East New Territories, Lai Chi Wo, Hong Kong

Great views of Lai Chi Wo, Wu Kau Tang, Plover Cove, Yan Chau Tong Marine Park - How to get there: Take the KCR to Tai Po Market and then minibus 20C (fast) or bus 75K (slow) to Tai Mei Tuk and walk up Bridespool Rd to the underwhelming Bridespool waterfalls. Time: Approx 5 Hours Return: The same way.



Picasa Photos below here





Tags: .Hiking - North East New Territories, Lai Chi Wo, Hong Kong..


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Hiking Lantau Trail - Stage 2 & 3 - Lantau Peak

Fantastic views of Lantau if you are lucky to have a clear day.  How to get there: Tung Chung MTR - Exit B then bus 3M (not frequent) or taxi to top of the hill -Nam Shan. Trail starts on your left. Return: Various buses to Tung Chung











YouTube video below here



Tags: .Hiking Lantau Trail - Stage 2 & 3 - Lantau Peak..


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Hiking Razor Back (Tai To Yan), Hong Kong

A few tough hilly bits at the beginning but very manageable 3.5 hour hike with some great views around NE Territories
To get there: From Tai Po Market KCR, take bus 64K to the Kadoorie Farm stop. The trail starts on the opposite side of the road. You finish at Fanling MTR.


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Tags: .Hiking Razor Back (Tai To Yan), Hong Kong..


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Hiking Stage 4 of the Wilson Trail

Easy-ish 3 hour hike (hilly at the start) with good woodland and coastal views
 
How Get there: Take the MTR to Choi Hung station (exit C2) and then Minibus 1A (Sai Kung). After about 7 mins the steep ascent, just past a Shell service station alight at the next bus stop. This is Tseng Lan Shue. From here it is a five-minute walk to the start point of Section 4, enters the hills at the base of the slope, beside a Country Parks map (ask a local if stuck)

Return: walk down Shatin Pass Rd or as a shortcut take the steps near the temple







YouTube Video below







Tags: .Hiking Stage 4 of the Wilson Trail..


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Hiking Stage 9 & 10 of the Lantau Trail

To get there: From Tung Chung MTR station take bus 11 and hop off before the Shek Pik Reservoir and veer left.  To return: Get bus back to Tung Chung MTR.  Time taken: 3.5 hours. Difficulty: Easy
Stage 9 is quite scenic and passes some nice beaches. Stage 10 is 'All along the Catchwater' so paved but quite boring :-(




More pics below



Tags: ..Hiking Stage 9 & 10 of the Lantau Trail..


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Hiking Clearwater Bay Walk (High Junk Peak), Hong Kong

This is  a fairly easy 3 hour hike with some great scenery around Clearwater Bay

How to get there: Take MTR to Tseung Kwan O and then minibus 103M along Clearwater Bay Road. After about ten minutes you will see a bus-stop with purple trash bin and trail head map and set of steps on your right. Jump out there or next stop and walk back. 


To return walk down the hill to Po Toi O and catch the minibus back to the MTR or walk back the very scenic road for 20 minutes to the bus terminus on your right where there are many buses and minibuses.
















YouTube video below here




Tags: .Hiking Clearwater Bay Walk (High Junk Peak), Hong Kong..


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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Happy Saint Arnold's Day

OK - so it's not really Saint Arnold's Day (Patron Saint of Beer) but it might be more appropriate for March 17th than some Welsh bloke that brought Christianity / Catholicism to Ireland because lets face it, with the recent news headlines about 'the church' that's not exactly a popular achievement. In reality St Patrick's Day is about celebrating the 'IRISH' and our obsession with 'BEER' and gettin' DrrrRUNK'. We make good beer and we like to drink it, a lot of it, so why not dedicate one day a year to it as an international pissfest?
- Note: Irish people engage in rigorous training and practice for the 51 weeks prior to St Paddy's Day so don't try this on your own. Head down to your local Irish Pub where seasoned professionals will coach and mentor you on the fine art of drinking green beer. I just wish I could find St Arnold's Holy Grail which was a miraculous refilling beer tankard. (see below) - Happy St Paddy's Day !

Saint Arnold - Patron Saint of Brewers
According to this - Saint Arnold was born to a prominent Austrian family in the year 580. Even back in those days the Austrians were famous for their love of beer, and admired for their brewing prowess. Beer was a proud Austrian tradition that was not wasted on young Arnold.

As a young man, Arnold entered the priesthood and began moving his way up that earliest of all career ladders. At the age of 32, he was given the title Bishop, and in 612 was named "Arnold, Bishop of Metz." (Metz is in France.)
He is said to have spent his life warning peasants about the health hazards of drinking water. Water was not necessarily safe to drink during the dark ages, especially around towns and villages. Nasty stuff. Arnold always had the well-being of his followers close at heart.

Beer, on the other hand, was quite safe. Arnold frequently pointed this out to his congregation. He is credited with having once said, "From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." It goes without saying that the people loved and revered Arnold.

In 627, Saint Arnold retired to a monastery near Remiremont, France, where he died and was buried in 640.

In 641, the citizens of Metz requested that Saint Arnold's body be exhumed and carried from the monastery to the town of Metz for reburial in their local church - The church where Arnold had so frequently preached the virtues of beer. Their request was granted.
It was a long and thirsty journey, especially since they were carrying a dead bishop. As the ceremonial procession passed through the town of Champignuelles, the tired processionals stopped for a rest and went into a tavern for a drink of their favorite beverage - Beer. Much to their dismay, they were informed that there was only one mug of beer left, and that they would have to share it. That mug never ran dry and the thirsty crowd was satisfied.

Every Saint needs a miracle. That's how the Church decides you are a Saint. The story of the miracle mug of beer spread and eventually Arnold was canonized by the Catholic Church for it.
Saint Arnold is recognized by the Catholic Church as the Patron Saint of Brewers. He is recognized by Beer Church as a top-notch, supernatural beer stud.



Tags: ..Happy Saint Arnolds Day..

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Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Old Bag

Once upon a time in a far off land called Yankieville there lived a happy princess with a lot of clothes, bags and shoes.  The happy princess was married to an Irish git who liked to travel. The Irish git and his happy princess decided to move from Yankieville to another far off land called Lagerloutville. The Irish git tried hard to impress upon his happy princess the need to ship most of her belongings because flying with excess baggage is only for silly billies or people with endless wallets. The happy princess didn't listen however and when it came time to check in for the flight to Lagerloutville she had 5 super size bags each weighing in excess of 30kgs (66Lbs). By some sheer fluke or 'Luck o' the Irish', the check-in attendant, an Irish lass from Aer Lingus waived the excess fees (which would have kept the Icelandic economy afloat) as there had been a delay processing the check-in.

A few years later the Irish git and his happy princess decided to move from Lagerloutville to Maradonaland.  Once again the Irish git impressed upon his happy princess the need to ship most of her belongings because flying with excess baggage is only for silly billies or people with endless wallets and 'Luck o' the Irish' doesn't last forever.

Once again the happy princess didn't listen however and when it came time to check in for the flight to Maradonaland she had 2 super size bags each weighing in excess of 26kgs (57Lbs). This time however the little leprechaun luck was not on her side and the extra mean national airline of Maradonaland only allowed 1 checked in bag and wanted to charge her by the kilo for her excess baggage to the tune of u$d850.  The happy princess was not too happy and the Irish git was McFu$kin' livid but by a stroke of resourcefulness the happy princess was able to offload the excess luggage at the airport to some poor gopher to be couriered to Maradonaland by some other gopher at some later point.

A couple of years later the Irish git and his happy princess decided to try and rejoin the rat race and moved from Maradonaland to Honkietown.  The Irish git travelled there first and the happy princess followed on later.  This time around the Irish git decided that shipping stuff around the world is only for silly billies or people with endless wallets and 2 suitcases of clothes is plenty for anyone given the uncertainty of the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) and what not.  The happy princess had 2 months to prepare her bags and eventually she was reunited with the Irish git in Honkietown.

It wasn't long however until the happy princess realised she had not packed very carefully and she didn't have exactly what she really needed for Honkietown so she enlisted her sister and her parents to pack another bag and send it with a friend who was travelling from Maradonaland to Lagerloutville whereupon it could be delivered to another friend who was travelling to Honkietown.  Her parents dutifully obliged and delivered a bag of clothes to a friend of the happy princess who brought the bag to Lagerloutville whereupon another good friend met that friend at a train station and collected the bag and soon after delivered said bag to the Irish gits brother in Lagerloutville.  Unfortunately the baggage allowance fiasco once again raised its ugly head while the bag was supposed to be shuttled to Honkietown and the bag was eventually left in limbo and gathering dust in the Irish gits brothers apartment in Lagerloutville.

The Irish gits brother just so happened to visit Honkietown on a business trip this evening whereupon the said bag was finally delivered to the happy princess (albeit 10 months later than intended) who was shall we say .....happy!  The Irish git is also happy because he will not have to hear about the McFu$kin' bag ever again! - and they all lived happily ever after without carrying around any baggage - THE END!

On behalf of the happy princess, I would like to thank the following:

GOD
The Academy
Silvia & Osvaldo
Gabi
Ian
Patricia & Alfonso
Luciana
Ana
Soledad
The check-in staff and baggage handlers of multiple airlines
The taxi and mini cab cab drivers who couriered the bag back and forth and back again
....and the other 200 cast and crew behind the scenes who made this dream a reality

Disclaimer: This story is based solely on fact. Any resemblance to persons not alive and kicking is purely unintentional.



Tags: ..The Old Bag..


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