Summer in the UK

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Summer in the UK

For the first time in three years I finally made time to make it back to England. The initial trip was planned for a university mate's wedding. After missing out on the first three weddings I thought it wise to at least make the fourth... The wedding was awesome and pulling the surprise on all the others certainly made the trip worthwhile. 

After the wedding I spent a couple days visiting family in Cambridge and Ipswich before heading down to London to see friends. The summer temperature was awesome and I've left the UK with the memory that the UK actually has good weather. It's probably best not to head back anytime soon!

After rushing a new passport on one early morning I had the afternoon to myself before meeting friends that evening. I took the opportunity to walk around London and take a few snaps. 

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The North Face 100 HK

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The North Face 100 HK

Going into the start of summer I struggled to maintain any sort of endurance training. I was going to the gym but without any structure. I needed a goal. Hong Kong is lucky to have a proper season of 'trail running events' so it was easy to look forward and start planning. I highlighted the Moon Trekker, the MSIG HK 50km, TNF 100 HK as well as the Vibram HK 100 in January. I also wanted another crack at the MSIG Sai Kung 50km after suffering tremendously with cramps for half the race. 

I ended up missing the Moon Trekker registration start time by 20-min by which time it had reached capacity; for both the long and short distances. Bummer. I have since signed up for the MSIG HK 50km, TNF 100 HK and have entered my name into the Vibram HK 100 lottery - hoping to receive some good news on the 26th September. 

For a number weekends over the past month or two I've been up early and running the TNF 100 route - it's beautiful but brutal! The ridges of Tai To Yan and Pat Seng Leng are stunning and currently my favourite trails in Hong Kong.

Below are a selection of snaps from training.

Tai To Yan Ridge

Hong Kong from the top of Tai Mo Shan

Victoria Habour from the start of the Hong Kong Trail

Aberdeen from Hong Kong Trail - a favourite view

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Trail Running

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Trail Running

I've recently come to enjoy running out in the hills and I am now keenly looking at ultra marathon distances. I've completed the Oxfam Trailwalker 100km last November, the 4 Peaks and most recently the MSIG Sai Kung 50km. Looking forward the race goal I currently have down is the Ultra Trail Mount Fuji, which is taking place next weekend. It is a 100mile race circumnavigating Mount Fuji - thankfully there is a shorter 50-odd mile race (88km), which I would look to take part in. 

A big reason for this new found enjoyment of long distance running has come from hills and countryside itself. While that sounds all airy-fairy being out there running around is very enjoyable. It also makes for some great photo opportunities showing a side of Hong Kong that is rarely seen by most. I'll be sharing photos from these runs as I track my progress towards next year's UTMF!

Aberdeen from Hong Kong Trail

Tai Lon Wan and Ham Tin from Sharps Peak

Sai Wan with Ham Tin and Sharps Peak in the background

Repulse Bay from Violet Hill

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Road Trip USA - Green Bay Packers

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Road Trip USA - Green Bay Packers

Next up, Green Bay and the Green Bay Packers - a town with probably the most enthusiastic and nicest people we met along the whole trip. After failing to stop in Austin for the night after due to a lack of a decent hotel we decided to crack on to Green Bay leading us to arrive a day earlier than planned. It ended up being the longest drive of the holiday - over 600 miles and 12 hours in the car.  

We stayed within throwing distance of the stadium which helped when it came to Saturday and the training scrimmage we secured tickets to. 80,000 people turned out to see a training game between the offence and defence. Even though it wasn't a proper game, not even a proper pre-season game, the atmosphere was awesome and pre-game tailgating even more impressive. Good day all round!

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Central Tramway

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Central Tramway

After being in KL for the past two weeks I'm taking advantage of Malaysia Day and long holiday to taking an extended trip back to home. It'll be good to get back, even just for a few days, as it is pretty full on in KL and is only going to get worse - this will break it up nicely. Hopefully, I should be able to get out one evening to add to photos like the one below - Central Tramway. Night time shots with the city lights and vehicles flying around the pace definitely makes for good photos! 

I've also set up a mailing list - I thought it would be an interesting thing to try. It will send a mail each time a new post gets uploaded.  

 

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Road Trip USA - Yellowstone

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Road Trip USA - Yellowstone

After an awesome night in Elko we finished off the rest of Nevada and proceeded to drive through Idaho, into Montana for a spot of lunch before finally arriving at Wyoming to setting up camp in Yellowstone National Park. Being the oldest National Park in the USA we thought we were in for something special, which although stunning and very beautiful didn't quite have the same "wow" factor that Yosemite did. 

Still, it was pretty cool to be able to stop the car on the side of the road to see an relaxed elk chilling in the open or a badass bison growling at us when trying to walk past. Weather may have cut the visit short but it was still an impressive visit and one I wouldn't mind doing again in the future - just, maybe with a bit more time and better waterproofs! 

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Road Trip USA - Chicago

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Road Trip USA - Chicago

So after driving for 4,485 miles across the width of the USA in 18 days, through 17 states, staying at 9 different locations and collecting over 5 different beer coozies you could definitely say we had seen another side of 'Murica. Along the way we took numerous photos - too many to really edit and share all at once - so I'll be periodically uploading selections of them all here. 

First up, Chicago.

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Po Toi

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Po Toi

Taking advantage of the July 1st public holiday we took the ferry over to one of the southerly outlying island for a short walk and a spot of lunch. We headed over with the threat of a T3 warning, which when walking around seemed like nonsense, however just as we headed off back to the ferry the skies opened and we got soaked! Still, was nice to get off Hong Kong Island and do something different for a change. 

Canon 5D MK III, EF 16 - 35mm f/2.8L II; 16mm, f/13, 1/500, ISO 400

Canon 5D MK III, EF 16 - 35mm f/2.8L II; 30mm, f/13, 1/320, ISO 400

Canon 5D MK III, EF 16 - 35mm f/2.8L II; 16mm, f/16, 1/320, ISO 400

Canon 5D MK III, EF 16 - 35mm f/2.8L II; 16mm, f/16, 1/320, ISO 400

Canon 5D MK III, EF 16 - 35mm f/2.8L II; 16mm, f/13, 1/500, ISO 400

Canon 5D MK III, EF 16 - 35mm f/2.8L II; 17mm, f/13, 1/320, ISO 400

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Central at Night

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Central at Night

Last week we headed out after work to see if we could find any different angles in and around Central. With the lights from the buildings and the lights off the road, night time in Hong Kong can certainly create some cool photos. Throw in a long exposure, light trails from the traffic, aperture "stars" (not sure if there is a technical term..) and it certainly makes for something different.  

More locations to follow.  

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