I spent most of today with Brian and Marie as we looked continued our journey around Hong Kong.
We had intended to go to the Tian Tau Bhudda, but I found out last night that the cable cars were closed for maintenance and so we revised our plans.
We first took the metro to the IFC mall, popping into the Apple Store there, where I picked up an external battery for my iPad/iPhone (my phone has died twice now at the end of overnight journeys, so I think I'll make use of it), and some earbuds as the connector of my old ones somehow have bent to a 90 degree angle. I've no idea how that happened.
We then made the short walk from the mall to the Central Star Ferry Terminal before making the crossing. This was much better than the last time I did it as it was nowhere near as crowded and this time I could actually see something. This docked us at harbour city, which we walked through before heading to the ICC Tower and the Sky100 observation deck.
We were warned before we went up that the weather wasn't great, but we did at least get to see the city itself. The weather wasn't conducive to photography and so I put the camera away for a change.
We all agreed it was a shame that the mist was so thick, but that it was still worth the trip here. I'm hoping that I can visit the Petronas Towers when I get to Kuala Lumpur to add to my growing collection of tall buildings.
We then headed for a late lunch, where I had sliced pork with white rice. The meal was around Guernsey pub prices, but that its more then I'd paid for three meals in China. We are most certainaly back in expensive cities, and I imagine this is what it is going to be like all through Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. It just means that I'll have to take advantage of the prices in South East Asia and enjoy my food there!
We then headed back to the hotel and met up with Max, Gernot and Sophie before walking the streets to the Ladies Market. Despite the name this has a little bit of everything, and I ended up buying a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad for around £11. This has been a godsend. Its a little smaller than full sized, and some of the keys are sized differently to a western keyboard, but boy has it increased my typing speed.
I'm going to go back tonight before I leave as I want a small shoulder bag that can fit just my camera and my wallet, so I can leave my sling bag behind occasionally.
After wandering he markets we had a pizza at a nearby pizza place called the California Pizza Kitchen. These were good, but again a little on the pricy side, but again thats compared to the prices I've now become accustomed to.
My final stop was the Avenue of Stars where he had arranged to meet with the remainder of the group that was still in Hong Kong. Here we stood and watched the Symphony of Lights, the daily light show that a lot of the waterfront buildings participate in.
By this time I was pretty dead on my feet and so I made my farewells to Brian, Marie and Sophie who were all travelling the following day, and arranged to meet with Max and Gernot before they left. I made my way back to my hotel and then crashed out for 11 solid hours.
I only left the hotel once the following day, to get some food and drink from a nearby shop. I simply rested, watched a couple of films, drank a lot of water and caught up with my journal and photographs. It is the first day in ages where I had nothing to do, and whilst it may seem a waste to anyone that is reading, it was exactly the right thing to do after three solid weeks of either exploring or travelling. It was needed simply to recharge.
Saturday was a bit of everything. I did my washing, I went to the post office and sent back souvenirs and items I realised that I was unlikely to use - which wasn't all that much, so at least some of my panning paid off.
Whilst I was doing this, I witnessed a punch up between two very old men. One stick thin, which his shirt off, he was being pulled away by his belt and he hung limply in the air. Unfortunately for him, the man he was fighting pulled away from the people who were restraining him. He then grabbed a walking stick and delivered a couple of huge whacks before the crowd grabbed him again. I've not idea what the fight was about, but I was surprised they even had the energy. With humidity the temperature is in the mid 40's. It is too hot to do anything other than drag yourself to the next air-conditioned building.
That is precisely what I did, and I went to the cinema to see the new Resident Evil film. Milla Jovovich still retains the title of sexiest woman in the world for me!
Later I then my Gernot and Max and we went for a much more reasonably priced meal at a noodle place. I may go there again as the food was great. We then headed to the bar that we went to on our first night and had a couple of drinks. I had a White Russian and a couple of Kronenbergs. I would not have done so if I ad realised that the Kronenbergs came in at roughly £6.50 a pint, which is more than the White Russian cost. Next time I'll check the price list before ordering.
So now I've said goodbye to the last of the group and I'm on my own for the next two months until I reach Cambodia. Singapore is my destination tomorrow, and Malaysia in a weeks time.
Hong Kong has been more a holiday than it has been backpacking. That starts again tomorrow, and I hope I'll meet some fellow backpackers along the way.