32 days away
5 km / 3 miles since last post
22,467 km / 13,960 miles total
I didn't sleep too well last night on the train. The beds themselves were ok, but I couldn't get rid of my headache and it kept me awake most of the night. It didn't help that we are right next to the air conditioning vent on the top bunks either. I woke in the morning with a really dry throat as a result.
Feeling extremely tired through lack of sleep, I packed up my stuff and we arrived at Shenzhen around 10:30am.
Shenzhen is a border city of China with Hong Kong. Here we had to go through two customs gates. Firstly we had to go through customs to leave China, and then go through another customs to enter Hong Kong. There were some big queues to do this, and in the humidity it wasn't pleasant.
Once through customs we met up with Ricky again (who had to go through a different customs gate to us, being a Chinese resident) and we stopped at Starbucks for a coffee.
The first thing I have noticed about entering Hong Kong already is that the weather is warmer, the humidity is higher and the place is a lot cleaner than China!
We needed to get a subway train for around 45 minutes to take us to our hotel in Kowloon. I was still feeling extremely tired and still had a headache, so this felt like the longest train journey ever! Because I had barely slept last night, my eyes kept closing and I started to doze but would immediately wake up again. I couldn't wait to get to the hotel.
Thankfully, our hotel was really close to the final station stop. We checked into our rooms, and I took this as a great opportunity to get into bed, have some sleep and try to shake off my headache. (Dad will be pleased to hear that the air conditioning in our room is provided by Johnson Controls!)
We had some free time before we were meeting up with Ricky and the others for a farewell meal (it's the last night of our GAP adventures tour). Stu wanted to explore, and I needed to sleep, so Stu headed out with Jo to take a look around the markets and shops.
After a couple of hours sleep I was feeling so much better - I really needed the rest. Stu and Jo returned just in time to meet everyone else around 6pm. Stu had bought a few bits at the shops - some socks, a jumper, a pair of trainers. Apparently Stu was eyeing up a new lens for his camera, but thankfully Jo persuaded him not to buy it. I'm glad she had been there is dissuade him!
We headed out to Temple Street with Ricky and the rest of the group for our farewell meal. Ricky took us to a place called 'Spicy Crabs'. We were crammed around a table that was a bit too small for us, which wasn't ideal. For a change we all ordered a dish each, rather than the usual process of Ricky ordering for us. Basically, they have English menus which made it very easy to order things ourselves. The food was ok, but not our best meal of the trip so far. It was a bit awkward using our chop sticks while we were sitting so close together, and the dishes we had chosen were not brilliant. I also don't think the dishes were really big enough to share amongst nine people. My favourite meals were in China for sure.
After food we followed Ricky to the ferry terminal, where we got a ferry to take us over to Hong Kong Island. It was a bit of a bumpy ride over, but not too bad - unlike Syndey in the winter!
Once off the ferry we could watch one of nightly light shows, where they light up the skyscrapers in time to the music. The skyscrapers are already lit up anyway, some of them with Christmas pictures and messages. The actual light show itself wasn't that impressive though and a bit of an anti climax. They had a few laser lights on top of a couple of the skyscrapers, and some of them flashed in time with the music, but I don't think it was quite what any of us expected. (Stu note: the light show was before the ferry).
After the light show, Ricky lead us through the streets and up towards the base of Victoria Peak where we could get the tram up. Unfortunately, the tram service has been suspended for two days - i.e. today and tomorrow. Looks like we'll be coming back here in a couple of days! I felt a bit sorry for Jo though as she is the only one from our group who is not staying in Hong Kong past tomorrow and probably won't get the chance to go.
So it was here that our GAP adventure tour would officially end, and it was time to say goodbye to our guide, Ricky, who has been absolutely brilliant. I don't think we could have asked for a nicer and more organised tour guide, he has been great. He now has a few months off to spend some time with his family, so we wished him well. We even indulged him in a big group hug, which he seemed a bit confused about, but as with most things along the way he just smiles and laughs nervously. Then we all piled into a couple of taxis to take us to the bar area for some drinks.
We found a bar which was still serving happy hour drinks, took our seats and stayed there the rest of the night.
After a few hours of drinks and some dancing Stu, Louise and I got a taxi back to our hotel and called it a night around 2:30am. We left the others there to enjoy themselves. It had a been a good last day of our tour. (Stu note: I wanted to stay out, but being unable to find the other hotel key was persuaded to come home).
However, apart from Jo, the rest of the group are still in Hong Kong for another three days so we shall be meeting up with them again and seeing them before we go.