34 days away
30 km / 19 miles since last post
22,502 km / 13,982 miles total
We were woken this morning by a panicked Jo who had lost her flight and travel insurance documents. Luckily she still had her passport, but we let her in our room to use the internet so she could look up all her flight information, as she is flying to Thailand this afternoon.
After she had got everything sorted, we bid her farewell as she would be leaving shortly to go to the airport.
After helping out Jo we had a relaxed morning as we didn't need to be out of the hotel until midday, and Stu had a bit more tweaking to do with his photos for the blog, so we were making the most of the Internet in our room.
After checking out we walked over to the subway to take the one stop needed to get to our next hotel. This hotel is a bit closer to the harbour, which might make it a little quicker getting over to Hong Kong Island. The hotel seems quite nice, clean and tidy.
Stu thinks he may be coming down with another cold and didn't sleep too well last night, so he grabbed some sleep in the hotel once we got our room while I caught up on writing more blog posts. We weren't meeting everyone else until 4pm so we had some spare time.
We headed out later to meet the rest of the group (minus Jo who should now be on her way to Thailand and more adventures - have fun Jo!) We walked to the ferry port and caught the Star Ferry over to the central pier on Hong Kong Island. We just had ten minutes until we were meeting everyone at the Victoria Peak tram terminus, so we jumped in a taxi to get us there on time.
Tegan and Tyson were already there waiting, and Louise, Nick and Greg arrived soon after. Tegan and Tyson had had a relaxing day today while Louise, Greg and Nick had ventured to Lantau Island to see the big Buddha there (we shall probably do that tomorrow).
We bought our tickets and waited for the tram to take us up Victoria Peak. We decided not to take the first tram as we were right at the back, and waited for the next one to come along and bag some good seats. We asked the guy in front who gave us some inside knowledge that sitting on the right side of the tram would give you the best views - great tip!
The tram takes you up the side of the peak, and at one stage gets really steep!
At the top we headed straight up to the sky tower (an optional extra charge on the tickets) so we could get the top view over Hong Kong Island and beyond. It was a pretty amazing view. Still quite hazy, as we expected, but great all the same.
After taking some pictures we headed down from the tower into the shopping mall area to get some food. We had spotted a Burger King there and were very close to getting one, but Tegan and Tyson had spotted Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and had decided to eat there. After checking out the menu we were all sold on the idea and went in. Luckily we also managed to get some great seats with a view out over the peak too.
As some of you may have guessed, Bubba Gumps is a themed restaurant - it is the name of the company in the film Forrest Gump. Therefore, all around the restaurant are pictures and other references to the film. They even show the film on a screen behind the bar. On the table too you have a little sign to use when you want to attract the attention of the waitress. You turn the sign to 'Stop Forrest Stop' if you need something from the waitress, and turn it back to 'Run Forrest Run' when you're ok.
They had a pretty amazing looking menu of various shrimp related meals - some other things too. Even the drinks menu was great, and you could get free refills. Most of us ordered starters, and Nick and Stu's starter probably looked the most impressive - a huge tower of onion rings. They brought out the main courses really quickly too. A few of us went for the 'Shrimp Heaven' meal. It basically has four cones containing fresh shrimp, chilli shrimp, tempura shrimp and coconut shrimp with chips. I was unsure what coconut shrimp would be like, but have to say that I really enjoyed it. There was so much food though and I'm not sure if anyone could finish it all. A great meal though and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Tegan and Tyson said they would meet us at the bottom of the sky tower, as the rest of us decided to pay again to go up top and see the view again - as it had now got dark and all the lights had come on it was an even better view at night, and we all got some more pictures. Stu took his time getting some long exposures, and some great shots. At one stage a little kid thought it was great fun to get under Stu's tripod and shake it about. I'm not sure Stu was quite as amused! (Stu note: I am frankly amazed that they allow tripods to be used, and I apologise for hogging the best position for an unreasonable amount of time!).
We headed back down from the tower (after getting slightly lost and going up and down the escalator a few times) and met up with Tegan and Tyson again. Then we took the trip back down the tram.
The seats on the tram still face upwards, and it's quite weird going back down the peak backwards too, particularly the steep parts. Greg said he would stand the whole way down, which was hilarious. He looked like he was doing the Michael Jackson leaning dance scene from Smooth Criminal - brilliant!
After having good fun at the peak we jumped in a couple of taxis to take us to the Happy Valley Racecourse to see some horse racing. This is something we've never done before, so thought it might be a bit of good fun. It's only HK$10 to get in (just under £1), and then you can obviously bet as little or as much as you like on the horse races. I think we got there around 8:30pm, and they have a race about every 30 minutes or so until the last one around 10:30pm. Most of us had a few bets, but all quite innocent. The most Stu bet was HK$50 (and he lost all of his!) I did win one bet and got HK$26 back, but I think I was still down about HK$60 overall. Nevermind, was still good fun. Tyson was the winner of the night though as he won nearly HK$200 in all.
After the last race everyone left the racecourse at the same time and there was no way we would be able to get a taxi. Thankfully there was a metro station not too far away so we headed for that. It was only one stop for me and Stu, and we said goodnight to everyone - but agreed to meet up again tomorrow night for food and drinks for our final night together.