I woke up around 4:30am Monday morning and lay asleep for a couple of hours before finally drifting off to sleep for an hour before everyone else got up. We ate breakfasts, stopped for coffee for Jaeger, and then took MTR down to central so we could catch a ferry to Cheung Chau Island. The ferry ride was a little less than an hour.
We got off the ferry and disembarked into a very crowded street stuffed with little tourist shops that would look at home on Pearl Street and seafood restaurants with their live seafood on display. By the time we actually got there, it was time for lunch. The island is known for seafood, not vegetarian food, but we had found online a couple of places that looked like they might work. Unfortunately, the first place was closed and we decided to just get fruit and pastries instead of fighting the crowds to find the other restaurant. We ended up with a stuffed sweet bun that had sweet red bean inside and some oranges. Unfortunately, Calvin didn’t seem to be a fan of the bun and ate very little.
After that, we followed a walking tour in Jaeger’s guide book. We first stopped in at a temple but Calvin wasn’t interested so Jaeger stayed to look at it while Calvin and I went back to a little playground we had seen a block back. After Jaeger finished, we continued exploring the area right next to the ferry. It was very crowded and the smell of fish was everywhere. After a while, we left that area and started a several kilometer hike to visit a famous cave that belonged to a pirate (when I heard pirate, I was thinking dinky ship but this guy actually commanded 50,000 pirates so it was a serious operation).
When contemplating our trip back in the states, I had wondered the best way to transport Calvin. Calvin is notorious for wanting to be carried everywhere. We had already gotten rid of our strollers. Plus, strollers are a pain to carry everywhere. So, I bought a Boba carrier that was rated to 45 lbs. The advantage is the carrier had is it’s a soft body so can easily be packed in our suitcase for travel. Unfortunately, it has no pockets so this makes Jaeger responsible for carrying everything but Calvin. The carrier has been working out very well and I don’t think we would have made it to the cave without a carrier of some sort.
The walk to the cave took us up a hill and we quickly left the mob of people fish smells behind. That was the point were I started to enjoy our excursion. The path was steep and was surrounded by all sorts of plants and trees. There are no cars on the island but there are motorized carts. However, we mainly encountered other couples walking up the hill. There were houses most of the way up. Many of the houses appeared to be in bad shape but a couple were nice looking. Near the top of the hill we passed a huge spiraling cemetery that had very elaborate tombstones. It was a pretty impressive site. We were also amused to see banners, within the cemetery itself warning about Japanese Encephalitis and asking people to report mosquito sightings. For some, reason it struck us as amusing the signs were at the cemetery when we hadn’t seen them anywhere else. It also made me a bit nervous that we had skipped that particular vaccination because it was considered low risk at the moment (though I didn’t see any bugs or mosquitoes anywhere).
Have I mentioned there are playgrounds everywhere? On our walk we passed several and Calvin wanted to stop and play at each though, if we’d done that, we’d have never made it to our destination.
After the cemetery, we headed downhill back to the harbor and came to a larger group of houses. There were more tourists there but nothing like the mob at the ferry dock. Apparently we had taken the hard route as there is a flat road hugging the shore and bicycles were skimming back and forth. However, I think our hike was more fun.
At the village, we turned left and headed back up the hill for a short distance and eventually arrived at the cave. It was a cave. Neither Jaeger nor I had a flashlight so we pronounced it to be a cave and the headed back down.
We took the easy path back to the dock and then took the ferry back to central Hong Kong. It was getting dark by the time we arrived which allowed us to see the Christmas displays on the large skyscrapers. Many of the skyscrapers had huge murals made out of lights depicting Christmas themed pictures. It was quite a sight. As Jaeger noted, Christmas here seems more like a folk festival than a holiday like we have back at home. It seems mainly an excuse to have fun.
For supper, we found a gourmet pizza place to eat. It was very good. Calvin fell asleep on the way back to the hotel and we put him in bed when we got back. Calvin has been consistently falling asleep between 6 or 7 and then not waking up till 7:30 or later in the morning. It makes for very relaxing evenings.
Our Hong Kong/Taiwan Trip: