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Old 27-02-2007, 19:41   #31
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To Infinity........and beyond

We drove North on the following day, heading for a gander at Surfer's Paradise. Neither of us were particularly interested in dossing on a beach, there is way too much to do here. Also, I am a fair skinned freckly type and I prided myself on not being a sunburn victim on this holiday. Considering that the Aussies are very skin cancer conscious (compared to us Brits), and the shops don't sell much in the way of suncream under a factor 30........You'd either have to be pretty stupid or very unfortunate to actually burn there.

We finally arrived at Surfers after just one little wrong turn on the way. This was due to our onboard navigation system (me), failing to direct Sparks up a crease on the map sufficiently.. We parked up and had a walk around the town of Surfer's Paradise. I can honestly say that this place is way overrated. Never have I seen a place more geared up for extracting money off tourists - well, I have, Blackpool, but Surfer's is a surprisingly small place which sprawls into other towns. Full of shops selling overpriced tat, bars, beachwear shops and tickets to tourist attractions. Don't get me wrong, if you are travelling with kids then this is the place to go. Seaworld, Dream World, Movie World.... the theme park and entertainment complexes are endless.

In the spirit of experimentation, me and Sparks went to an attraction called Infinity. It was in the town centre and out of the blazing sunshine so we thought we'd give it a whirl. Infinity is basically a sensory experience for grown ups and children alike. It is like a futuristic maze through about 20 different rooms decked with lights and mirrors to make special effects. You are given a pair of white gloves and shoe covers (so that you can see your hands and feet in the lights).....and off you go.

This is a walk through attraction and has about 20 different rooms, all with different features but all of them dark. There is an electron maze which you have to get out of, the star chamber which looks like you are standing in the middle of an endlessly starry universe, the light canyon which appears to be a bridge of lights crossing a canyon of unfathomable depth, the cyclotron which is like stepping off a cliff edge and there is even a wobbly zone with soft, bouncy flooring and a madness tune playing.. It was like a bouncy castle for adults, me and Sparks were jumping about like idiots and I nearly pee'd laughing. There are lots more different rooms but all I could say about Infinity is that it's really trippy but damned good fun..

After having a look around Surfer's and a walk along the prom, we drove down to Broadbeach and visited David Fleay Wildlife Park. This is a small park which is easy to walk around. There is a Koala contact zone and I really wanted to stroke a Koala, so that's why we went.

I loved it.... the koalas are sooooo soft to touch but they do have very sharp teeth and claws. I didn't want to attempt to pick one up, they are, after all, wild animals, but I did a bit of stroking and cooing.. Koalas sleep for about 20 hours a day and spend the rest of their awake time eating (that's my kind of life!!!) Lots of people think that they are doped up from the Eucalypts which they eat, but in reality they eat a low energy diet so therefore don't need to move much. I loved them though, my favorite was a rescue koala who only had one eye and probably wouldn't survive in the wild but I thought she was lovely.

We wandered around the park at leisure, looking at some of Aussie's native species. We can now tell you that wombats are bigger than you think they're going to be, we can tell you the difference between a freshie and a saltie and we could, if quizzed, describe a cassowary.

I really enjoyed this little park and I loved the little lizards which follow you around here. They are like little dragons, we saw them everywhere we went in Queensland. They have a funny lop-sided run and look like they have little smiley faces and seem to be quite unafraid of humans. I loved it here..

Here are some pics, Surfer's Paradise town and beach, My favorite koala, koala friends, dingo, spot the saltie!!! would you dive in that billabong??? Wombat feeding time, the funny little lizard.
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Last edited by lettie; 27-02-2007 at 19:46.
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:00   #32
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Crikey.....

On our last day on the Gold Coast, we decided to do a long drive north to Beerwah and visit the famous Australia Zoo. It took us just over 2 hours to get there from Tweed, through Brisbane and north towards the Sunshine Coast. The highway to Beerwah has been re-named as the Steve Irwin Highway and there are billboards every few kilometers giving the distance to Australia Zoo.

We parked up and went in, this place is massive and caters for just about everyone. There are buggys for children, vehicles for elderly and disabled, smoking areas, plentiful cafes and toilet facilities. We were given a map and brochure detailing the times of all of the shows, and off we went. After a hearty breakfast at a reasonable price (well, we needed time to figure out which stuff to see first) We headed for the Crocoseum to watch the famous croc show.

The Crocoseum is an arena which seats 5,000 people and hosts daily snake, bird and croc shows..... we saw all 3 shows and they were fantastic. The hosts of the shows warm up the audience with a tribute to Steve and they have various parts of the audience shouting 'CRIKEY' at different intervals. All of the shows are educational and contain information about how to deal with some of Australia's poisonous or toothy creatures, how to deal with a snake bite, how to avoid croc attack and why some of these animals attack. It was a brilliant show and taught us a lot.

We wandered at will around the zoo, visiting different animals in their specially designed homes. The animals here look really happy, they are all well fed and obviously cared for. We walked through the Roo enclosure where you can hand feed the Roos. They weren't at all timid and responded well to the plethora of visitors. I was in animal heaven when I got to stroke and hand feed a Kangaroo, they are surprisingly soft to stroke. We then went to the Elephant house and watched it's residents taking their bath.

There were many areas to this zoo, tigers, birds, otters, dingos, wombats, Tasmanian devils, koalas, lizards galore and many many more. The staff here are really helpful and will often take some of the animals for walks around the park and give visitors the opportunity to touch them and ask questions. All of the animals have names and as I said, they all looked relaxed, happy and comfortable.

There is a big visitor information section with a massive picture wall detailing the history of the zoo, there is also a tribute area to Steve Irwin where people have sent stuff to the zoo, cards, khaki shirts with messages on them, model crocs etc. It is very poignant to walk through and read the tributes. It was a full day of a job visiting this place but all I can say is that it was worth the drive. The zoo is full of smiling faces, loved animals and is a fantastic legacy to Steve Irwin who, although sometimes seen as a little mad, has obviously worked so hard to achieve this fabulous place.

After we left, we drove south to Glasshouse Mountains villiage and had a bite to eat before hiking up to one of the viewpoints. It was getting a bit dusky by then and we could hear things rustling in the bush on our walk to the view point. I was constantly aware of the things that live in the grass here and wondered why Australia's wildlife has evolved to be so dangerously venomous..

After a brilliant view of the mountains we walked back downhill to our car for the long drive to Tweed. Neither of us were accosted by the things which live in the bush but.........If we had have been, we would have known how to avoid or deal with it..

Here are some pics from Australia Zoo. The lovely Roos, Bath Time, Ancient Creatures, Cassowary (these can be vicious, hence the fencing), Glasshouse Mts, and the welcome sign at Australia Zoo.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:05   #33
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Brisbane.

On leaving the Gold Coast, we drove north to Brisbane and put our watches back an hour.. We were really peeved to be coming here, not because Brisbane is less than wonderful but because we were all too aware that we only had 3 days left in Australia.

We arrived at our hotel in Brisbane and found it to be in a central location right above the train station. They had regular trains running to the airport and could give us a discount on the train tickets. We decided there and then that we would no longer need the car, so we set off on foot to find an Avis place where we could ditch the jaloppy. Brisbane is really easy to get around on foot. The streets are in an easy grid shape and are named after English Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses. The Queens and Princesses run north to south and the Kings and Princes run east to west......simple.

We found the Avis place and arranged to drop our car off 3 days earlier than planned. After dropping off the car, we went for a walk around the city. It's a lovely, compact city situated on the Brisbane River. There are plenty of good shops, cafes, restaurants and entertainment areas. Many of the good restaurants are situated on the river with views over to the other side and the wonderful bridges.

We paid the obligatory visit to the Gabba to watch England try to play some cricket. It was a lovely atmosphere though, everybody was really friendly. It is relatively cheap to watch sporting events in Australia, therefore they are family events and everyone brings the kids. What a difference to rip off Britain where nobody but the rich can afford to take the kids to premiership matches.

On our way back from the Gabba, we walked across the pedestrian bridge and through the Botanic Gardens. We had been in these gardens during the day and they were lovely. The thing is that it was now night and they were darned spooky. Unseen night creatures were rustling in the bushes and I had a feeling of overwhelming jitteriness. There has been a recent spate of rapes and attacks in Brisbane parks, whilst we were in Oz these attacks were all over the news. Me and Sparks were totally alone in there and I was beginning to wish that we had walked around on the crowded streets rather than take the short cut through the park. There was some rustling in the bushes to our left, was it my imagination, or was the rustling getting closer?????

Suddenly, the bushes parted, I nearly jumped out of my skin when a possum shot out....... It stopped abruptly when it saw us and Sparks bent down and extended his hand to it... Well, the next thing we knew, it was sniffing his fingers and then it proceeded to follow us through the park.. I tell you, he's like Dr Doolittle is Sparks, we couldn't get rid of the little ******. The possum left us when we finally exited the park, it was obviously out of its' comfort zone, I was back in mine....

We also spent a day at a friend's house and caught up with some of my old colleagues. It was wonderful to see them again, they have only been there for a few months but had already got into the laid back lifestyle, swimming pool in the garden, big barbie on the patio. It's a fact that people think that NHS staff go to Oz for more money but the reality is that we are actually paid less. The money there does go a bit further and the lifestyle makes up for the move. My colleagues now get less holidays and less pay, but they are happy, not stressed and don't feel like they need the holidays.. I have to say that it is all very tempting.

We came home from my friend's house on the train, both a little worse for wear after the wine and beers we'd all been drinking. They do like a drink in Oz.. We had to pack our cases as we were leaving the next day. We'd had a brilliant time in Australia though but it was time to go..

Here are some pics of Brisbane and its' river, and of course........ a pic of the Gabba.
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Old 11-03-2007, 15:51   #34
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Depressed...

We called our friends from the airport the following day, to thank them for their wonderful hospitality. I don't think that I have ever been so depressed as I was that day. I had no right to be miserable, we were off to Hong Kong for 6 days and we both love it there, but I didn't want to leave Australia. Sparks also wished that we had maybe just booked a couple of nights in Hong Kong and had a few extra days in Aussie. We could have gone to Cairns for a couple of days, done a Barrier Reef tour but........it was too late to change our plans.

I am still miserable now when I think back to what a brilliant time we had and the horrendous work situation I came home to, but life goes on. So in memory of a fab time, here are my likes and dislikes (yes, there are a couple) about Australia.

I loved that I felt immediately comfortable there, the people were all polite, friendly and helpful. I loved the food, well, most of it......nice runny eggs, thick meaty bacon, plentiful fish, good thick steaks, smoothies and the best red wines in the world. I hated how they tend to char-grill their meats so that the outer coating has strips of burnt areas on it. IMO, there's no excuse for burning food, it tastes vile so if there are any Aussie chefs reading this STOP IT!!!!

I loved that even on rainy days we had plenty to do. We did have plenty of rain and clouds but it was never really freezing cold like here and people welcomed the rain due to recent droughts. I didn't mind that some areas had water restrictions of various grades in place. My friends showered whilst stood in a washing up bowl and used the shower water to clean cars and water gardens. It didn't bother them and they had adapted well to their lifestyle....It wouldn't bother me either.

I loved that it is commonplace to see animals in the wild, koalas, snakes, echidnas, possums, kangaroos etc.... I didn't love the fact that there are loads of venomous and toothsome creatures also in the wild, but with a bit of common sense, encounters with these animals can be avoided. I was also a bit jittery when I noticed a spider at my mate's house which could have devoured her dog... Honestly, there are some really big ones here.

I loved the 'no worries' attitude and that everyone is given a fair go. By the end of the holiday we had totally chilled and if anyone said "the train is late," "your food will be 15 minutes," "you're under arrest," our answer was always............."no worries."

I loved the sky, especially at night. It was always really starry when it was clear, I could have gazed at it forever. I loved the noise of the parakeets in the mornings and the colourful early morning flights. Long straight roads with hardly any traffic and the fact that during the whole 3 weeks we only spotted 1 dog turd on the pavement (and believe me, I am like Hawkeye when it comes to spotting turds).

I didn't like that there were murders on the news and there had been race riots in Sydney. A mental moslem cleric winding everyone up, a young lad dying of a snake bite, a shark attack, rapes in Brisbane and the flies but hell...........you can't like everything. There was certainly nothing worse happening there, than here, in fact, if I had to pit Aussie against the UK in the most desirable place to live and work, I'd go for Aussie...

So, I'm saving like mad to go back. I want to see the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Kakadu, Alice Springs, The Bungle Bungles, The Daintree, Kimberley and Tassie. I have a feeling that our next trip might be a busy one

Here are some of us, Sparks on the beach (Great Ocean Rd), us cruising the Yarra (I am well aware that my hair is a mess, but 'no worries'), me and my favourite friends.
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Last edited by lettie; 11-03-2007 at 15:56.
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Old 11-03-2007, 19:54   #35
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

A brilliant account of your holiday Lettie, have you ever thought of taking up travel writing? Think you'd be good at it.
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Old 16-03-2007, 10:10   #36
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Hksar..

We landed in Hong Kong during the evening. The flight wasn't too bad, only about 9 hours tops from Brisbane. We took the Airport Express train into the city. This is by far the easiest way to get into the city from the airport. There are stops at both Kowloon and HK Island, where little buses line up to take you to your hotel. Kowloon and HK Island (central) stations also have facilities to check your luggage in for your flights, so you can offload your luggage way before you get to the airport. I have to say that they have really got the transport systems nailed in HK.

It's not surprising really, with a population of 6.99 million, give or take a few, and a surprisingly small landmass, it is essential that the people of HK can move from A to B quickly and cheaply.

Although we still know this marvellous place as Hong Kong, its' official moniker these days is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or HKSAR. HK was handed back to China in 1997, much to the dismay of the people living there. You see, the residents of HK thought that their lives would significantly change under a communist regime instead of a regime based on British laws and values. In reality, nothing much has changed, one of the conditions of handover was that HK laws etc stay under the current regime for 50 years, so if there are going to be significant changes they will not be until 2047.

Therefore HK has kept its own administrative system, currency, culture, laws, immigration system etc. and remains a fabulous place to visit. There are only 2 Special Administrative Regions of the Peoples Republic of China, the other being Macau (which we would also visit).

So there we were, newly arrived in the Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon and settled in to our hotel for a well needed kip. We had plenty of time to explore so decided to take our time and just mooch around the city on our first day there. We walked through the crowded streets as people rushed to get to work. Admired the gravity defying buildings, designer shops, quirky market stalls up the back streets, street vendors trying to sell fake Rolex (these were a pain in the arse), and the daily comings and goings of HK life. We took the Star Ferry across to HK Island which costs less than 20p, and travelled up the Mid Levels escalators to the Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

The Zoological and Botanical Gardens were opened in 1871 under the watchful eye of superintendent Charles Ford. It is an essential green space within the city and a place of peace and quiet. There is an aviary, childrens' play area, jaguar enclosure, reptiles and mammals enclosures and a fountain terrace garden and war memorial. These gardens are built into the slope of Victoria Peak, so in some areas are quite steep. The 2 halves of the park are separated by a road but there is a subway linking them. It's a nice place to visit and mosey round, especially when you don't really feel like doing much else.

That evening we found an Italian restaurant near our hotel. Maybe after a good feed, glass of red and a proper nights sleep, we would find the energy to explore some more..

here are some pics. Northern HK Island taken from the Star Ferry, The Botanical Gardens, Fountain and War Memorial.
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Old 20-03-2007, 11:13   #37
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High Rollers.

As we had plenty of time to spend in HK, we decided to go a little further afield, we both wanted to visit Macau, as we'd never been there before. It is just a day trip from HK but you do need your passport and immigration card. We went to the China/Macau ferry terminal in Kowloon and booked ourselves onto a ferry.

After passing through immigration we boarded a surprisingly modern and comfortable ferry. Seats are allocated with life jackets under the seats and a safety card in front. It was just like being on an aircraft except the seats were far more spacious and comfortable. The journey was smooth and took about an hour, there was a tv on board the ferry and a refreshment counter. We filled in our immigration card for Macau whilst we were sat in our comfy seats and before we knew it, we were there.

When we came out of the ferry terminal there were no end of taxis, tour buses, rickshaws and tuk-tuk type contraptions which would take you into town. We decided that we would walk and set off in the general direction of the centre of town. We passed the Sands Casino and the newly built Fisherman's Wharf which is a many themed entertainment centre by the water. We had grabbed a street map at the ferry terminal which showed how to get to some of the sights.

Macau is also heavily populated but has one big noticeable difference to HK... They drive like maniacs!!!!! I sincerely believe that the most dangerous thing to do in Macau is attempt to cross the road, there are motorbikes everywhere and the general traffic makes no attempt to stop, even on crossings.

We did manage to get into town without mishap, but only just.

Macau is the other Special Administrative region of the People's Republic of China and the population is about 95% Chinese. This area was leased to Portugal in 1670 and is the oldest European colony in China. It was transferred back to the PRC in 1999 but Portugese is still an official language of Macau and some of the buildings here have a definite European flavour.

Macau is best known for gambling and hospitality. There are many large ornate casinos and hotels to cater for the high rollers who come to visit. Tourism and gambling account for over 50% of Macau's GDP and the gambling revenues in Macau are greater than those on the Las Vegas Strip, but there is more to this place than gambling.

We went into town and visited the ruins of St Paul's Cathedral. Building commenced on this cathedral in 1582 and was completed in 1602. It was the largest catholic cathedral in Asia and as such, was bestowed many expensive gifts from the royalty and hoity-toity of Europe. Destroyed by fire during a typhoon in 1835, all that is left of St Pauls is the ornate south-facing stone facade of the building and some unearthed tombs behind the facade which have been preserved. There is scaffold behind the facade with metal steps which enable you to climb up and observe the hustle and bustle of the street below.

We strolled the streets, past shops and food sellers, tiny temples crammed inbetween other buildings and sunny squares surrounded by European style buildings. There was building work going on as there are some new hotels and casinos going up. One of the things that I was bemused by is that on these buildings, just like the HK skyscrapers, they use bamboo scaffolding!!!! Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against bamboo, but when you are used to seeing metal scaffolds, bamboo looks a bit too flimsy to be propped up against a skyscraper!!!!

We walked along the waterfront and got a decent (despite a bit of murky weather) view of the Macau Tower. This is based on Auckland's Sky Tower and was comissioned by Macau billionnaire Stanley Ho Hung-Sun after a visit to Auckland. Built by a New Zealand company, it stands 338m from ground to the top.

We couldn't resist a visit to Sands Casino and we had a little flutter on the many fruit machines there. I am no gambler and never play on fruit machines but this place was full of people who are obviously addicts. We won nowt worth keeping but I was amazed at the amounts of money that people were feeding into these machines with very little reward. Sands was plush and massive, whoever got the carpet contract for that place has probably never had to work since..

We strolled back to the ferry terminal and managed to avoid getting run over. We had a mad dash through immigration and a quick stamp of the passport before just making it to the ferry.....phew!!!

The good thing about Macau is that it is a full day out but easily accessible from HK. They have their own currency but are happy to accept HK dollars. Tourism has grown here over the last 10 years and the people of Macau are gearing up for another bumper tourist year in 2007.

Here are some pics from Macau. The view from St Pauls and St Pauls facade. Euro-style buildings, the Macau tower and Bamboo scaffolding..
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Old 20-03-2007, 14:45   #38
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Oh Lettie.......I have only just read this account of your trip. It is brilliant, but it made me feel sooooooooooooo homesick. I know Oz isn't really my home, but it is my second home....and I could relate to so many of your experiences........and the pics.....Ballarat, Rutherglen(the wineries there are something else).
Sedate Melbourne......frenetic Sydney....laid back Brissy....take me with you please when you go again.
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Old 20-03-2007, 20:01   #39
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

I went into Infinity on my own....hubby would not be induced to come with me.....and if it had not been for a mother and daughter coming in I would still be there.......there was one of the rooms that i could not find the exit.....I had visions of them finding me wasted away from hunger.....then this Mother and daughter duo came in....hey presto I was outta there.
The whole place made me feel like I had been on some illegal substance....and I just know that hubby would NOT have enjoyed it at all.
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Old 21-03-2007, 07:41   #40
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Hehehe, we also struggled to find the exit in one of the rooms, there were 3 kids in there with us and the youngest one started crying in desperation. We did find the exit eventually but I have to admit that panic was setting in by then..
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Old 25-03-2007, 19:31   #41
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Frantic.

After our day in Macau we decided to chill out in Hong Kong and see some of the sights, take our time and do something a little more relaxing. Even though we have both been to HK before, and know that it is not a particularly relaxing city, we managed to kid ourselves...

We purchased our Octopus cards at the MTR station and off we went. The Octopus card is brilliant, the size of a credit card and fully rechargeable through the many credit machines within the MTR stations, it is a definite must have when travelling in Hong Kong. The Octopus can be used on the MTR trains, buses and most ferries and it saves you having to stump up cash for transportation. You don't even have to take it out of your bag, just hold up your handbag or wallet to the card reader and it will read it and deduct your fare.

We took the MTR across to HK Island and up the Peak Tram to get some views from the top. I won't go into the marvel that is the Peak Tram, as I have already described it in the 'Come on Lettie' thread, but needless to say, the views are just as fantastic now as they were then. We ambled through the Peak Galleria with its' quirky little shops and restaurants. We took in some views of the city and then moronically decided to walk back down into the city via a rather green and pleasant looking path.

All I can say is OUCH!!!!! It was so steep that by the time we got to the bottom my knees were giving way and we were both walking in that awkward way in which you walk out of the bathroom after just shedding your load, when you realise....there's no loo roll.... Our legs quickly recovered when we reached level ground but I was desperate for a sit down. In the spirit of exploration we hopped on a bus and took the roller coaster ride over the Peak to Stanley. At least it was a sit down for 20 minutes or so.

Stanley is a small town in the south of the island with a brilliant little market, plenty of restaurants, a small beach and a new little shopping plaza. It is named after Lord Stanley who had the formidable title of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. It's a rather pleasant little town and bears no resemblance to the sprawling metropolis over the hill. We were starting to notice the Chinese New Year decorations which were springing up all over HK, little shrines in red and gold with pigs in them.

From Stanley, we took another bus to Aberdeen. This is a working port with a slighly downtrodden feel to it but it is a fascinating place. Many people here still live on Sampans (boats), there are multitudes of government housing flats which remind me of the old deck access flats in Blackburn, but the waterfront has been renovated and is a pleasant walk. Aberdeen is also home to the Jumbo Floating Restaurant which sits majestically in the harbour and is based on an old Imperial palace. We pottered round for a bit before getting the bus back to the city.

Not content with our knackering foray around the island and seeing as there is only one place to be in HK on a Wednesday night, we headed over to Happy Valley Racecourse. Well, there must have been a special offer on that night because we got in for HK$1 each (13p for both of us) Horseracing is big in HK, it is the only legal form of gambling here and the revenue earned from this is immense. Racing season runs from September to June and nets a grand total of HK$91 billion!!!!!

This place was heaving, there were multiple food and drink stalls and a big screen in order to get a good view of the race. We couldn't make head nor tail of the betting slips though.....It was all Chinese to us..

Here are some pics, the view from the Peak, The Peak Tram making its' way up, little temple at Stanley, Happy New Year and the Jumbo Floating Restaurant.
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Old 01-04-2007, 18:04   #42
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Kids again.

If I could have one wish, just one, it would be to have one day as a child again and visit the place where I always wanted to go as a child. I didn't know anyone who had been there when I was a kid. Let's face it, it was the 70s and money was tight. My dad promised that he would take us there if he won the pools, but he never did win the pools.

The place is, of course........Disneyland.

So you can imagine my excitement at the thought of visiting the new Disneyland in Hong Kong. I was nearly peeing my pants with anticipation. Situated on Lantau Island, the recently opened HK Disneyland is easily reached by MTR. We bought entry tickets at the MTR station and boarded our train. We changed trains along the way and finally arrived at Lantau Island where we changed onto the Disney train which was waiting for us at the station.

This train was brilliant, the windows were all in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head, there were bronze statuettes of the Disney characters in all of the carriages, Disney tunes from the films were piped into all of the carriages. The Disneyland MTR station bore no resemblance to the city MTR stations, there were refreshment stalls, Disney shop stalls, the building was all made of wood and looked more like a Frontier bar than a station.

We made our way from the station to the main entrance, up a wide avenue with topiary shaped like the Disney characters, a huge fountain with Mickey Mouse surfing was at the top of the avenue. Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto were all in various happy poses around the fountain. It was delightful..

I started the day with a ride on Space Mountain, it is the only roller coaster here at the moment. It's years since I've been on a roller coaster, I swore I'd never go on one again after going on the Pepsi Max at Blackpool, but I succumbed to Space Mountain and enjoyed every second of it. We wandered round the different areas looking at the kiddie rides, familiar characters, shops, shows, parades, eateries and immaculately manicured gardens. The whole place was wonderful but the most brilliant thing was one of the shows which we attended, 'Mickey's Philharmagic.' This was a fantastic 3D show where various implements from the show flew out of the stage at you, in the water scenes we got a bit wet, during scenes with food in them we could smell it, it truly was magical.

There is plenty of room for expansion here and signs of imminent expansion are evident from the air (you fly over it coming out of HK airport). Despite probably being smaller than the other Disneys (I can't be certain that that is a fact, I'm still waiting on my dad to win the pools so that I can go to the others), the whole place was spot on. We ended the day by watching the Disney Parade when all our favourite cartoon and film characters paraded in their floats down Main Street USA............. all on an island in Hong Kong.

I went back to the hotel feeling all warm and fuzzy. At the age of 38 I was finally a child again..........Just for one day.

Here are some scenes from HK Disneyland, the fountain, castle, Tarzan's house and the parade.
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Old 14-04-2007, 11:55   #43
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Homeward bound.

Our last day in Hong Kong was spent shopping and packing. We had spent the previous evening at Temple Street Night Market. This is a wonderful area with many different stalls selling just about everything. There are little street cafes which plonk plastic garden tables and chairs in the road and serve up fabulous, cheap food cooked in what appears to be unsanitary streetside kitchens.

We had been a bit of a curiosity that night, as we sat eating a whopping Chinese meal and supping a big bottle of Chinese beer at one of these eateries. looking around, it was quite obvious that not many westerners eat at these places. I don't know why not, the food was excellent (the best Chinese meal I've ever had), we didn't get food poisoning and it was half the price of the restaurants we'd been eating in.

We concentrated on the shopping purely because HK is such a good place to shop. I wanted a new camera and Sparks wanted billions of things.. We had limited space left in the cases so I'm afraid that Sparks had to curb his retail therapy somewhat, but he didn't do too badly.

We took a walk along the Avenue of Stars that evening so that I could test out the new camera, hopefully the pics have come out ok.

We flew home the following morning, it was so depressing. Thirteen hours on a flight back to the freezing cold UK. I was stopped and searched at Heathrow due to having a canned kangaroo in my hand luggage (a cuddly toy in a can which I'd got for the little princess). The x-ray machine had been unable to recognise it. The security people did comment on how much electrical equipment I was carrying. I had to tell them that I was carrying for Sparks as well and that he had already gone through... It was technically true.

So there we go. The Wobbly tour is finally over and we have started saving for our next trip. I have a funny feeling that we will be back to New Zealand next time as there is some cricket going on there next year.

Here are some night shots of HK with the new camera. hope they've come out ok.
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Old 14-04-2007, 14:26   #44
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Lettie, you have some wonderful memories to sustain you until that next trip....and all supported by some lovely pics. Thanks for entertaining us with the story of your trip.......and thankyou too, for making me remember some of the wonderful times I had in the places that you have so eloquently described.
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Old 14-04-2007, 20:26   #45
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Re: The Wobbly Tour 2007

Nice pics of HK Lettie. Brilliant account of your hols.
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