Justin and I just returned from a day trip to the island Cheung Chau (May 10 marks Buddah's birthday, which means I had the day off). What a lovely and tiring day it was for us! We left this afternoon on the ferry from pier 4 at Central Piers and arrived to find a very busy and celebratory Cheung Chau. The main street, which faces the harbor (see pictures) was PACKED with people. We could barley move anywhere. Music from the not-too-far-off festival and various dragon dance drums (I don't know the offical name for this dance, which they seem to perform at every Chinese festival. A man--or in many cases boys--steps into a giant dragon puppet and dances to the beat of a little percussion band around him. Pictures below) filled the hot, humid, kind-of stinky/fishy air.
I don't feel like going through all the details of our trouble navigating through the crowd, so just imagine a people packed shoulder to should in 90 degree weather with 70% humidity and everyone pushing and poking you in the eye with their open umbrellas. That's what we had to get through. After managing to find our way out of the mess we rounded the designated festival area and came to find quite streets, and low rise apartments decorated with laundry lines filled wrinkly t-shits and baggy, shapeless pants that all elderly people seem to wear.
From here, we found our way to the beaches. The first once we found was covered in filth. I popped a squat on this one and then we continued along. Further down the coast we found our way to the "Mini Great Wall," which we walked. This winding uphill path paved in stones and delineated by a fun little wall took us to clear air and good island views. Unfortunately, it didn't take us to this "Italian Beach" Justin told me he read about and wanted to visit. The wall dead-ended much to Justin's dismay. We turned around to go back and came to a split, I suggested we go up but Justin didn't want to risk another dead-end so we returned the way we came.
We walked and walked and walked all day around the entire perimeter of the Island determined to find this Italian beach. We walked up and down and over and under and finally came to a sign that blocked the path said, "DANGER," path under construction. We could not continue any more and Justin admitted defeat only to find out two minutes later, thanks to his iPhone, that the beach was indeed up that little path off the Wall.
A scrappy little boat captained by a scary Chinese lady who only seemed to know how to communicate by yelling very loudly ferried us back to our starting spot. We (rather, I) ate a quick meal and wandered back to the ferry. The line for the ferry was literally the longest line I have ever been in. It had to be a half mile long. It moved along quickly though and we headed back to Hong Kong tired and happy and ordered pizza and are now watching tv.
Pictures on the next post. My comp is way to slow right now!