The End

11pm 17th November

It’s really the end now. I’m typing this from the departure lounge of Hong Kong International Airport. We’ve had a great couple of days in Hong Kong.

Yesterday we spent some time scouring the markets on Hong Kong Island for various artifacts to fill our hand luggage with. The markets were quite manic, but not as mad as we’d thought they’d be. After buying too much stuff we headed up to the Peak: An area of Hong Kong on a hill overlooking the main throng. My brother-in-law, Jeremy, had booked us a table on one of the restaurants with a stunning view out over Hong Kong. Some nice shots from there, and a good meal.

Today we headed over to Ocean Park for some theme-park fun. It was a fun day, lots of animal attractions which we love and a fab mile long cable car ride across the harbour to the headland. We seemed to have picked the last day of term though; it was chock full of school kids. Oh well, we enjoyed ourselves despite the insane crowds.

After Ocean Park we headed to the mainland, Kowloon. There we drank in the utter madness of the markets there. The markets on the mainland are absolutely nuts compared to the relative tranquillity of HK island’s market. Tons of cheapo stuff, we managed to get away with only buying a £6 new handbag for Ness! Following our shopping we visited the Felix bar which commands stunning views out across to HK island, and some amazing loos — the urinals make it look like you’re relieving yourself right out over Kowloon!

Next stop was the Intercontinental Hotel for a bite to eat and more views, this time from the ground. Nice jazz playing too, was nice to hear some live music. All too soon we had to make our way back on the ferry, pack and get ourselves here to the airport.

Our flight’s in a couple of hours, so til then we’re just trying to keep awake. The 14-hour flight leaves at 1am but gets in at 6am local time, so we need to keep awake and then sleep on the flight if we’re to have any hope of mitigating the jet lag.

So…this really is the end of what has been a tremendous holiday. Neither Ness nor I have ever done anything on this scale before; and we’re not likely to ever be able to do so again! I can honestly say I’ve had the best holiday ever. There’s not one thing I regret doing, or worse; not doing. New Zealand was everything we hoped it would be, and our various stop overs were excellent fun too. As an added bonus after 5 weeks of living in extremely close proximity to each other, Ness and I haven’t even had a single argument!

If I were to find one thing from this holiday which has changed me, it would be my new appreciation of how wonderful and amazing the world is. You can only get a taste of it from watching things on TV, but actually being there and experiencing it is so much more powerful. The views and scenery we’ve in a small way captured on camera, but the experiences of swimming with dolphins, seeing whales and other marine mammals, skydiving, paddling about on a beautiful fjord, watching shooting stars in the southern hemisphere and so on…these things we can’t capture and can only hope we remember for what they were: amazing.

Anyway, enough of such prattling. I’m knackered, my body clock is striking something like 4am but I had to stay up a bit longer and get on a plane, back to normality. I’m painfully aware I’m wittering on, but I made a rule on these blog entries to write what I thought at the time and not get involved in editing and re-writing the entries. That way I hoped to capture what I was really feeling at the time, and not end up writing some sanitised travelogue. More cynical people might of course just blame it on laziness…

Filed under: New Zealand Trip
Posted at 15:27:42 GMT on 17th November 2006.

About Matt Godbolt

Matt Godbolt is a C++ developer working in Chicago in the finance industry.