Well what a great start to the holiday I had today. When I arrived at Hong Kong, visibility was down to about 50 mtrs due to a combination of mist, some low lying cloud and a bit of smog thrown in for good measure, this did not bode well for a clear start to the holiday.
So I ventured forth from the airport and made my way on the bus to my host Ruth's home in Wan Chai, the ride in was pretty uninteresting in the sense that when you have seen one big crowded city from a bus, you have pretty much seen them all to a degree, but it was a new kind of same if you know what I mean. The day continued to go a little astray when I went past the bus stop I was meant to get off at and ended up a little lost, but a quick phone call to my host Ruth sorted that little mistake and I was soon back to where I was meant to be.
Ruth is lovely and very welcoming, I have been made to feel right at home. And if that was all I had to tell you about her, it would be enough, but wait there's more, on Sunday's Ruth goes and takes part in Dragon Boat Races and today was the teams first practice session after the winter break and I was invited along to spectate while the team trained, but as fate would have it, not all the team turned up today because the weather was pretty miserable for paddling through choppy, cold sea water, so I was given the opportunity to jump in the boat with the team and row with them. I've got to admit that at first I wasn't too keen on the idea because of the weather and the fact that I really had not dressed for that kind of thing, but after thinking on it, I decided to go for it and put this experience under my belt and I have got to tell you, I had an absolute ball. My fingers and feet were purple and frozen, my body was wet from the water spraying up from the oars in front of me and the wind was whipping through me with a wind chill factor of about minus 2, but after getting out on to the water and getting into a rhythm with the other rowers, the cold seemed to dissappear and all that was left was the feeling you get when you put yourself into something wholeheartedly.
If you had off told me I was going to be rowing in a Dragon Boat off Stanley Beach in Hong Kong on a windy, rainy Sunday afternoon, I would have said you were crazy, but as it turns out, I am the crazy one and I am so much happier because off it.
I also got to go to some of the markets I had looked into before I left home, but I have to say after the afternoon I had, they were a bit pale in comparison. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting walking around the markets, but they all seemed to be selling much off the same merchandise, much like the markets back home. I got some great photo's and grabbed a couple of things while I was there, but shopping does not excite me, doing something new and different that I have never done before does.
So after all my careful researching and compiling of my book of info for the trip, it turns out that the best experience came from something that I did not plan, so there is something to be said for just winging it after all. A little bit of both will make for a great holiday.