The train boarded a ferry, and we all disembarked so we could buy things on the ferry. I exchanged my kroner for euros and bought a double espresso, which I then enjoyed on the lido deck.
Note that I extend my pinky in the manner favored by Irish guitarists.
Enjoying a beverage upon the Baltic
The train started running at 6:00 AM, so I left the airport and went to the Kowloon waterfront, where I took the Star Ferry across to Hong Kong Central. (Hong Kong refers to both Hong Kong island and the Special Administrative Zone that includes it. I think the name of the city itself is still Victoria, although no one seems to call it that.)
I couldn’t check in until afternoon, so I had to carry all my stuff with me. It’s only about 20 pounds, because I’ve slowly been learning how important it is to travel light. Still, I didn’t want to spend the morning hiking, especially since I only got about two hours sleep last night, so I caught one of the double-decker trams, went upstairs, and rode around for an hour or so. The fare is HK$2.30 (about 30 cents).
(Note the bamboo scaffolding in the background. Most of Hong Kong’s gleaming modern skyscrapers are built using bamboo scaffolding.)
After all that it was still only 9:00 AM, so I walked down some side streets that had rows of small markets.
The food seemed very fresh.
But I stopped in a bakery instead and got a pastry, then sat in Starbucks for a while. Eventually I meandered back to Kowloon and checked in right at noon.
And now I’m going to take a nap.
The ferry I was on (the Kaitaki) is the largest ferry in New Zealand waters, it says here on my postcard. It’s about 600 feet long and can carry 1600 passengers and 600 cars. It’s big enough that you feel very little motion.
Just returned from Ulva Island, which is supposed to be rife with birds, including about 10,000 kiwi. It probably is, but you’d never know it. I saw one kākā, two kererū, one tōrea, and a few tūī. Zero kiwi. I might as well have been looking for moa. In fact, I’d probably have an easier time with moa. They may be extinct, but at ten feet tall, they’d be a lot easier to spot.
Ulva island looks like primeval forest, but it’s a reconstructed primevality. They killed all the rats about 15 years ago, and there’s an ongoing process of reintroducing native plants and critters. Very impressively maintained, especially for a place so remote.
The ferry ticket is written on a puheretaiko leaf. The leaves are sturdy enough that they were used as postcards up to the 1970s.