Thursday, January 17, 2008

Trip Day 1 - Hong Kong

10:00 pm Dec 25.

Started the trip by not even being able to get on to a taxi company (just busy signal, not even on hold), let alone get one to come to our house. Flight departs 1:30 am so time is short already. We decide to take the car and leave it in the long term carpark. John drops me and the kids at departures, then take the car to the car park while we queue. Definitely the right move, as we progress about 2/3 of the way along the queue by the time he gets back. Check in by a little before 12pm.

Dec 26

Now to kill time at the airport. I take the kids to McDonalds for chips. Tom falls asleep on a bench. I have to carry him through immigration to departure lounge. He wakes up as we board the plane. On board video, food delivery and iPod keep him amused for about 3 hours until he looses it and starts screaming. About 5 minutes later (feels like 5 hours) he falls asleep. One more brief bout of crying, a couple of similar episides from the toddler in the row behind, an no-one in our part of the plane got much sleep. Jack travelled well.

We arrive in Hong Kong at 7:30 am. John changes money only to find out that the smallest note he has is 500 but the biggest note the train ticket machine takes is 100. The customer service counter has a queue of about 10. We finally get change and get one way tickets to Hong Kong station (at 12 Jack is just over the child age and we pay full price for him). John also organises a hotel room.

We catch the airport express to HK station, get off and go to the customer service desk to get our Octopus cards which are stored value cards which allow travel on all HKs public transport. A long walk (about 1km) through tunnels with moving walkways to get to Central station and the MTR (local subway). As hotel check-in is not until 12 and it's only just after 9, John wants to leave our bags. Lonely Planet says there is left luggage at Tsim Sha Tsui East station. This is two stops on the MTR then another km hike underground to a connecting line. When we get there - no left luggage service. So we trek back to Tsim Sha Tsui on the red line to go to our hotel.

It is now 10:00 am and we haven't broken into daylight in HK yet. We finally arise from the subway at and drag our bags the last km to the hotel. We can get the room now (yeah) bur the luggage won't be brought up until after 12. Don't care. The room has a queen size bed and they will bring up a cot later. John thinks the boys can share the cot. Like that's rally going to work.

After seeing our room we head out again to check the prices at Golden Square Arcade to check computer prices. The boys and I had Maccers for lunch - John hit one of the noodle stands. We browsed for an hour or so then headed back to the hotel and the kids and I finally crashed for a few hours.

While we rest John heads out to make travel arrangements to get to China. After sleep we wandered out into the surrounding streets, checked out some markets, and grab some dinner. Already it becomes apparant that travelling with a child with peanut allergy through china will be challenging. The waiter seems to understand the note we have in Chinese and Jack gets noodle soup with chicken wich he likes. Tom has rice and prawns - he's a lot easier to feed. So back to the hotel. I suggest that John take the cot and I share the bed with the two boys. We are all to tired to care about the squashed conditions. Thus ends one of the longest days of travel I've ever had.

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