Tuesday, September 30, 2008
A few weeks back I went camping over the mid-autumn festival. The location: Tai Long Wan in Sai Kung. What that means: Sai Kung is a bit of a schlep from Central. Maybe 30 or 45 minutes. It's a quieter town on the sea and famous for it's seafood restaurants. It's a desirable area for expats who want to get away from the city, and a popular area for Australians who are used to space.
I'd never been there before and I was long overdue. Cora, her pal Nick, and I met the boys by the pier and caught a boat to our destination.
Tai Long Wan is desirable for a couple of reasons. First, it's a bit of work to get there, and therefore it weeds out the riffraff. If you choose to hike, you can take the long way, 4-5 hours, or the short way 90 minutes, and either way is a steep climb. Biking is possible too. The only other ways to get there are by helicopter or speedboat. Since we were hauling stuff, we opted for the speedboat.
Few people know about this beach, and it remains quiet and uncrowded. Let's hope it stays that way. It's also the best beach in Hongkers with fine white sand and clear warm water.
We arrived 30 minutes later and set up camp. It's really not necessary to bring much, since you can rent a tent, flashlight (or torch as the brits and hongks call it), and almost anything else.
Then we grabbed some beers and hit the water.
As the sun was going down we merged with another group for a BBQ dinner on the sand. These peeps are actually Cora's friends and a handful of them I met a few times before.
However a divide came when my pals started gathering some wood for a campfire.
The other group was just horrified that we would be building a fire on the beach. They didn't want to get in trouble. Several people yelled at us. Several people asked us if we were allowed to do it. The fire had just got going as we were completely heated and in the end we decided to move our fire away from them and not join the BBQ on the beach.
It's my feeling that the locals don't want to do anything to get them in trouble, to the point where many of them are paralyzed, sheltered, and uninteresting. It frustrates me, but anyway!
Stijn got the fire going in no time. We played some really stupid drinking games and rocked out to tunes by fire.
We even had glow sticks. Aww yeah. Don't even think about camping without glowsticks!
And then the Goldschlagger came out. While waist or chest deep in the ocean, we played 1-2-3 drink. The game is simple. Take a fresh bottle of 'schlagger. Open. Take a healthy chug. Pass it to the person of your choice and say 1-2-3 drink. This continues until the bottle is empty. The only rule is you cannot pass it back to the person who gave it to you. It's my new favorite drinking game and sadly 'schlagger is not available in Hongkers.
We were in fine shape after that. I think I rolled around in sand, reinacting that infamous scene from, From Here to Eternity by myself. Made some new friends in the water and at some point realized I needed to go to sleep. I didn't know where my friends were or what they were doing, nor did I want to know. Amazingly I found my bag, pulled out my ipod so I would have some noise to put me to sleep and keep me there. Also amazingly I made it to my own tent and not someone else's. However with all that wonderment I didn't have enough in me to bother to put clothes on, so I passed out in the corner of a tent still in my swimwear.
Cora woke me up for the sunrise.
This is probably the first sunrise I've seen in Hongkie.
The boys woke up not long after, and we caught Powers in his tent snuggling with his blow up alligator. Had breakfast, enjoyed the beach for a little while longer, then we were on our way back home.
P.S. No weekend is complete without some kind of altercation with the cops.