Archive for the ‘ASIA – Hong Kong’ Category

Day 201 – More Kit Sent Home!

October 18, 2010 – 11:39 pm 16 Comments

Today we spent the day mooching around Phil’s flat – sorting panniers and sending some more kit home – wooly hats, gloves and socks. (more…)

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Day 199 to Day 200 – Gossip and Stanley Village

October 16, 2010 – 11:22 pm 4 Comments

Day 199  (Saturday 16th October) The Things You See

Let me tell you about the things we’ve seen in Hong Kong!  We’ve seen some very unusual footwear –  flip-flops, with plastic bubbles, yellow ducks and a loofah on, designed like a bath scene – very odd, but lots of fun!! (more…)

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Day 196 to 198 – Reunited!

October 13, 2010 – 11:48 pm 3 Comments

Day 196  (Wednesday 13th October)  –  Picked Up Extra Big Boy and Sally!

Did I tell you we got our China visa the other day?   Our first Chinese visa we’d got in Istanbul was only a single entry and because we are now in HK and intend to enter China again to cycle to Vietnam we needed another visa – more money!   In Istanbul it took a week (and that was their fast service!), and we had to show evidence of $5000 US each in our bank account.  Here it took 1 day and we didn’t need to show them any additional financial information!

Everything seems to be wonderfully efficient in HK; the transport system is clean and runs on time, the buses, the trams, the metro system (MTR); we’ve purchased Octopus cards – prepaid cards similar to the Oyster at home.  You can use on all transport and also for some food and drink purchases; it makes life much easier.  At Iris’s we are out in the New Territories and we have to catch a bus and then a train to get into the heart of Hong Kong, but it’s been easy with the Octopus card and also interesting as you see a lot more scenery and can do lots of people-watching.

Tonight we’ve been to the airport to collect Big Boy and Sally.  They were due into Hong Kong on 9th but didn’t arrive.  We subsequently found out that the flight was over-booked and so our stuff got bounced to the flight arriving today at 15:15.  We knew we had to leave it for 3 or 4 hours after arrival to give them time to clear and book the stock into arrival customs.   At 8pm we were able to see our crates and clear customs.  Worryingly the crates had quite a bit of damage and had both split open down the sides.  They were extensively wrapped in cling film and we are hoping that a) the bikes aren’t damaged and b) that we haven’t lost any possessions out of the side of the crate.  The crates were also very wet, so not too sure where they’ve been left standing?   The airport crew couldn’t have been any friendlier or efficient.  They cleared our kit through customs quickly, helped us arrange a man with a van, and even helped us empty the crates and dispose of them into a skip there at the airport.  So Sally and Big Boy got back to Fairview Park at about 10pm – I think I know what Rog will be doing tomorrow!  And we are both very relieved to be reunited with them.

Day 197  (Thursday 14th October) –   Big Boy Morphs into Extra Big Boy!

Busy day today, Rog was up early and out in Iris’s garden putting together the Xtra Cycle.  Basically the Xtra cycle is a frame that bolts on to your existing frame and allows the back wheel to be moved backwards about 15”.  This then gives you a longer frame on which to carry additional luggage – in our case, it will allow Rog to carry 2 sets of rear panniers!!   They are used in the USA a lot and have specially designed and adapted luggage systems depending on what you want to haul, not just panniers, but bins, and baskets and all sorts!  You can also carry a passenger on the rear if you got the foot plates for them! (details here )

Luckily Rog knows exactly what he is doing, as I think it’s a tad more complicated to move the rear wheel back, as we have the Rohloff Hub and also hydraulic disc brakes and with the extra length Rog has got to fit a new chain, hydraulic hose and new cables!  In the meantime I’d checked that all our stuff was there and that we hadn’t lost anything through the broken crates (little we could do if we had missing luggage anyway!!).  I was then busy packing stuff into our panniers in terms of weight ratios and categories of kit.  So, yes, a very busy day!

We did have a thought for poor Timmy and Tabby Trailers left in Tajikistan.

Day 198  ( Friday 15th October) –   Vietnam Visa

We’ve visited the Vietnamese Consulate today and got our Vietnam visas (30 minutes wait!!)   We’ve also spent a lot of time packing and repacking our panniers – trying to get the weight ratios correct!  Rog has also spent some time fitting front and rear racks to Sally so that I can take panniers.   This wasn’t necessarily that straight-forward as my bike didn’t have the lugs to take the racks.

This evening we left Iris’s house and we are heading to Phil’s flat in Tuen Mun.  I was a little apprehensive about cycling with panniers as I’ve not done this before but off we went to follow the canal and then the MTR across town.  Luckily it was bicycle track most of the way and we were both OK, but had a few teething problems – Rog with his gears and weight ratios in the panniers, and me with my panniers as they are a bit over-stuffed and need to be repacked/adjusted.  Phil is from Yorkshire, and is also a homestay via Warm Showers (details here) and is friends with Iris.   They met us at a station about 1 mile from Phil’s home and escorted us to our new home.  Many thanks to Iris for a lovely stay in her home and thanks to Phil for taking in 2 strays for another couple of days!!

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Day 193 to Day 195 – Honkers!

October 10, 2010 – 11:42 pm 10 Comments

(Day 193 – Sunday 10th October) Arrival in Hong Kong

“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” Alan Keightley
(more…)

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