Switching concrete for wilderness, Peng Chau.

So the bright Saturday sunshine encouraged us to get out the house and do a bit more exploring.  I’ve been feeling really pants all week as I seem to have got this pretty horrible virus, I guess a bit like the flu.  But I didn’t want to miss out on a great day so I dosed myself up with the usual suspects (ibuprofen and paracetamol doh) and headed out into the sun.

Joe was really keen to check out Peng Chau, a very small island in Hong Kong.  It’s actually really close to Lantau and Discovery Bay where all the expats live, but this place really did not seem to have any of that sort of influence on its’ shores.  For one, there are no cars on the island, everyone gets around by WALKING or bike.  There were no high end shops, restaurants or bars and it really felt in way that you were walking back into a time warp of sorts.

Peng Chau used to house the largest match factory in South East Asia and was generally quite an industrial little island.  Sadly, with the invention of the lighter the match industry went into decline.  The effects of this on the island still appear obvious, by the port area in particular there are a lot of shanty looking looking houses, and the buildings appear old and in disrepair.  But I think that was part of the charm, really hungry as we hadn’t eaten breakfast our first port of call was for some food.  Sadly as we had arrived after the official lunch serving time a lot of the local and traditional places were shutting shop until inner service.  So we settled on a little French style cafe where we feasted on cheese and wine.  I know that this probably sounds quite up market but trust me, the place was as rustic as the rest of the island.  We sat outside and fueled up before setting off on our explore around the island.

We headed off on the walking trail in the direction of Finger’s Hill – the highest point on the island.  As it was such a beautiful day we were spoiled with never-ending blue, the sky and the sea.  We could see so far out that you could even make out Kowloon side in the distance.  The birds were singing, the air was clear.  It was so nice to be out of the concrete jungle that is Hong Kong for a change.  The rugged and unkempt wilderness of Peng Chau was  just what we needed, and took me back to our hikes in Cinque Terre last summer.  At time, I did feel like I was in the jungle, or on the set of a Vietnam war film!

We even happened across a small beach at the bottom of Finger’s Hill which would have been just ripe for a picnic.  I’m still not sure about swimming in the sea though, it has so far always looked so murky in this area.  Maybe I am being a water snob after growing up swimming in gorgeous Greek coastline though.  I’m probably also a tad scared of things like sharks in the water too here!

We decided to watch the sun go down with a beer before heading back to Hong Kong Island.  Magical.  By this point I was seriously flagging and my body needed to go to bed.  I probably shouldn’t have had a tipple but I couldn’t help myself and it was such a nice day!  So we headed back to the flat where I turned back into the lurgi monster again, tucked up on the sofa watching terrible films!  But I didn’t mind so much because we’d had such a good day, unlike the rest of my germ coated weekend (not feeling sorry for myself at all here).