Our last day tour was in Ocean Park. Erick and I agreed to arrive there early at opening time in order to enjoy all the fun with fewer crowds. We rode the MTR to Admiralty station after another breakfast at same KFC. We found the Ocean Park bus station effortlessly. We arrived at the entrance few minutes ahead of opening time and found the crowd queuing at the Tai Shue Wan entrance. This is the other entrance of the park. Last year, this section was mostly under construction (well, some are still is), but the Ocean Express, the Panda Village and Giant Panda Habitat, and the Goldfish Treasures are open for public viewing. We took pictures of almost all sections of this side of the park, from Sky Fair to Whiskers Harbor, from the Pandas to the Goldfishes. We both were wowed by the life-sized replica of the Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon movie characters. We enjoyed the movie more upon seeing them here, much more when we entered the maze and joined the game with the Mighty Dragons. It was however ridiculous to have failed in the encounter. I personally did not mind that it was a Q&A type of game. I simply pressed any buttons without understanding the instructions or reading the questions. All I felt then was an overwhelming awe, firstly at seeing real live Panda, even Red Pandas; secondly at watching the assorted bizarre looking goldfishes (I now called them balloon fishes, some with ballooning faces, cheeks, heads, bellies, even eyes.); and finally the fantastic near-to-real-looking dragons that I only knew and saw in 3D movie. Having enjoyed this early morning fun, Erick left his backpack in the middle of the maze. I did not mind it until a Filipina mentioned to us that she passed an abandoned backpack inside.
We were blessed with great people we met along the way in this trip. Today, even more gracious human beings of different descent and colors surrounded us. The first and foremost was that Filipina who sensed that one of us (Erick or me) has left that backpack she passed by inside the Mighty Dragons’ maze. We were almost at the finish line, which is the printing of certificates that says “Congratulations! You graduated from the Challenge!” I can be blamed partly by that loss because I stopped Erick when he attempted to go back for it. I was thinking then that he will go back to get what I took on his behalf, of course, not the backpack. Another was a heart-warming gesture from Indian nationals as we headed home under the rain. Since the general crowd headed home with us, so the queue for the public bus going to Admiralty MTR station snaked long. Despite the heavy rain, we held on to the queue, then an Indian child of about 8 or 10 lent us her umbrella. I was touched and I literally blushed. I was about to decline, well, Erick did decline, but her 3 other sisters with their mother have moved to let us borrow the umbrella. “We have our raincoats already and that umbrella is spare,” the mother added. They queued ahead of us covered with transparent raincoats. Then I remembered them as our seatmates on the bus on our way here that morning. So maybe because we’ve been seatmates already and for sure will be seatmates again, they were confident to lend that umbrella to us. “So kind of you,” I thanked them shyly. We were seatmates indeed; we once again occupied the upper deck rear seats of the bus. I believe they are of upper social status in India because they behave well, speak English well, very good-natured breed of people, way different as compared to our Indian neighbors around Mirador Mansion, especially the ones piling along Nathan Road to sell you stuffs.
Anyway, before that heavy rainfall, we were able to savor the fun-filled Ocean Park adventures. Having spent much time with nature, a moment with pandas; goldfishes; seals and sea lions at Pacific Pier; fishes, eels, sharks and stingrays at Atoll Reef; birds and flamingos, we readied ourselves for the wild rides. We started screaming at the Space Wheel; shouting our hearts out at the Raging River, we cried and sworn not to do it again in the extreme ride with the Mine Train, and my favorite roller coaster ride via the Dragon. I took the pleasure of hearing Erick screaming to the limit the “Oh My GOD!” as we turned upside down the three loops. It was during the Dolphin and Sea Lion Show when the rain started to rampage. All people were soaked and wet waited for almost an hour just to watch the 30-minute show. The waiting was further delayed due to the bad weather, as announced by the pager.
My socks and shoes, therefore my feet, were soaked with rainwater. I felt wet, cold and stinky. That was yet 4 o’clock in the afternoon and the park will close at six, but we waited no longer for the closing; we opted not to maximize the time of being in the park and headed straight home. We skipped the Sea Jelly viewing, even the show at Whisker’s Theater. We even cancelled our plan shopping that night at Citygate Outlets, located at the Tung Chung MTR station, where most factory outlets of known RTW brands (70 as published) can be found there, the likes of Nike, Adidas, Quicksilver, Club 21, Esprit and more, so largely discounted. Well, other then limited cash available on hand, we also ran out of time, plus it’s cold and it rained so badly then. We waited for rain to dissipate and we took the chance to take a short peek at the Avenue of the Stars along the Victoria Harbor and for the night view of Hong Kong Island. We already viewed its back when we were at the Peak; it is the front view that we were witnessing now. Erick got the chance to measure his palms on Jackie Chan’s handprinted star. We took turns to get a picture of Bruce Lee and the astounding Hong Kong Island’s view at night, packed with blinking city lights more like Christmas.
We retired early that day, foremostly due to cool windy night, and secondly to the fact we will need to rise early the next day for our trip back home to the Philippines.