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25.6.13

Repulse Bay & Ocean Park.



Even though it was cloudy we decided to go to the beach, beach and try to get away from the frantic North of Hong Kong Island into the long beaches of its southern playground aka Repulse Bay. We didn't get to swim or at least, not in the sea.




The constructions along the shore remind a bit of Benidorm (in the negative sense).



Still, thanks to the Chinese constructions like the Kwum Yam shrine, fully packed of colorful statues and a longetivity bridge (cross once, add 3 days of life), are a reminder of being on the East side of the World.







Soon it was time for a bus ride to the Ocean Park. The largest aquarium on Earth (paid by China Mobile), a cable car & tones of attractions. It all sounded like a great plan… Until the sky decided to puke on our heads.











Here I still looked happy, as the tragedy was about to start. Made it to the cable car, when the pouring went on. I mean. I've seen typhoons in Japan. This was way beyond that. Heavy rain, that stopped the cable car. Heavy rain, that caused confusion and locked us uphill for two hours. Heavy rain, on a damn theme park, without any shelter other than the small spaces beside the restrooms.



But the views...



…guess they were worth it.





Somehow, two hours and some tears later (claustrophobic & theme park hater here) we managed to get down and inside the major attraction in there: The CMCC Grand Aquarium. Besides the many pools, the most interesting and largest felt like a peek in the ocean. Bluefin tuna, sharks, manta rays, green turtles, all in one place. Ironically, the installations were equipped with screens broadcasting the importance of consuming sustainable seafood.

It felt ridiculous. I mean. Hong Kong handles at least 50% and possibly up to 80% of the world trade in shark fin. After mutilation sharks simply die because of not being able to breathe or move normally. The fins are then dried and piled, as if these were rice grains. It's all based on myths that link this rare part with longevity, luck or sexual power.









After watching all the usual stuff, I met my old friend Napoleon. I saw one in the Great Barrier Reef, when doing my first dive ever. These fishes live for about 30 years and reach rather large sizes, up to 3m long & 200kg. Based on the size of the hump, you can tell how old he is - looked about my age, actually.



Some say it's an ugly creature, but I'd rather stress that being different actually made him popular.
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