Repulse Bay; quite attractive!

There’s nothing replusive about Repulse Bay! Apparently some Brits named it that after “repulsing” a pirate encampment there…or something equally obscure.

Today was my first day with no colleague interaction.   That’s right, the training wheels have come off, all Paris colleagues have gone home, and I’m on my own in Hong Kong.  So what better thing to do than head to the beach!!  It was 32°C / 90°F with a “feels like” temp of 41/106!  I took the metro to the “Exchange Square Bus Terminal”.  Let me explain that “Exchange Square” is not so much a square, as a hard to locate and quite confusing to navigate around parking lot located on the ground floor of a building in the very busy Central area.  After a walk around a couple of blocks, an elevated walkway, self lost guided tour of a random parking lot, I managed to find my bus (only because the bus was sitting there.  I never would have seen the sign!)  The  bus went through the city, over the mountaintops and down through the forest to the beach.  Beautiful panoramic views on this bus route, I must say!  I also must say that this is the bus to “Stanley Prison”…which I found a bit strange, but whatever.  I got off long before the prison!

This beach is the most well-known, apparently most-frequented beach in HK.  But in mid-September, it’s not crowded at all, and really very lovely.  There was a tour bus of Chinese Mainland tourists a few meters down the beach, all wearing tennis shoes, matching shirts and hats, carrying umbrellas, taking pictures, but not really doing the whole “beach”-thing.  As I looked at them I literally said out loud “you’re doing it wrong”.  No one was close enough to hear me, but even if they were, they were probably thinking the same thing.

The beach and the water were both very clean, (cleaner than Barcelona is!) and once there was even an announcement that littering and smoking were illegal, and please don’t do things that would annoy or disturb other beach-goers.  I shit you not, this was on a loudspeaker in Cantonese, Mandarin and English!  Let me take this opportunity to say that I love the anti-smoking laws in this country 😉  As I mentioned above, it was hot.  But actually not as hot as in the city.  There was a pleasant breeze…for a bit…then I felt like I was melting.  Time to take a dip.  Wow.  PERFECT water temp.  I spent 45 minutes just floating there.  I had read that the water on this side of the island was-not surprisingly-much cleaner than on the harbor side.  But I was surprised that it was clearer than in the south of France, or in Lake Erie.  Standing up to my chin, I could still see my feet, there was no seaweed, no floating detritus, no nothing.  Just warm water and gentle waves.  A girl could get used to life in Hong Kong…

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