Changing plans

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Our ‘go with the flow’ attitude and spontaneity really pay off when things don’t go as planned. Our motto this time is, when life hands you lemons, go to Phuket! Jude was supposed to fly home to us in Bali on 12/4, but she received word that her flight there from Australia has been cancelled due to volcanic activity. She was further informed that she could either stay in OZ for an indefinite period of time, or could be flown free of charge to one of five different destinations. Phuket, Thailand was one of them. So, we told her to fly there and we’d meet her and explore for a few days before trying to return to Bali. The creatures and I are flying to Phuket tonight, and Jude and our friend, Max (from NZ), will join us on the 6th. We can’t wait to be reunited with her again. On the 27th, we are supposed to be flying to the US for a month, and are hoping we can still do that.
This morning Danny had to fly off once again, so once he’d left, the creatures and I set out on an adventure…We loved our two days with him and hope to see him before Christmas.
We decided to catch the shuttle to Tung Chung, where we would catch the Ngong Ping 360, which is a cable car on Lantau Island.

The line runs 5,700m (18,700ft) and carries 109 gondolas on a 25 minute trip to Ngong Ping, which is home to the Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. The view from above is quite spectacular!

Lantau Island is far less congested with buildings and people than Hong Kong.

We had views of the South China Sea, the Hong Kong International Airport,

the Tung Chung Valley,

and the Ngong Ping Plateau.

For the first time in months, we actually felt slightly chilled.

As we began our descent we had a clear view of the giant Tian Tan Buddha, which overlooks the beautiful mountain and valleys.

We exited the gondolas into a tourist trap of small stores, cafe’s and restaurants. We saw Starbucks and fell victim to it as it beckoned to us. It’s the first time in many, many months we’ve had Starbucks.

Some things we found interesting there, were the giant tree with fake oranges and red tags hanging from it. We still aren’t sure what the significance of it is, but I’m sure it’s something special!!!

Several healthy bovines meandered among the many visitors, and are obviously used to the chaos because they didn’t seem phased by the countless tourists taking selfies with them. They are seen as sacred and have free run of the place.

Tian Tan Buddha is a huge bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, and was completed in 1993.

It symbolizes the harmonious relationship between nature, people and faith, and stands 34 m (112ft) tall. We hiked up 268 steps to reach the top and it was definitely worth it.

The sun was in the wrong spot for photographing it, but hopefully I captured enough photos to give you a glimpse of what it was like…

At the base of the statue, are six smaller bronze statues, known as ‘The offering of the Six Devas,’ and are offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit and music, to Buddha. These symbolize the six perfections of generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation and wisdom, which are all necessary for enlightenment.

The Buddha faces North, which is really interesting, because all Buddha statues usually face South.

The view from the top was beautiful, as we were able to see mountain ranges echoing into the distance.

The creatures and I loved our time up there, and as usual their crazy and sweet personalities kept me laughing and so filled with gratitude for their goodness and their eagerness to learn and explore.

Hong Kong has been such an interesting place to visit. We’ve loved our time here, and are excited to continue on now to Phuket, settle into an Airbnb, smother Jude with kisses when she arrives and explore the island! We live in a fascinating world and there is so much to explore!

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