Travel 2006 – Macau, Days 10 – 11

Monday, 20th/Tuesday, 21st November 2006 – Macau

I woke early, worked on the report and photos, and caught up with Stephen Jelley in the foyer as arranged. Sadly, Stephen didn’t seem to have caught up with Stephen, and he couldn’t remember much (possibly including who he was and which way was up). He wasn’t helped by the appearance of Olly Jarvis, who felt the need to be loud, and John-Boy, one of the RRR boys, who was unable to explain why someone had been drawing on his head the night before. I got some of what I needed from Stephen, resolved to make the rest of it up, and then took myself off to the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental for two hours of deep tissue sports massage. It was utterly wonderful, and I fully intend to do the same again next year, but in the afternoon… The effects were pretty well undone by needing to leg it to the press office by 1pm to send out the report and the last of the photos. It was pretty weird being the only person in there, but beggars can’t be choosers. The security guard didn’t want to let me in but I waved my press pass at him and kept right on walking… He wasn’t brave enough to try and stop me! Anyway, that done I went back to the hotel and Lynne and I wandered out for lunch at the Cafe Madeira over at the Tower. The rice with cod was very good but rather more filling than expected. We had planned to wander over to the Protestant Cemetery and the Camoes Gardens, but we got overcome by tiredness and decided a lie down before dinner was in order…

Trying to leave the hotel for the restaurant got interesting too. The Rio seemed to be hosting some sort of event for McDonalds Managers and the like, and they were clearly being taken off for some themed event. Whatever was going on, the lobby was full of pirates… Bizarre! They were loaded onto buses and taken away while we waited for a cab… Dinner was at the remaining branch of Pizzeria Toscana. It’s over the other end of Macau, towards the Maritime Museum, and all the staff who used to work at the Pits Building one are there. They seemed genuinely pleased to see us, and remembered our names, which was nice. Even nicer was the fact that the food is as good as ever – seafood spaghetti, followed by veal saltimbocca. Wonderful! And a superb Chianti to wash it down. It was a great meal, and we both enjoyed it. We then had a bit of a battle to find a cab, but managed to get one from the bus station, beating the concierge at A Lorcha who was also outside trying to flag down a cab for their customers…

Tuesday we got up late, didn’t bother with breakfast again (it really wasn’t worth the effort), and spent the morning packing. We then checked out, or at least attempted to, and arranged to meet Mike Baker and the Performance Racing boys who were still there for a late lunch. It started to rain as we headed out to buy another camera, this time for my Mum. The girl at Foto Princessa was very pleased to see us, and soon sorted us out with what we needed. And the price had gone down from the previous week too… This was good news! The local beauty store was selling Revlon nail polish at $38 MOPs a bottle (around £2) so I picked up some of those, then we dashed back to the Holiday Inn coffee shop for a restorative espresso. By now it was really raining hard, so we sat there for a while, pulling the packaging off the camera, and disposing of the bits that were only in Chinese.

It got to 2, so we sidled over to the restaurant and passed an entertaining couple of hours with Mike and the lads, swapping war stories. It was fun, and a good meal, and it beat being outside where the rain was absolutely bucketing down, and it looked more like night than early afternoon. After lunch we still had a couple of hours to kill, so a quick trip to the New Yaohan Department Store netted me some Clinique products at prices far lower than at home, and two designer tops at £10 a piece. The sales assistants seemed slightly taken aback at dealing with a tall, blonde Westerner, but took it very well when I wanted to try things on. The changing room was a bit of a fight, because they were keeping the cleaning equipment in there too, but I managed. Anyway, after that all we could do was go back to the hotel, force our shopping into our suitcases and wait to be taken to the JetFoil and packed off to the airport…

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