The day of the big game dawns bright (but not so early after our visit to Stanley last night..) and we travel back to Stanley for the "classic" breakfast at Rolf's (Spyagia) down on Main Street. Then onto Shek O again by taxi as it is another fantasticaly clear day. By the time we arrive (just before Noon) it is alrady very crowded and after the umbrella ladies have worked their magic we are happily reclining in our deckchairs surrounded by what appears to be most of the population of HK. I swam out to the pontoon and the view back to the beach clearly showed how crowded it had become with very little sand visible between the arrayed sun-worshippers.
Having had such a massive breakfast we did not bother with lunch and headed back to the Hotel at around 4pm in order to get ready for the evenings entertainment. After a quick shower and change of clothes our next challenge was to find a taxi to the Hong Kong Stadium.
In theory we could have walked it in around 25 minutes. It was however over 75degress and the humidity made such a plan very unattractive. However, on a Saturday afternoon taxis were plentiful but fully booked no matter where we stood and waited (at the hotel, out on Wong Nai Chung Road and then at the bottom of Stubbs Road). A couple of taxis stopped and the occupants offered a lift - but only had space for one until one chap kindly gave us a lift in his cab to a nearby restuarant where he was meeting a friend to walk on to the Stadium and let us have his cab thereafter. It turned out (small world) that he knew a former colleague of mine in London. In any event, we arrvied at the Stadium in good time to enjoy a pint of beer, buy some Lions shirts and then take our seats high in the stand amongst a sea of red (Dad and I were also wearing our newly acquired shirts although they were not really suitable for the sub-tropical heat and humidity of HK - we certianly felt hot and sweaty up in the stands - goodness knows what the players must have been feeling at pitch side!).
The match was keenly fought albeit with frequent water breaks. Given the temperature and humidity the players certainly made a huge effort (including Mr Farrell who ended up getting involved in some fisticuffs with a South African clubmate). The Lions were deserved winners although the extent to which this provided a menaningful prelude to a tour of Austrlai in Winter is somewhat debatable. Neverthe less the corwd (c.29,000) certainly enjoyed it and we made many friends (including a bunch from Austalira celebrating a 50th birthday of one of their number - they had sponsorship and everything!)with fellow Lions travellers as we all made our way towards the post-match celebrations in the direction of the Casueway Bay an Wanchai.
Predictably Wanchai was heaving and after a couple of drinks dad and J headed home and I caught up with some old friends. I go t abck at arpudn Midnight and J was still at the Hotel bar and in consequence we decided on a night cap which ended up being one of many as various Lions supporters trcieled in from the vairous bars and joined us for a few drinks (including a chap from Nepal who seemed to ahve used the Lions tour as an excuse for a medical safari which included various check ups en route).