Monday, August 8, 2011

Saúde!

Even I found yesterday unconscionably long, despite having slept in later than everyone else on the morning of departure thanks to having spent the night at the new Novotel Auckland Airport, which was very comfortable, amazingly quiet despite overlooking the runways, considerately provided breakfast from 5am, and was a brilliantly satisfying five-minute walk to check-in from literally across the road.

There was a lot of waiting around, as there always is with travel, plus a hiccup with a group member who broke a tooth on his flight to meet us from Sydney and had to be taken to hospital; so we didn't get out to dinner until well after 8pm local time (midnight according to our bodies). The drive to the restaurant was pretty spectacular - Macau advertises itself as "where Asia comes to play" and there are many casinos here, a couple of them built almost on Las Vegas scale: enormously tall, with fountains, mirrors and millions of coloured lights flashing and swirling and changing. That lovely bridge was spectacular too, in a much classier manner, lit up with white lights and reflected in the water.

We had an excellent dinner at O Porto Interior, a Portuguese restaurant that specialises in seafood, and the giant stuffed prawns and the seabass were really delicious; and the wines excellent too. It was nice to see big family parties there with three or four generations all eating together - and they're good-looking people too, the Macanese. We were sorry not to be up to reaching the port stage, but everyone was drooping by then and looking forward to our big soft beds. It took some vigilance on the part of our guide to herd us safely across the road - the zebra crossing under our feet meaning nothing whatsoever to the relentless drivers zooming along the street even late on a Sunday night.

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