New Year's Eve Day, we thought, had a scheduled parade at two in the afternoon. Everyone seemed to give different instructions but we did learn that the parade was NOT today but tomorrow on New Year's Day.
Now, where to have lunch and dinner today was the big question. Who was going to be open and how crowded would it be? Late lunch at Kashi had us waiting to be seated and waiting to get our order. They were so very busy. When leaving we noticed a sign board in front indicating that the coffee house would be closed from 2:30 pm onward. I can't blame them for wanting New Year's Eve off. So much for having dinner here.
A trip by ferry to Vypeen Island gave us something new to see and experience. Cars, people and motorbikes crowd in to get on the ferry. Oddly enough cars line up in such a way to back onto the ferry. This small ferry has only one entry and one way to exit so cars back in order to drive off going forward. I can't believe how crowded the ferry gets! I did wonder about being overloaded. We sometimes hear about boats running into trouble because they are overloaded. Dick, Elaine, Al and I are pressed up against the side edge of the ferry where we could have a view but really while waiting to load we endured breathing in the diesel fumes from the boat. As you can see in the photo, Elaine finds many uses for a scarf besides warmth. Never underestimate the use for a scarf.
It is a very short ride over. The ferry unloads quickly and we find our way to the corniche. More Chinese fishing boats to admire as they attempt reel in fish before the birds circling above the nets help themselves to an easy dinner. This island is indeed less crowded. An enjoyable short walk takes us to the streets in town where we come across a church in session alongside a cemetery. Back to the ferry to luckily enjoy sunset on the return trip.
Upon our return to Delight Homestay for our afternoon relaxation, drumming caught our attention. It seemed as though it was right behind us and getting closer. Suddenly around the corner a huge truck carrying a giant paper mache type thing that barely cleared the electrical wires and trees along the street created a stir. We learn that this massive Father Christmas is on its' way to the beach. It is so BIG that it was transported in pieces only to be put together before being burned to bring in the new year. It looked as though Father Christmas had a cowboy hat on. Of course we have to follow it with cameras in hand.
Many warnings from the locals and the police were directed at the tourists in order to make sure we stayed safe during the new year celebrations. I guess things can get carried away. We feel so safe here I can't imagine this to be true. At the beach we learn that there is a special fenced off area for tourists to stay in while the celebrations with fire works are being held. The four of us decide that because we have trouble staying awake past ten or eleven anyway we will not take a chance. We can enjoy the fireworks from our home stay deck where we are sure to be safe. The beach area was already very crowded. Having enough of the crowds we decided to leave the beach and head back to our home stay until dinner.
Dinner had many tourists scrambling to find a seat. Some restaurants ran out of food and others were so lined up. We, just like the rest of the tourists wandered around to different establishments in hope of finding a place to eat.
As we wandered another small event was witnessed on the streets. The local church had a procession of sorts with people of all ages carrying lit candles, drummers, of course, and Virgin Mary displayed in the back of a truck. Boy, the surprises never end during the holiday season. Celebrations of all sorts are continuous. To our delight there is never a dull moment.
Fusion was our finally decision because by now the crowds had died. It was very late so only drinks were ordered due to our late lunch holding us over nicely.