Tuesday 30 September 2008

Mount Austin Road

Gweilo by Martin Booth is an excellent autobiography, which recalls the years Booth spent in Hong Kong as a small boy. It's a really interesting read, even more so once you've spent some time here. I read it on the plane out here, and I think I'll want to read it again in 6 months' time!

On Sunday afternoon we went for a walk up Mount Austin Road, which starts at the Peak Galleria, just underneath this view:

It got me thinking about Gweilo again, as I remembered that he had lived in an apartment on that road. Once we got home, Ross found the bit in the book which talks about them moving to "Mount Austin Mansions", so we tried to find out where the building was. Google Maps weren't very helpful because the buildings have been renamed. However, we did finally work out that Martin Booth must have lived in what is now known as "The Mount Austin". Here's the mildly amusing bit (I know you've been waiting) - The Mount Austin is one of the places I visited with the estate agent dudes a few months back. Cool huh? Here's a view of the complex from above.

Also in the book, Booth mentions a little building the size of a shed by the side of Mt Austin Road where he found a policeman sitting with his cup of tea. I think we walked past it:

If you walk right up Mount Austin Road you get to a park, which is inside the Governor's Walk. Here's a view from there down across the island, with an arrow pointing to our tower.

The park is lovely, and quite unknown. There's plenty of space, and not too many people. You can just imagine it all being laid out as a lovely formal garden by the Governor's wife once upon a time. It's a bit wilder than that now, and feels quite tropical.

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