QIC Sabang Ashore
QIC Sabang Ashore
Clutching the map one of the men gave us on Beez, we parked Baby Beez on the plastic dinghy dock, scrambled up the poor excuse for a ladder and turned left at the Harbourmaster’s Office. Offers from a moneychanger and motorbike tuktuks - we told the nice folk we needed to get some stomps in. We stopped at likely looking buildings and eventually a chap offered his young friend as our guide to take us to the other side of the car park we were in. A scruffy little office in the far corner, with a dodgy pile of ‘stuff’ outside (cheeky monkey asked me how fresh my lettuce was) and in we went. The taker of two cans of Bear’s beer was smoking and after stamping his butt on the floor told us his colleague would deal with us and went back to playing a game on his mobile. His colleague apologised for giving us a hand written certificate as due to a power cut he couldn’t fire up his computer. Quarantine certificate achieved it was up a hill on the left heading for Immigration.
More offers from help and a young lady followed us to a main junction and urged us across and pointed to the right. Bear sat and had his picture taken with two officers holding a piece of paper so all that remained was to find the Customs Office. Ooo before that we saw a cannon next to a big anchor, not knowing if it was private property or not I had Bear pretend to do his trigger finger.
We crossed the big junction and a family of three stopped on their motorbike to ask if we belonged to the cruise ship. Hope not as we saw it moving off the dock. We showed our map and with huge grins of relief they pointed along the road. What sweet-hearted people. We bimbled past a lovely fence painted in happy colours.
We found the Customs Office, no problem and that’s when things came to a crashing halt. Due to close at half past five but knowing we were on our way, we bimbled in at five thirty-five. Five officers all got stuck in. They had seen a previous record from the Indonesian Rally we had been on and thought to add to that. No. I ended up having to change my email password, as did Bear, as did they. The young lady officer ended up sitting and chatting to me after she brought us a bottle of water each. Still it went on. The techy used a big computer, gave up and brought out a laptop. Finally.............Bear used our boat stamp several times and the staff offered us a lift down the hill. Still needing stomps we declined and with promises that checking out would be quick we left the building, me sporting three mosquito bites (Quarantine reassured us that malaria had been stamped out on the island by frequent fogging). We closed the door at seven o’clock..........
We bimbled further along the road as our trusty map told us there was a path down the hill that would pop out on the main town road. We stood on a viewing platform and took each others picture, seemed like the thing to do.
Looking down at the town and half way down the path.
Looking to the right of the path we saw it was suddenly dusk. We popped out at the bottom next to a very busy-looking chandler-cum-hardware store. A young chap saw us pausing and asked what we needed, a SIM card for internet. He pointed to a mobile phone shop, all locked but knowing things opened after evening prayers we sat on the thoughtfully provided chairs and waited. Might as well, five minutes later the shop keeper and his son leapt off a motorbike and unlocked.
SIM card in hand, we groped our way down the sad excuse for a ladder and found Baby Beez in amongst the local girls, now a bit soft as the sun keeps her hard. By the time we got back to Beez Neez it was pitch dark and we felt that it had been quite a long day.
Settled in bed after supper, I added a red arrow to show Beez Neez in a picture we had taken from the viewing platform.
ALL IN ALL – ALL IN ALL AND SHRUG
A BUSY TIME