Back in Miri marina

Michael Hughes and Ger White
Mon 10 Sep 2012 02:07
04:23.1N  113:58.3E
We're now back in Miri marina getting Simanderal cleaned up before our short trip back to Europe. We had a pretty uneventful trip back west---I was expecting a lot of wind--and perhaps strong at that--but in the event we had benign conditions and some good sailing days.
On our way, we stopped for a few days at the lovely marina in Kota Kinabalu again---a bit more rest and recreation. By comparison, the marina in Miri is a bit dull---no swimming pool or restaurants etc.---but it's much better protected from high winds---and half the price!
Other highlights??  We avoided the harbour/town area in Labuan--it is still a mess of oil following the tanker explosion and fire there some weeks ago---instead we anchored on the north of the island and dinghied ashore and bussed into town to do our duty free shopping---like Langkawi and Tioman it's a duty free island with alcohol at a fraction of the price elsewhere and good selection of wines---so an essential stop on any passage!!
We fly down to Kuching on Thursday for 3 nights to have a good look at the city--it's something of a jewel--unaffected by the war, lots of parks and interesting buildings, a museum regarded as one of the best in Asia etc. Then back on board for a day, and fly to Europe.
Booking Kuching  reminds one what good value Asia is---double room and breakfast for 2 in a superb hotel---pool, spa etc--in the centre of town---less than £40 a night---you wouldn't get the breakfast for that in London. And the flights are much cheaper--and better!!--than Ryanair! So returning to UK it won't just be the climate that's a shock!!