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Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Location: Nunukan Island, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

Stuck in Indonesia

warnet, netcafe in Indonesia
warnet, netcafe in Indonesia

Yes, we're still in Indonesia, although we should already be in Malaysia. The thing is that the supposed ferry didn't go this morning, so we are stuck here as for now...

I started asking about the ferry already a week ago, even before leaving for Derawan, so as to know how to time our return, because here you sometimes have to count days for a few hundred kilometres' trip. They said the engine was sometimes wrong, so I should call ahead from Derawan. Eventually we decided to come back to Tarakan a day earlier instead, just to be on the safe side. If they can't reassure us, we'd better leave for Malaysia a day earlier, even though we didn't particularly like the town of Tawau.

So we casually walked into the ticket office. Since in this part of Indonesia nobody really speaks English (or any other European language), we didn't really understand what they said, but we got our tickets (and they took its price) quickly. The ferry was to leave at 10 am today...

Well it didn't.

Someone was knocking on our hotel door last night. We were in the room only by chance at that moment. Adri didn't feel well, that's why we'd returned to our room for a couple of hours. There were three people standing in the door: the receptionist boy, who spoke a few words in English, a gasping boy in the T-shirt of the ferry company and a third one, who was just with them. They somehow told me that "Mister, the ferry won't go tomorrow because the engine is wrong." (It's still a misery how they could find us in a city of 180 thousand, when they only asked for our names when buying the tickets.) They simply asked for the tickets and gave back their price. So we stood there with the cash in our hands but without the tickets to leave Indonesia.

We came up with an alternative solution: we hop one town closer to the border, to Nunukan (where there are supposedly many ferries going), and from where Tawau, Malaysia is quite close already (and where there are many ferries going, too).

It was all fine to Nunukan. When we bought the tickets we made sure that there would be an onward connection at 2 pm. On our way the engine broke down once, otherwise it was all smooth.

male proboscis monkey in the mangrove park
male proboscis monkey in the
mangrove park

Then, however, in Nunukan it turned out that there were no more ferries at 2 pm, nor at any other time that day to Tawau, because of the lack of passengers. We told them in vain that there were already the two of us. "Tomorrow morning, Mister!"

By the way, we have a flight tomorrow at 1.30 pm from Tawau, so I honestly hope that this time we can trust the information. Anyway, we couldn't buy the tickets, as the ticket seller also went home in the morning because of the lack of passengers. Tawau is no more than 1 hour by boat from here.

Some other stuff. There could be deer in the City Park in Budapest indeed, as we saw a lot of proboscis monkeys in the mangrove park in Tarakan yesterday :) And macaques, white-head and white-belly eagles circling above them, great white egrets, kingfishers and mudskippers as extras.

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