The whole shipping our bike on a passenger ferry made us nervous. There was no guaranty that it would work and just last week, a traveller we know (going from London to NZ) was refused because his bike was too big to fit through the door and now he’s stuck in Kuala Lumpur with no way across to Sumatra.
Thus, our night was short. Flo was up from 2am, I joined at 5am. Mr Ade called again at 7am to make sure that we had “the money” and we felt as if we were in a bad mafia movie. We had “the money” and now we were going to “the harbour” with it to meet “our fixer”. The wire anyone?
We arrived at the ferry terminal at 8am which was an hour earlier than Mr Ade told us to be there. He, however, was there already and started the procedure right away. Our luggage was carried onto the pier (with now ferry in sight there yet) and then, one of the staff insisted on driving Rocinante onto the pier. Flo would have preferred to drive our bike himself but he wasn’t allowed.
We had a basic breakfast in the waiting area before being picked up by Mr Ade for some special bule treatment. Got our passenger ferry tickets and then had our passports stamped as proof that we left Indonesia way before anyone else. We then proceeded to be the first ones on the ferry. One of the staff took us to the storage to show us all our luggage was on board but Rocinante had to remain on the pier until all passengers had boarded.
The ferry was one of the high speed kind but it smelled pretty badly. Fish, urine and the sight of cockroaches mingled for the next two hours while we waited for everyone else to come on board. Since we were leaving one country and entering a new one, everyone had to go through customs to have their passports checked and stamped which takes forever. Suddenly, we heard commotion from the hallway; Rocinante was being pulled, heaved and dragged onto the boat. I felt much relief when the bike finally was on the same boat as us.
Leaving Tanjungbalai, everyone was served a lunch packet. It contained a pile of plain rice and a piece of fish. Flo had “luck” and a whole fish’s head in his one.
The ferry ride was very long. And horrible. Mostly because some of the hawkers had obviously paid so that they could use the announcement system but it was broken and emitted a high-pitched electronic sound for an hour or so which made my head nearly explode. I felt really sick. It got to the point where Flo and I put toilet paper into our ears because we had no access to any other form of earplugs.
We were so happy when we arrived in Port Klang. Just going into the port, you could see how different Malaysia would be to Indonesia. What an enormous, industrial-sized harbour! Wow. On the Malaysian side of customs, we had to queue shortly, leave our fingerprints and declare our goods. As soon as we were through, Mr Ong found us to deal with the Malaysian side of shipping our bike across. This mostly included leaving our carnet de passage with a customs officer and going to pay Mr Ong his share. He wanted another RM350 which is RM150 more than we were told. Again, we had no other choice than to pay. we were “graciously” given a discount of RM50. At least we got a receipt for this fee…
Then we were allowed access to Rocinante. The customs officer checked the engine number and other things before stamping it. Our luggage still had to be x-rayed. Finally, we were at the point when we strapped everything back to the bike and left the harbour. It was getting late and it was another 50km to our bed.
Riding out of the harbour, we fell in love with Malaysian roads. Great roads. Big roads. Almost like the autobahn. Functioning traffic lights. No honking. No one trying to kill us. Motorbikes are not only allowed on the motorway, they get their own on-ramp so they can bypass the toll station. Motorbikes can use the motorway for free. It all looked so great. Sun was slowly setting when we made our way into Kuala Lumpur. What a pretty city!
And then we had to face the difficulties of a life without a proper SIM card yet. Our GPS didn’t know Sonja’s address. Without SIM card, we couldn’t google it and instead had to ask for directions on the way there. Took a wrong turn and ended up back on the motorway. *sigh* It was dark when we arrived at the gated community. Security asked for our swipe card…which we didn’t have. Without a SIM card, we couldn’t even call Sonja’s neighbour who had all our access keys. *sigh again* In the end, one of the guards lend us a phone so we could call and while I waited, Flo got accompanied to a phone shop to remedy our “no SIM card” plight once and for all.
Barely human anymore, we entered Sonja’s flat at 9pm. Tired, exhausted and filthy as.
If everything goes according to plan, this was the last shipping we had to do. We now have made our way from New Zealand onto the Eurasian continent. From here on out, we are crossing land borders. HELLO EURASIA! *wohooo*