The Ferry Ride from Hell

Oh my. I’ve regretted a few decisions on my holiday so far, but getting the ferry to Penang from Langkawi instead of flying was a DOOZIE! I’d gone on a snorkelling tour the day before at Pulau Payar, an hour away, and since this formed the first part of the ferry ride…well, I’d already done it. Had a lovely boatride the day before. Calm blue ocean and all that.

So I was wishing I’d bought a plane ticket instead. But hey, it’s an experience, right? Hmm… Despite being at the front of the queue, when I came to board the ferry, the seat assigned to me was one of only 4 on the entire boat that had NO VIEW WHATSOEVER. That’s right. Just a freakin’ metal wall next to my face. For 3 hours! Fucken.

And then when we started, the sea was so rough I thought I was in Master and Commander. Oh lawd. I barely took a minute to try to film the rolling waves and hideous waves of heat and nausea came over me. And not just me. Everywhere on the boat people were moaning, spewing in plastic bags, kids were crying…it was hideous. (Although funny, in retrospect, I guess. You have to laugh.)

I blocked out the horror by the judicious use of earplugs and an eyepatch, and attempted to sleep. It actually worked. Whilst I could still feel the rolling motion of the boat on the ocean, as long as I couldn’t see the chaotically rolling horizon, I was ok. The beer I brought with me, most DEFINITELY stayed in the bag, let me tell you. Of course my seasickness medication was locked away in my luggage, somewhere in the hold. The day before had been calm; I didn’t think I’d need it. So I wasn’t feeling best pleased.

And then there was this loud BANG! And then the boat stopped. And the aussies near me were like “what’s happening?” Through my earplugs I heard them say some guys had gone over the side, diving with scuba gear. What the? Apparently a fishing trap had got caught in the propeller, and this was a fairly common occurrence, judging by the resigned way in which the guys went over. This happened at least twice, with a third stop not requiring diving.

So, the trip from hell, that I couldn’t wait to get over with, that was supposed to take 2 and three quarter hours, now took over FOUR. Oh joy! I promised D I’d email or skype him around 6pm,  but I didn’t get to my hotel room until 7.15. The boat had left at 2.30pm. I’d left my hotel in Langkawi at 11.30am. Long day much? Hell yeah!

However, I CAN say that the food has been great. My hotel room here has a panoramic view of the Penang skyline, despite being only 75 ringgits. There’s been lovely temples, and interesting architecture. I went boozing with some US pilots last night, and dipped my toes in the sea at Batu Ferringhi this afternoon. It’s not all doom and gloom. But jeez, sometimes ya just wish you’d chosen ‘a’, not ‘b’, don’tcha?

A lesson to you, my friends. TAKE THE PLANE.