Straight from the beginning when I started to put my trip-puzzle together, this was always the most uncertain connection. That is also the reason why I calculated some spare time in case I wouldn’t make the connection the way planned. Because the boat trip on Sunday goes only 1x / week.
This morning, at 04:15, early arrival in Manado airport (after short night due to delayed flight). And … Surprise surprise, the flight is not marked on the screen with all the departing flights. This causes of course already a little bit of stress. In the airport, nobody seems to know why it is not there but they also don’t seem to be worried it isn’t on the display. Around 5 o’clock, some office seem to open and they can then show where I should check-in for this flight. Nothing marked, … Just need to know this 😉
But that was only the start of the hick-ups.
I only had a booking code, so needed now to go to another office to change the booking code into a real paper version of the ticket. Just 1 minute they said. Indonesian minute of course, but it went smoother than expected. No need to discuss or convince or …
Back to the check-in: next problem occured. For this flight, only 10 kg allowed. Whaaaaaaattttt!!! Travelling with divegear is always a problem to have it fit in 20 kg. But now, this is a joke. And with staff not speaking english, and my Bahassa not reaching further than selamat pagi, terimah kasi, …. This was a difficult discussion.
First they show me a number I needed to pay: in Indonesian rupiah. First of all this was way too much money, and on top of that not so much cash on me. Visa, not possible.
They send me again to an office. There a new discussion start, now bargaining over the price. I must say, I was extremely relaxed the previous weeks, but this was not so fun so early in the morning. Ok, after having given in at a certain price, with lots of negotiation, I received again a new paper. Back to the check-in. Waaauuuuwww, I received the boarding pass. That was already a step in the good direction. Now still paying at the airport tax office, and then, finally at the gate.
The plane looked quite Old, but the flight was perfect. Luckily, my handluggage was not too big, because inside there wasn’t a lot of room in the 2 propeller plane.
And what a view. We crossed so many different atols, which all look really nice for diving. On some, I noticed a jetty, so maybe, there are possibilities to go there some holiday. I will definitely look it up back home what atols they were and if there are dive facilities.
Now, here in Sorong, not much to do. It really is just a place you come either for business ( mining) or for transfer to Raja Ampat. The landing strip was also fun. As soon as the plane touched the ground, immediately after, people started crossing again on foot the strip, driving with motorcycles, playing children, … It really seems public area. Security???? Don’t think they heard of this. Probably no need either.