Rush trip back to Borneo
13 March 2011 | Kudat - Penawasa
Chris - Very wet weather
After one of these messages that you never want to get but you do appreciate being passed on I am on a quick trip to Borneo as it is apparent that someone has broken into our boat and taken some things. The Police already have the culprit but of course no-one only us knows what could be missing and Charmar is currently also therefore unsecured. I was up at Scherger whilst all this was happening. Scherger is a remote immigration detention centre near Weipa with limited communications.
So only one thing to do, head for Borneo at short notice. No flights available from Singapore to Koto Kinabalu so I take the alternate track Cairns>Darwin>Singapore>Kuala Lumpur>Koto Kinabalu. Double tracking a bit but not too bad apart from the waiting time - three hours in Darwin, bearable, and from midnight until 06.50 at KL Airport. Not exactly a good place for a sleep but survivable!
Arrive at KK at about 0930 after a good sleep on that flight and decide to hire a car which is quite reasonable for the three days rather than take the normal charter car to Kudat. Need to attend to some jobs in KK like getting a sim for the phone, and a new battery for the dual sim phone which appeared to be dead but was resuscitated with a battery. Then to Celcom where I found that I could change my broadband plan to a new prepaid plan which is much cheaper and better for our type of use and also get a phone sim that lasts two years without topping up that I can put in our boat sentinel that would have let us know we were broken into if the sim hadn't expired! Went to the wrong restaurant, looks identical to one of our favourite spots, but the food is not so good, but for $3 with coffee can't whinge too much (although it is the same price for the good food) and headed off for the 2.5 hour drive to Kudat.
As I meander down the various highways and byways north I notice that it is wet, it is raining, not like a shower but if Cairns and Qld has been getting deluged this is worse, much worse! The farm areas are flooded, water is cascading down the mountains and rushing along the table drains, at times the road is covered.
Logs are hurtling down the rivers and occasionally have floated onto the roads along with many coconuts and other debris.
Was stopped in queue of traffic by deep water on the road so pulled up with all the rest. Left the parkers on so as not to get run into. About an hour later when it was time to go and raining torrentially the battery was flat so here I was stopped in the middle of the road in pouring rain in a tiny car with traffic going around both sides of me, hopped out to put the bonnet up and got soaked. A car came slowly and and closely by and said in in my best Bahasa Malglish - battery any leads? And the two obliging guys stopped, looked at the weather, stripped off their shirts and jumped out to give me a push start. Next time I get held up keep the engine running!
Stopped at the usual Tanda (toilet) stop about halfway, a bit behind schedule but still expecting to arrive Kudat at about 1600. Fortunately bought a small packet of dried bnnana, some peanuts and bottle of water.
Headed of but not much more than 10 k down the road, in TORRENTIAL rain the traffic was stopped and building up. Ok so just stop and wait till it clears before carrying on. About an hour later when the rain eased I walked down the road, a long way to see what the hold up was but could not get to the end of queued cars before the rain came in again. It just got worse now there were literally hundreds of cars, buses, trucks, taxis all piling up in the queue. Well have a sleep. Awakened about 8:00pm as the traffic started moving so jumped into action and joined in as the hundreds of cars on the road and verges pushed and crawled their way forward down both sides of the road only separating to let the traffic sometimes come through from the other way.
Eventually we get to the cause a mud slide over the road being cleared by a loader and backhoe in between which we slithered and crawled our way over the mud to get back to bitumen. On we go in the torrential rain with the odd tree over the road, water cascading across and more hold ups whilst the water comes up and goes down.
The last major one we drove through miles of water over the road. I waited till a little car the size of mine, very small and low, and followed it trying to pick where the road was. It worked and eventually we ended up back just driving on bitumen.
As I get closer to Kudat we cross some hills so the road wasn't covered but there were some washouts and the rain was torrential.
Over ten hours for a normally 2.5 hour leisurely drive.
Finally arrive a bit after midnight, it is too wet to go to the boat and I cannot get the car into the boatyard at night so sleep in the car in the rain. Up in the morning and into Kudat for Egg Roti and copi Sweet milk coffee. $2.5o including two Koppi's. No wonder I love it here!
Go to Charmar, they have been in through a tiny back hatch and out the galley hatch and pulled a lot of stuff out of shelves and cupboards. Pulled out and cut the wires on the VHF but it is still there, and stolen the entertainment system. The TV is in the galley, obviously on the way out and other stuff such as binoculars and bits and pieces pulled out. It seems they may have been in and out more than once, maybe "selling to order". They were nabbed by the Police because they were trying to change an Aus $20 note at the kiosk and eating chicken every day and seemed to living a high life. The boat next door was also broken into, it was someone employed to work on a boat parked in front of us.
After a stocktake and tidy up there is not all that much missing - the CD/DVD radio, some money, maybe a computer and who knows what else??
Going to the Police tomorrow, they won't give the neighbour back his stuff until I have a look also!
So a bit tired and worn down the day is spent rejoining wires, refitting things removed, and putting things (where they belong and where they dont belong to get them off the floor!) Lunch with the neigbours and it is still wet and muddy here!
Tomorrow have an appointment with the boatyard office, and will be off to the Police to report and go through what they have and will take the neighbour so he can get his stuff back also.
An interesting few days!