Never ending Lockdown in beautiful Telaga bay, Langkawi
Already for a total of 3 months we are sitting in the Bay of Telaga. A few times we have considered whether a change of scenery is worthwhile, and since 2 weeks we are officially allowed to move by ship in the Langkawi area. Since the alternatives are basically the muddy basin in Kuah, the “city anchorage” or a completely uninhabited island, we prefer to stay here nevertheless.
Telaga Bay – our home in the past 3 months
The view of the mountains, the eagles fishing next to us, the dolphins that swim by every week, the 10 sea otters that I meet from time to time while jogging on the Pantai Kok beach and the dog family contribute a lot that I consider Telaga a special place.
Concerning the sea otters: at the end of the beach near the hotel I meet for the first time ten of animals that I have seen for the first time. I am scared because it is ten of them and I am alone.They stare at me and I stare at them. I wonder if they are animals similar to the Sid in Ice Age (which is of course wrong, because then they would be sloths). Then they “flee” into the water, I turn around on my heels and run back.
Next time I meet them swimming in the sea and watch them for a while as they happily frolic in the waves.
Mountain biking for fun and not only shopping
In the meantime we are also allowed to go cycling just for fun. So everytime we need food we make a big tour around the island, everytime looking at some new places. The first time we drive curiously to Cenang, where all the hotels and restaurants are. What we see is a ghost town. Everything is closed, hardly a person on the street.
This is not only because of the Movement Control Order but also because of Ramadan. In the whole Cenang we meet less than 10 people. The hotels are all empty, the ones that were just being built are now probably the next ruins on the beach.
On the last holiday of Ramadan we take the bikes for a round trip to the north. The road is initially almost empty, so biking is great fun. In the village of Padang Lalang we find an open food stall for the first time in 4 weeks. It is Monday, May 25th – Ramadan is over. There are a large number of dishes containing bones, the content of which I cannot classify, so we prefer to have a crispy chicken and pasta on rice, unfortunately without vegetables.
The options get less
At the next “orientation” stop, Reto takes a look at the emails and is shocked. Our request to the Swiss embassy, ”please send us a letter for the visa extension in Malaysia”, was rejected harshly. They do not write letters, all Swiss have to fly back to Switzerland and anyway all other Swiss boat crews already have done so. That our Dutch friends have received with the support of the Dutsch embassy a letter and 2 months extensiondoesn’t bother them. We have the feeling that it probably means work for them if they keep us around here.
Back on the boat we search the internet once again for messages about possible border openings in the surrounding countries, there is no country in sight. We cannot believe it. As of May 28, 2020, Malaysia had 115 C deaths per 32 million inhabitants and Thailand 57 deaths per 70 million inhabitants – while people in many places no longer have anything to eat because their source of income is gone.
The same afternoon, our health insurance Care Concept tells us that Reto will no longer be insured from August. They do not tell us whether the reason for this is the upcoming operation of his fingers bent with Duptryen’s disease or his advanced age at 54 years. We are even more frustrated and are discussing the options again.
Option 1: Heading directly to Africa
Sailing to Tanzania as quickly as possible (a good 4000 miles non-stop across the Indian Ocean) sounds appealing, but before that we have to fix two sensitive technical points at SHE SAN, and so far it was not possible to source material during the lockdown.
Option 2: We wait and eventually hide
We wait and if necessary clear out and hide somewhere until another country opens its borders
Option 3: Escaping to Switzerland
The third option is to put SHE SAN in a marina and book a one-way flight to Switzerland without knowing when we’ll see her again. Not exactly sparkling either…
We are not enthusiastic about any of the variants and feel miserable. Finally it becomes clear, ok, we book. We decide to look for a more expensive, flexible return flight, but that is not possible. There are currently no return flights! Of course, the costs for this one-way flight is as much as a return flight has been before. They have to fly one way empty, so it is clear why… crumpily we finish the booking, pay and look at each other sadly. This has never happened to us at booking a flight, we should normally be happy.
Right afterwards we skype with Felicitas, Reto’s mom. Reto asks her, “What are you doing on June 22nd at 2pm?” She opens her eyes and asks “Why?” “Can you pick us up at the train station in Landquart? Reto asks and Felicitas is smiles from ear to ear – lhappy like this we haven’t seen her in months. After the phone call, we finally realize that everything makes sense after all. 😉