Anchoring just away from the town, it was to be a tender service into the port. After breakfast, we collected our tickets numbers 488/489; these seemed quite high numbers, but the wait wasn’t too long, and we were soon on our way in one of the lifeboats. The journey there was quite pleasant, however, the one back, in a larger boat, wasn’t as it was like being seated in a large dark sweat box!
After several quite hectic ports, we were surprised, when we got ashore, that this one was so relaxed and quiet, even the rickshaws drivers were not as persistent as others we had encountered previously. We fancied one of these colourful rides but watching one older man struggle to pedal off with his two guests, we decided it would be quicker to walk, as well as being kinder.
After perusing a local information map, we set off to explore. First, we found a nice park to walk through, and was fortunate to see our first native wildlife; a toucan, hopping from branch to branch in a distant tree.
Climbing the nearby hill, we arrived at a ruined church with superb views over the city. As we descended the hill, it was good to see the stalls of local artists selling some original artwork and souvenirs rather than the mass-produced ones in the shops.
At the bottom of the hill, it was interesting to see the historical buildings, all coloured in red, reflecting the Dutch influence, as well as several museums showing Muslim culture.
Only having a short time on shore, we decided to explore the city further. After a short stop for refreshment, and our Wi-Fi fix at a Starbucks, we looked around a modern shopping centre. We then ventured over to the local market stalls. You could certainly arrive here with an empty case and buy plenty of cheap shirts and T shirts to take home!
Eventually, after a long queue to get back on the ship, we set sail to our last port of call.