We traveled to Bohol with Elder and Sister Boch. They are a senior couple from Australia living about two hours north of us serving in the Bogo area. They are delightful and we love hearing their accent as they speak. Two of the office elders drove us to the ferry terminal in Cebu Wednesday afternoon. That is about a one and a half hour drive because of traffic. The closer to the docks we got, the more congested and slower it became. Of course parking is essentially non-existent, so they dropped us and our luggage as close as they could to where ferry tickets are purchased and then we were on our own.
Neither we nor the Bochs had purchased ferry tickets before and there are several ferries from Cebu to various locations, so the first order of business was to try to locate where the tickets were sold. It turns out that it wasn’t at the obvious ticket windows that we could see, it was at a hidden ticket window inside an open room across the street. Fortunately, a man saw us looking and came to our aid. He took us to the right place and even stood in line and picked up the tickets for us. We were a little concerned when he needed our ID and money up front to get the tickets, but he came through and helped us a lot.
Of course, where the tickets were sold was not where we needed to be to catch the ferry. To get to the ferry required a shuttle ride (although we learned from our mission president later, there actually is a place to buy tickets right at the ferry, but it is kind of hidden and not well known, and the office elders who dropped us off weren’t aware of it. Maybe next time…).
Anyway, after the first shuttle we saw pulled up and was immediately swarmed by people needing a ride, we knew we would need to be quick if we were to make it on the next one. Second shuttle arrives and is also swarmed. Unfortunately, any pictures necessary to show this part of the adventure are not available because we were in no position to take them. Sister McNett and Sister Boch barely managed to get seats while holding luggage on their laps. Elder McNett and Elder Boch were forced to stand on the running board holding on with one hand while holding additional bags with the other. We just didn’t have enough hands to get a picture but we did attract some attention and were able to provide some amusement for those watching us.
We were under a bit of pressure because the ferry was scheduled to leave at 6:00 PM and we weren’t on the shuttle until about a quarter to six. It turned out that we had plenty of time as the ferry was about an hour delayed.
All of this explanation to show this picture of the inside of our ferry. It was dark out by the time we loaded so we weren't able to get any outside pictures.
They refer to this kind of boat as a submarine because it is shaped like one, but it doesn’t travel underwater. They are quite fast and are able to make the crossing in about a third of the time of a regular ferry boat.
Elder and Sister Bell, a senior couple serving on Bohol, met us at the ferry dock and took us to their house for dinner and then to our hotel room. We were very grateful for their hospitality.
(to be continued...)