Friday, August 21, 2009

Tales of Cobra diary

Tuesday 18th August
Yesterday (Monday) a huge attack of nerves hit – I wanted to puke. Rather early to have such feelings but come Tuesday I had settled down or maybe it was the fact I was running around like a headless chicken dotting ‘i’s and crossing ‘t’s that I never had a chance to think about my competition, strategy or lack of it.
Jens had kindly offered to take me to the airport on the understanding and agreement that he would have the use of my car for the week and would have to pick me up. It was a sneaky tactic and I believe I got the better deal as my flight left at 01:20am on the 19th...but I also feel a kind of win-win for both of us.
Off to the airport after some dinner...the rain had made traffic a nightmare but considering the late hour I whizzed to KLIA. Yes that’s right Cebu Air Pacific flies from KLIA...right?? Well that is what I was told. AND that is what it said on my ticket. ‘KUL’ that’s KLIA in my book. So we get to the airport bang on time. I mention to Jens if he just wants to shoot right off. The gentleman that he is he refused and insisted helping me with the baggage. So up to departures go to see what counter to check-in at and could I find my flight??? Panic was not exactly rising but I was confused.
Off to the info counter. Cebu air...going to Manila?? The desk attendant looks at me blankly as if I am some Looney. Manila I insist. Cebu Air Pacific!! That goes from LCCT, she says, with a complete air of boredom. Nope you are wrong I was told it is KLIA. (Emma pulls out the ticket) See KUL. But it goes from LCCT, she says. OK now the temper is rising along with the panic, time is now NOT on my side. Can I say SHIT? The next 20minutes went by quickly. I apologised in advance to Jens for the language that was going to be rather colourful as we exited the airport loaded the car back up and SPED to LCCT.
This time there was no lepaking, unloaded said THANK YOU and see ya next week.
It didn’t end check in they tried to get me to pay RM300 excess. My normal luggage was slightly overweight but they overlooked this in replacement of George. I then mentioned sport equipment and the kindly extremely helpful Cebu check-in man went out of his way to look into this for me. I ended up paying RM75. And they seemed to forget my normal baggage was over weight (RM60 saved. And he made sure the bike and bag were only checked to Manila even though I was checked to Naga. I had to collect the bags in Manila and pass to my new friend-yet to meet-Jerry. It was late, I was stressed, and he is the most helpful airport employee I have ever come across. Thanks for making my nightmare evening end smoothly.
I slept solid on the flight and arrived in Manila at 04:25.
Wednesday 19th August
Man was I tired. That’s the first time I have arrived at an airport and NOT wanted to alight from the plane. Just wanted to sleep and I was now thinking of the next 9 or so hours hanging around the airport for my connecting flight, YIKES! Jerry was meeting me to collect George. But I didn’t have his number and usually my phone doesn’t work. As if by miracle though everything went like clockwork I received his number and was able to call.
Jerry was already waiting and rather than pass over the bike and stay at the airport I went back to his home for breakfast and a nap while he loaded up the Honda CRV with 6 bikes. I was then dropped back at the airport while he went on to pick up Melvin from TBB Subic. Both are doing the race and are heroes for driving so many peoples’ bikes down.
The twin prop plane to Naga was fun and noisy. Naga airport is simple. An outbuilding can best describe it. But despite the simplicity the organisation from Cobra 70.3 continues to impress me. I had a driver from my hotel waiting for me name on a card and everything. No charge. Yes you heard me right IMMY!! NO CHARGE. All hotels are collecting ALL athletes as they come thats pretty impressive for a first time, small town event. No, correction Damn impressive.
My hotel room has no windows but it is cheap and cool and the TV channels have a lot of variety. I wasn’t really interested in that or anything else though and by the time I unpacked a few things I was punching out the Z’s

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