November 22nd, 2009 – by: Vinceng
So for the past 2 days, 5 of us from the China tour continued our adventure to the Land of the Rising Sun, by way of boat. Midday on the 21st, our tour leader took us to the Shanghai Ferry terminal, and got us ready for a 2 day steam across the China Sea, to Osaka
, where we would commence our Japan leg of the tour. I really didn't know what to expect for this boat really... all I really knew was that it was going to be 4 people to a room, and that there were modern ammenities available. We did the whole customs thing, brought our bags through (going through 2 seperate sets of baggage xrays and metal detectors no less) and got to the queue leading up to the boat. We walked through a typical airport style departure gate, only to be lead outside to an awaiting bus.
A quick glance down the pier lead me to the boat, no more than 500m away. But alas, we were funneled onto the bus, waited for the driver to complete a 5-point U-turn, and drove the 500m down the pier to the awaiting CHINJIF ferry. We got on the boat, and checked in. After much pointing and pantomiming, we finally communicated that we wanted two rooms for the 5 of us, and guessing that the ferry was less than full, we were "upgraded" to a first class private bunks. This is an even bigger bump-up than I could have ever wanted, as a private bunk meant that it was just the 3 of us in one room, and the British couple we were travelling with could get the other. I walked past some of the "second class" bunks and found travellers smoking in the room, and that would have made for an absolutely dreadfull 2 days at sea.
As I'm writing this, it is now the morning of the 22nd, and we are somewhere near the middle of the China Sea, and still have a full day ahead of us before we reach Osaka. I'll let you know how the rest of the trip turns out when we get to the hotel and I can post this online.