Our euphoria of arriving at Sam Ratulangi airport was short-lived when Darren and Joan's third piece of luggage failed to appear on the conveyor belt.
"Thank god it's your clothes bag and not the dive gear!" was the general and unanimous sentiment.
It was past 10pm when we arrived at the port in Bitung.
Despite the late hour, the port was a hive of activity. Local Indonesian boys gathered near a dimly lited warung strumming on their guitars and clouds of smoke billowed above their heads; the unmistakable smell of green herbs. Older men were hanging around, lazily dragging on their kreteks.
A crew of young men starting unloading our luggage from the van and onto the boat. Some of the guys in our group had hopped over to the nearby shop to purchase some bottles of Bintang. We boarded the wooden boat, settling down on the uncovered front deck. Someone offered a swig of beer, I gladly accepted.
(No pictures were taken on the night of arrival at Bitung Port because I was too bloody tired! These were taken on the day of departure.)