People who pay close attention to dates will realise that this is Christmas day, yay! However, for us on teh road it was hard to distinguish today from most of the others, except that we had a lie in until 7.30am, a rare treat indeed. Our tour had been split into two, both of which could be taken indpendently. The upshot of this was that we were loosing several people this morning, namely Jaimy, maggie, Mike, Chew-Li and Jade which in terms of volume was quite a loss. ALso our guide, Aldrin, would be finally getting a few days off to spend with his new wife having worked constantly for weeks. With goodbyes made the remaining memebers were off to the airport to catch our flight to Miri. If a lot is based on first impressions then Miri will always be for me wet. The contrast was particularly striking having left KK in hot sunny weather only to arrive in Miri with God trying to wash it away. Add to this the fact that my bank card had been refused at the airport so we needed to venture out to try and get some money.

If money makes the world go round, then my world had stopped turning. With my bank card refused I managed to transfer some money to Eleanor's account online but then her account was also refused. We found a cybercafe and called up my bank when did mention that they had been some unusual attempted transactions on my account so it had been frozen. After carefully explaining that the would be thief interfering with the account was in fact none other than the legitimate owner of the account they said they would unlock it in a speedy 15 minutes. Giving us just enough time to enjoy a burger at 'Sunny Bunnys' with the last of our money, fingers crossed that this works!

Money in the wallet at last we started to wonder back to the hotel keeping an eye out for any medical suppliers. Since snorkeling on turtle island I'd lost hearing in my left ear which started off as irritating but after a week began to be a little worrying. Assuming it was just a bit of wax we were on the hunt for some ear drops and had exhausted the supermarkets who major on eye drops but not ear drops, although one lady suggested trying them in the ear anyway. Assuming that anything that can melt wax probably wouldn't feature highly in something you put in your eye we declined. With the additional hindrance of it being Christmas day and most places being shut we were delighted to find a pharmacy open in a shopping center and even more surprised to find an English speaking pharmacist who had just what we wanted - result.

Medical supplies in the bag we went back to the hotel to meet the new members of our group before heading onto a restaurant for the evening were the lack of our boisterous girls was particularly noticeable. With good food and a beer down us Natasha was fascinated with a seedy looking club opposite which seemed to be a normal door with neon signs promising delights within. What delights exactly remains a mystery as no one took up Natasha's challenge to find out and I can't help but think we missed an opportunity for an interesting story, the only drawback being there are some stories you really wished you didn't have to live through first!