The time has come. After almost one year on the Asian continent, I am about to leave. Tomorrow night, I have booked a flight with Tiger Airways. The flight only cost $70SGD…plus a whole bunch of taxes and other charges. $160SGD miscellaneous taxes and fees, another $30SGD for the bike, and then $5SGD because I’m paying by credit card. And then I still don’t get food or a movie. But no matter. Everyone else seemed to cost more. Looking at lastminute.com was suggesting daft things like flying Singapore -> Brisbane -> Cairns -> Darwin, taking 22 hours. Um no I don’t think so.
So the bike was getting a clean earlier this morning, in preparation for boxing up. First decent clean in a while – hopefully there won’t be any problems entering Australia with it. Just about finished, about to do the last task of dropping the seat down…and it’s frozen in place. Not moving. Try dribbling lube down in it, nothing happen. After applying a lot of rotational force to the saddle, the tube doesn’t move…but the clamp at the top of the tube starts to move. Not good. Not good at all. So I’m just going to have to leave the post sticking out, and hope that it doesn’t make the package too big. I’m getting the cargo guys down the road to box it up for me, will be interesting to see what they do with it, and if I can get it in a taxi tomorrow afternoon…
I’ve been mucking around in Singapore for too long now, and I’m looking forward to getting back on the road. Jan has referred to the process of moving, and I’ve been stuck for a while. It will mean a change of company though – Sally is heading back up through Malaysia to Thailand, while I’m going to be joined by my father in Darwin. He’s going to be my support crew from Darwin to Alice Springs. It’s going to be an interesting way of travelling, with a supporting vehicle – it means I’ll have someone to carry cold drinks for me along those long hot dull stretches I’ll be facing.
Since I haven’t done much riding recently, Sally and I set out for a ride around Singapore yesterday, heading down to East Coast Park, then riding around past Changi – with an A380 coming in directly overhead – up to Changi Beach Park, and back around into town. It was quite a surprise to see just how many people were out enjoying the parks, and how well maintained all the facilities were. Many family groups were out having a picnic, with tents set up, and balls being thrown around. It was a bit strange seeing all the cargo ships just offshore, but it didn’t seem to stop people going in the water. Guess it was cleaner than it looked. Something I thought was really well done was having clearly marked bike paths between the different parks – so you could put together a loop, going around the different parks. Good to see a different side of the city.
Another side of the city was the Night Safari. Now all zoos are animal prisons, and I’m not usually that keen on them, but this is really good. I’d heard good things about it before, and had been meaning to go, but never got around to it. It was very well put together, with nice enclosures allowing you to get pretty close to the animals. Perhaps too close in the case of the bats flying around my head. Watching/hearing a lion roar, reasonably close by, was pretty cool. I’d recommend it to anyone else passing through Singapore.
I’d heard that Little India gets busy on a Sunday, but I didn’t realise just how busy – it seemed that every Indian adult male in Singapore had been bussed in to Little India, mainly just to hang around. Very strange to see almost no women or children. Wonder where they all were?
Of course, some shopping had to be done too – so I bought a new Garmin Vista HCx GPS, to replace the one that was stolen back in July. I’ve just transferred some free GPS maps of Australia to it – yes there’s only one road to follow, but it will still be interesting to see just how far to the next town.
Right, time to go and see what the Indian crew have done to my bike, and then maybe a celebratory drink down at the flashy Quays area.