January 22, 2005 GMT

Shipping the bike to Oz has been remarkably painless so far. I rang Angie Ong at Megastar Shipping to tell her I was on my way, and when I got there she already had the paperwork ready.

Two days later I went to the PSA office to get my security pass, then on to the godown on the dock. Got the carnet stamped, then rode into the warehouse, strapped riding kit on to the seat and collected the delivery note. No crating or anything. Back to the shipper to get the Bill of Lading and pay. The bill was basically in USD (hurrah), and I paid in S$ so it worked out at about 200 pounds (just have to pay about 25 pounds for wharfeage in Darwin). Simple.

Apparently the Aussies are paranoid about phytosanitary arrangements (look it up), so I've jetwashed the bike so it's cleaner than it's been since I left the UK. I suspect they'll still insist on steamcleaning, though. We'll see.

Anyway, the ship (the Venture, which looks a bit of a rustbucket) is due in Darwin on Feb 2nd.

Went for a lovely rideout the other evening - Ai Ling was on her Ducati Monster, and Martha (who's in the SGP National Rowing Team) was on her Suzuki DR650. We had a great ride around the jungly countryside bits of the island - did nearly 100 miles, if you can believe that (SGP is considerably smaller than the IoM).

Around 11pm Martha started feeling a little chilly and put a long-sleeved shirt on, so I offered her my heated vest. She tried it on and was completely gobsmacked. Well, it never gets below 20C here. Ever. Your reflective riding kit is decorative stuff embroidered on a nice cotton twill short-sleeved shirt (or maybe long-sleeved for late at night).

Singapore is surprisingly green. There's even a fair chunk of primary rainforest here, and places where you have to avoid the monkeys. Within the City itself there's a lot of green - it's certainly not a concrete jungle, whatever it may look like from photos.

Ai Ling's flat is under the flight path to the air force base, and currently there's a constant stream of C130s and similar planes coming in with aid which is then redistributed to smaller planes to take to Sumatra. The flat is also across the road from the BMW dealer :-)

Posted by Cynthia Milton at January 22, 2005 08:26 PM GMT

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