July 17, 2010 GMT
Week 18-19

July 10th – took the bikes to a car-wash place, to get them jet-washed. The Aussies are paranoid about dirt and dust on anything they import, so everything has to be show-room clean. Including us allegedly – that could prove a bit more difficult!

July 11th – Still trying to organise shipping to Australia, and crates. Spending lots of time on the t’Internet and it’s all very difficult, and time-consuming. Sometimes it all gets too much – we just want to ride our bikes, and it seems like everyone else wants to stop us! And we are now at the start of the rainy season, so it buckets down for hours on end, is permanently humid, and you just sweat constantly, even when you’re not doing anything.

July 14th – took bikes to the crate place, to get them packed up with all our kit. The packing company did an amazing job – building the crates around the bikes, and then wrapping everything in plastic, and the bloke wielding the nail-gun was a master of his craft. Leaving just our rucksacks to carry clothes and washing stuff.


Caption 1: Bike being shrink-wrapped before it goes to sea.

We moved hostel to a place in Singapore, now that we don’t need secure parking for the bikes. Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) system is very clean, very reliable and a pleasant place to be, since they’ve all got air-con. The centre is very modern and as clean as you would expect – well to be honest, most of it is, not just the centre. And it has a nice feel to it – not too busy, not too relaxed.


Caption 2: View of Singapore city.

July 15th – went for a flight on the “Singapore Flyer” – their version of the London Eye. Expensive, but the view over Singapore is something else, and it’s right over the Formula 1 street circuit. They’re in the process of building all the hospitality marquees, and you can see all of the removable street furniture. It’s scheduled for mid-September, so unfortunately we won’t be here to watch it.


Caption 3: View from the Singapore Flyer.

July 16th – absolutely threw it down most of the day, so decided to go round the National Museum of Singapore. Very educational. Also wandered past Raffles Hotel, and looked in on the Long Bar – but $30 for a Singapore Sling seemed a bit excessive, so we didn’t partake there. Went to another bar, and got the same thing for $10. Have again met some lovely people in the hostel, including the owner Jegdish who was enthralled about our story so far.


Caption 4: Guess where this is…

July 17th – visited Clarke Quay, and enjoyed a sumptuous meal of Singapore Black-Pepper Crab. Expensive but I do love seafood, and this was the best!


The bikes are due to leave on 19th July, and arrive in Australia on 26th and then will be fighting their way through Customs. We’ll be leaving Singapore to go back to Johor Bahru, then flying back to Kuala Lumpur, and then flying to Perth. I had thought Singapore would be a hub of all Asia/Oceania flights, but sadly I was wrong. It’s cheaper to go back to Malaysia and fly from there. We’ll be doing a bit of sight-seeing while we wait for the bikes, and then should be back on the road.


Since we’re at the end of the landmass that is Europe and Asia, we thought we’d work out some facts and figures. And we were amazed to find out the following:
= Since the Earth is 360 degrees, London (0 degree) to Johor Bahru (103.75 degree) is nearly a third of the world – which is also 28% of the world. West to East.
= And we’ve travelled from 53 degrees north (Sheffield) almost to the Equator - 14.4% North to South.
= Mileage we’ve done: GPS reads 10,458, BMW reads 10,188 & Yam reads 11,183. BMW is 270 mile out underestimated, Yam is 725 overestimated. Journeys without the GPS on my bike may account for some of the difference ; plus the speedos aren’t calibrated.
= It’s 6756 miles back to Sheffield, as the crow flies.
= We’ve been away for 139 days, and we’re in our 16th country.
= We’ll not be working out the cost of fuel that it’s taken to get this far – I don’t think our hearts could take the shock! Ignorance is bliss I think in this case.


Posted by Sheila Oldfield at July 17, 2010 12:17 PM GMT

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