Darwin And Malaysia

Trip Start Apr 17, 2010
Trip End Apr 30, 2010

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Flag of Malaysia  , Pulau Pinang,
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not sure if you've heard over the news, but we're staying in Penang, Malaysia, not the UAE. The media said that we were refused entry, but this isn't right. The paper work for entering UAE airspace hadn't gone through, and if we didn't get it by a certain time, the flight crew would heave been up too long to fly safely, so the call was made to stay here. Not sure why there was a muck up with paper work, some of the airforce guys think it might have been due to heaps of flight changes and diversions because of the ash cloud.

Itinerary has changed a bit from here. We're going to stop at Sharjah tomorrow to refuel, then continue to Istanbul (we'll still have a night in the UAE on the way back), then and eight hour bus trip to Cannakale. Long day's travel tomorrow, but that'll be it for a few days.

Anyway, last night we stopped off at Darwin, and stayed in 'Tin City', part of the barracks on the airforce base there. Tin City is basically a bunch of prefabs made into a makeshift barracks when the number of NZ and Aussie troops going to Timor increased. We were two to a room there, which thankfully had air con. Because it's a military base, we couldn't take any photos at Darwin.

This morning in Darwin, at 5.30, the fire alarm went off, so not a great night's sleep. We all thought it was a wakeup call, but it turned out one of the guys left the door to his room open too long, and the heat change in the room set it off. So, another nice early start to the day, followed by a five hour flight. On the plus side, when we arrived, we were given our meal allowance (the NZ$240 was just an overseas deployment allowance for emergencies). Anyway, the real meal allowance is US$685!!!!!!

Malaysia, where Grandad served, is real hot. Hoped off the plane, and everyone was sweating in about five minutes. It's an amazing place, covered in forests. Also goes real quickly from slums to residential and rich buildings, often they're pretty mingled together. The hotel they booked us into at the last minute is a five star (same as the one for the return leg), with pools and games rooms, free internet and all sorts. Dinner was at the food market just down from the hotel. All sorts of interesting cusine there. Had crab spring rolls, prawn fritters and chicken kebabs (semi cooked). Interesting to see how many are crook tomorrow. After that, we went down to the night markets. Pretty interesting place, where they all try to sell you "genuine fake Rolexes", as one of them put it, and that king of thing. We're all keen to go back on the return leg and stock up on heaps of genuine fakes.

Leaving tomorrow at about eight I think, and spending the better half of the day travelling. Can't wait to finally get there, hopefully without any more delays.
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Shirley-Anne and Peter Morrow on

You are having adventures Conor - we too are having travel delays - we can't get to France except by 32 hours overland from Dublin to Bordeaux. I hope you get to Galipoli by ANZAC Day! Keep enjoying yourself.

Anna on

Yahoo - and so the adventure begins! Nice work Conor, keep it up buddy. Don't spend the meal allowance all in one sitting.

Kevin O'Neill on

Thanks for the update conor..be careful what you eat

? on

Roti Babi - Hope you got a thigh cos there isn't a lot of meat anywhere else on a babi!

The Kells Family on

Loving hearing about your trip Conor. The hotel looks pretty impressive, sounds like your making the most of trying out the local cuisine. Hope today trip goes well looking forward tot he next update.

N Mitchell on

Great to follow your journey like this Conor. Nice hearing about Malaysia too. I lived there for a while. I remember the food. Especially good in Penang. Nice also to hear they still have a few forests left.

Liz on

It is turning out to be a real adventure. What a fantastic experience. Make the most of the flash hotels. Looking forward to the next update! Take care of yourself.

Jeremy Dykes on

Hi Conor, Sounds like you are having a lot of fun, but what is this HEAPS thing? Is that like a pile. I hope your not getting any HEAPS.

Erica Everson on

Hi Conor I am a work colleague and friend of your Aunty Jo who is an awsome young lady. She is sooo proud of you and has shared with us your success and journey. You are an amazing young man, must take after your Aunty Jo. While reading your World War One Diary and your blogs I cannot believe you are only 17, they have truly touched my heart. Am looking forward to following your journey.

emilymichael on

Hope you had a good trip. I visited Malaysia last year and stayed at Penang hotels. It was love at first sight.

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