Sydney - Brisbane - Singapore
Trip Start Dec 29, 2005
13Trip End Apr 28, 2006
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My last couple of nights in Sydney were great, with a night out on St. Patricks day with Dana, my wee Scottish pal from Livingston, and after, I went on to Ark to see what was going on, and ended up with a pull, and got lucky. The details of that are not for publication, so will leave it to your imagination.
The last night I had intended to make an early one, but my friends were not for that really, and we headed of to a bar in Bondi where Maryon's cousin was playing sax, with a band
Anyway, while that was going on I was getting texts from Anita, from the previous night, wanting to see me before I left
I only had 12 hours in Brisbane between flights, and expected to leave my luggage in the airport, and go for an explore through the city. Alas, after the terrorist attacks of recent times, there is no Left Luggage in airport, at least not in Australia. So, I had to go and book in to a back packers in Brisbane, The Bunk, because I simply could not carry it all day, and I really needed a sleep. The Buk\nk only cost $18, so not the end of the world, and it allowed me to have a wander round China town, which was pretty good. Being a Sunday afternoon, there was a band playing in the local cafe district, so I enjoyed that for a bit, then sloped of to bed for a couple of hours. I could not have stayed awake all day. I did not find the people in the bunk very friendly, and did not manage to get more than a nod from anyone, but it served a purpose.
I did get a good conversation going with a Canadian trucker at the airport, who gave me a run down on the trucking and cattle industry in Queensland
I landed in Singapore at 3.00am in the morning, so got a taxi to a guest house that I had been referred to, by one of my fellow travelers. The Mackenzie guest house was a bit of a dump and cost $35 per night, but it include breakfast, was clean, and the bed was the best I have had since I left Glasgow. I had little to go on about Singapore, and new only that it was expensive, compared to the ret of Asia, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The other guest at the guest house were pretty dull and hard to get conversation from, with the exception of the American, who did not give pause to his chatter about how he had travelled for the last year and a half, and that everything was a let down after New Zealand. I chose not to listen to him for long, although I did have an urge to let him know that for some the Australian experience was great, and I knew many who have loved it. I saw little point, he knew best.
I did a lot of walking round the city, and was stopped, and had conversation with, a number of people. I had a few beers with David from Norway, a Mason, and scuba diver, which was a good laugh
I also had an afternoon out on a boat to visit the islands. It was what I would think was a traditional looking Chinese boat, which I had spotted the previous day while walking round the city. At the time I thought that if I was going to see the islands it might as well be on a big funny looking boat, so I got the times and planned to return on time fro the afternoon trip
Singapore is a beautiful city though, and it is very clean, there are probably too many places to eat, everywhere
Since I had found it very easy to get lost to the point where I had no idea what direction I pionted, I left very early to catch the sleeper, well to find the station, to catch the overnight sleeper to Kuala Lumpar. I had left my luggage at the station earlier, so I had plenty of time walk from the harbour, after my boat trip, and to get something to eat, and to do some more sight seeing before dark. After a walk where I found lots of beautiful places, some lovely quaint streets in China town, and a couple of lovely temples, and something to eat, I left 11/2 hours to get to what I thought was ten minutes away. I also had to allow the half hour for customs check before boarding. It took me about an hour, asking for directions several times, including once with a policeman, when I luaghed when he tod me it was in that direction. I had to say "there's no way it's up that way, I've just come from there, and I've been all round about it", but he was right. Thankfully.
I got to the station with a bit of time to play with, so asked if they had a shower, and to my astonishment, he said yes. He then took a small amount of money from me and directs me to the shower. It was a length of rubber hose attached to a wall tap. Cold of course. The heat in Singapore was constant, even in the evening, so I was happy for that. I would at least feel clean and fresh for boarding aven if it was going to be too hot later. As it happened I was plesantly surprised by the train, it was very nice, and although I only had a low class ticket, the sleeping bunks were very clean and tidy. Knowing that the refreshments car wasn't open till ten, I got my head down, and surprisingly, fell fast asleep, only to be woken by the customs police insisting that I get of the train to go to customs. I immediately rubbed my eyes and said "and where's that then?", the man loved my sence of humour, and almost wet his pants. Okay, I made that bit up. The customs office was a ten minute walk, and back, at half one in the morning? Outrageous, how dare they. I looked good doing it though.