Thursday, March 09, 2006

Day 273 - Sydney - Wellington, New Zealand

Day 273 – 8th March 2006 +13:00 GMT Total Miles 59473

Arrived at Sydney Airport and had to follow the transit signs, go through security and make my way to the gate for my next flight. I had just under 3 hours and since it was quiet I curled up on some seats and tried to get some sleep. I must of slept for about 45 minutes before the gate got busy with people chattering. I had a quick walk around and then just before 9:00am we boarded. The flight was just over 3 hours and I Landed in Wellington, New Zealand around 2:15pm local time. I queued and immigration with all my paperwork which I had spent so long organising, and when we got to the counter they just stamped out passport with a Blue Stamp saying Permit to Work, they asked for no paperwork, no proof of savings, no medical certificates etc. Well that was easy so I waited for my bags which arrived very quickly and then into a shuttle bus to the hostel. I arrived at the hostel around 3:30pm and Vanessa an old work colleague from England had given me the door code so I let myself in and collapsed in the living room chatting with a few people staying there until the couple running the place arrived at 5pm. They checked Jill and I in and we unpacked, the room is fairly small, but has a double bed, a wardrobe and chest of draws, we also have a small sink. Vanessa got back from work about 5:45pm and we said a big hello and then we walked into the city for some food. When I say city it seems more like a large town, as the population is under 400,000. We ended up eating in a pub on the outside balcony, which was nice, the sun had been shining all afternoon and it was a lovely evening. We headed back to the hostel after we had eaten and promptly fell asleep.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Day 272 - Singapore - Sydney, Australia

Day 272 – 7th March 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 57560

Had a long lie in as I had arranged a late check out from the hotel. I had run out of cash so crossed the road to use the ATM which told me I could not have any cash, this was worrying as I had no money and needed to pay for a taxi to the airport. I eventually found out there was another cash point in the shopping mall 10 minutes down the road and this one worked so I was quite relieved. When I got back to the hotel room I packed everything up and checked out of the hotel.

Leaving The Hotel - The Hotel Lobby

The Taxi took about 30 minutes to the airport and I was able to check in straight away. I took a look around the airport and then got some food, then found a quiet seat and read my book.

Me with a Beer at Changi Airport in Singapore

The plane loaded up at around 7:30pm and we were in the air just after 8:30pm. I watched a couple of films, “The Family Stone” and “Wallace and Gromit – Curse Of the Ware-Rabbit” then tried to sleep, unfortunately I did not get any sleep. We landed in Sydney, Australia 7 hours and 30 minutes later at around 6:20am local time.

Our PLane

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Day 271 - Sentosa Island, Singapore

Day 271 – 6th March 2006 +8:00 GMT Total Miles 53520

Jill got up very early and watched the Oscars, but I stayed in bed for most of the morning catching up on my beauty sleep. We then decided to visit Sentosa, which is an island to the south of Singapore. So we walked to Outram Park and caught the underground down to the harbour front and after walking through several malls we found our way to the cable cars that take your across the water and onto Sentosa.

Cable Car from Singapore Mainland

View of the Channel

The island is full of greenery and has lots of attractions on it, from old forts, butterfly and insect farms to the latest cinematic shows. I started but just taking a walk around the island, I followed a nature trail which put me off by telling me the island has hundreds of different breeds of snakes and spiders.

View of Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island

Anyway the island has four bus routes on it and a monorail which are all free. So I caught a blue line bus to the Cinemania show. Jill decided she was too tired and went back to the hotel. So I saw the Cinemania show on my own. It was similar to a simulator ride but with one big cinema screen and each open simulator sat 4 people. It was a very bad copy of the back to the future ride at Universal Studios. I then walked through the fountain gardens and caught a yellow line bus to the beach area. The Beach here is golden sand and the water is so warm, so I had to take a quick dip in the south china sea. I then took a walk along the beach and over a 200 metre swing bridge which takes you onto a sand dune and they have couple of towers so you can look out over the sea. This spot is also the most southern point of continental Asia. The view is pretty much of anchored Cargo Ships, but hundreds of them as far as the eye can see. I then caught a red line bus back to the cable car area and had another walk around before getting the cable car back to the mainland. I made my way back to the hotel and then made my way straight to the swimming pool to cool down. We got some food from the hotel shop and spent the rest night reading and doing our washing.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Day 270 - Little India, Singapore

Day 270 – 5th March 2006 +8:00 GMT Total Miles 53514

Spent the morning in Little India exploring the various spice stalls, markets and small boutiques.

Little India

The area is amazing and so easy to get lost in their small world. People are sitting on the sits of the pavement eating dinners of rice with their fingers.

Streets of little India

Bikes in Little India

Once we had thoroughly explored the area we made our way through various sopping malls and past Raffles hotel to Marina Square. We sat down by the harbour and looked across at all the boats and barges going about their daily business. We walked around the harbour until we were at Merlion Park which has a huge lion squirting water out it’s mouth.

The Merlion

Me by the Merlion

You get a great view of the Theatre on the bay, which looks like a giant pineapple.

Me by the Harbour

The Theatre on the Bay

View of Theatre and City

We walked back along the Singapore river until we reached Boat Quay and here we sat down for a meal and a beer. Food was great and they even had baked beans, just what an British person misses.

Bird Statue by Boat Queue

Our hotel in the middle

We then walked back to the hotel and watched the film Narnia, which was quite poor once you have read the book, the film seemed to try to hard to be an epic like lord of the rings as opposed to actually following the book. The Series that was on television several years ago was much better. In the evening well at midnight they had the Tottenham vs Blackburn game live on TV so sat in bed and watched the game which was fantastic with Spurs winning 3-2.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Day 269 - Singapore - Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Day 269 – 4th March 2006 +8:00 GMT Total Miles 53508

Today I thought I’d go to Malaysia. So walked down to Outram Park station and caught a train on the East West line to Bugis. Here I walked to Queen Street bus station, a bus was waiting so I paid the $2.40 (86p) for a ticket and a couple of minutes later I was on my way to Malaysia. The bus stopped 20 minutes later at the border and we had to get off the bus and clear Singapore Immigration and then hop back on the bus while it drives the 300 yards over the causeway and then we had to get off again and clear customs into Malaysia. It was a painless process and 30 minutes after we had got on the bus we were in Malaysia. Here I made a mistake and got back on the bus as I thought it was taking us to the town centre but I was wrong and we ended up at Larkin Bus Station which was about 10 miles out of the town. So after a quick look around the market stalls at the bus station we caught a bus into Johor Bahru.

Me having a drink in Malaysia

The town from a distance looks a lot more run down than any of Singapore, they still have huge shopping malls selling all the latest fashions and hi-tech equipment.

Johur Bahru, Malaysia

Malaysia seems cheaper than Singapore, most things seem like half the price. We took a walk through the town and looked at a temple.

A Malaysian Temple

A Palace

I then walked over to the water and looked across the water at Singapore.

View of Singapore from Malaysia

We walked through another mall which was holding a fencing competition so sat around and watched for a while.

The Fancing Competition

Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Johor Bahru, Malaysia

After a couple of hours of shopping we decided to head back to Singapore. The bus fare back is half the price as it is in Malaysia Ringgit’s.

A Couple Of Motorbikes Parked at the Border

We got back into Queen Street station at around 5pm and we then walked around Bugis market which is the biggest market in Singapore.

Bugis Market

Chimes Mall

When then made our way back to Boat Quay on the Singapore river and found an Indian restaurant where we sat outside and had some food and a jug of beer.

Boat Quay

View of Parliment Buildings from Boat Quay

After we had eaten we caught a boat back along the Singapore river to our hotel.

Our Boat along the Singapore River

Me on the boat

The Setting Sun over Singapore
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