Another blog so soon I know but it's nearly 1am here and I'm wide awake so I thought I'd upload a few more pics and bore you some more with my travel tales...
I'm not strictly in Singapore yet but in Johor Bahru which is 15 miles away, Singapore can be seen across the water but we've stopped here for 2 nights to clean the truck...I'll explain later. So we left the KL after an entertaining weekend I could have done with a few more days and it's certainly on the 'to return to list' which is ever growing at the moment!
My first day in KL was spent writing my first blog and posting boxes home but I shouldn't complain as they're my only chores at the mo and as you say (Mel) as taxing as it is the blog is well worth the entertainment for you guys at home ( I hope!)...so after a Petrona skybridge visit in the morning and a busy day at the office in the afternoon we had the Saturday night out in KL. It was fab. We went out as a group intitially which is often a chore in itself as no one ever wants to do the same and we're not all into the rugby!! (not when I'm in a new city anyway!) We had a leaving do for Rich and Sarah as they have now left the truck to do Oz by themselves (bit of a waste of money but they obviously have too much!!), Maria was 22 and Jo was 40 something so it was a bit of a mix of a night out... The group soon split up leaving the majority to go off to a sports bar and the rest of us meet up with a new friend I met in Langkawi called Hector. It was good to meet up with him again in his hometown although my memories of the night are a little faded now. Hector took us to a couple of bars before we proceeded to go to the 'Beach Club' which had more 'lady boys/prostitutes' in it than bar stools! A bit surprising to some of you I'm sure but having spent the last two months in S.E Asia it was no surprise to us! The music was extremely western and the Malaysians were so friendly we didn't feel atall out of place!
The next day was spent sightseeing thanks to a few recommendations from TJ and Mel at home we caught the 50 second lift to the top of the KL tower, watched the sun sort of setting and the lights in the city come on..amazing very NYC! In the evening we stumbled upon Petaling street (top tip TJ) much like Khao San rd in Bangkok lots of pirate material and great street foods. We were then persuaded to go into a Reggae bar for cheap drinks by a tout and bumped into more people we had seen in Langkawi the week before. A couple of hours later we were back in the Beach club. After 2 hours sleep we left KL at 7am to head for Johor Bahru....thankfullya short drive!
Kuala Lumpur was short but very very sweet.
So here I am in Johor Bahru a stones throw from Singapore and I have blisters on my hand from the infamous truck clean. Basically the truck gets shipped to Australia at the weekend and will only be allowed into the country if it's spotless, apparently they are very strict and if a seat gets hit and dust floats out the truck will fail and be refused entry. I have blisters following repeatedly hitting the seats (which come out) with my walking pole from Everest in the 35 degree heat! The highlight of my day was going onto the truck and cleaning the chair frames (34) with toothbrushes (I got through about 10!) Naturally bystanders were a little curious and thought for some very strange reason we were entrants on the programme 'Survivor'?! But it was a great team effort (from some!) and after 7 hrs of the most thorough scrubbing I have ever done the truck is clean and will hopefully be allowed entry so we can complete our final leg in Oz. The only items allowed on our own tents which also had to be spotless, mine was cleaned in the Andaman sea whilst in Langkawi (one step ahead you see!)
So I'll be entering Singapore looking like a packhorse tomorrow as we've had the luxury for the last 6 months of storing our kit on the truck when not in use. On Thurday Will, John and I fly out to the Philippines for 2 weeks and then fly onto Darwin to meet the truck for a beach barbecue/reunion on the 14th of October. If anyone has any tips on the Philippines let me know as we're still undecided as to where to stay, we fly into Manila and have no further plans other than see volcanoes and white beaches!
We eave a night in Singapore tomorrow and for those of us that are left and haven't flown off yet we're treating ourelves to a trip to Raffles to indulge in the infamous Singapore Sling cocktail, we'll then be leaving as our budgets will not stretch to much more!
Johor Bahru has been a bit of a stopover for the clean but it's certainly got a nice feel to it, as always the Malaysians have been really welcoming and want to know so much about our journey across the globe. Dvd's are rife we went to the cinema last night the first time in over 6 months for me and watched Whisper. Having been out of the western media for so long we haven't a clue what people are watching or listening to but we were told it's a new film, on the way into the cinema the same film was bering sold on the street for 80p..the cinema cost a pound. Asia certainly has it's finger on the pulse...Viagra is also sold on street corners as open as street food is, they're not shy here!
Right I'm off to bed as it's nearly 2am and I have to pack and depart from yet another fine (it's so not) hotel for our short trip to Singapore tomorrow. I've added a few more photos to the Malaysia album but they're from my phone so megapixels/quality isn't what I'm used to. I'm planning to leave my camera in Singapore to be fixed. Fingers crossed.
Keep in touch, missing you all.