The tiny state of Singapore is a great place to chill out and relax for a while. Oh, and shop til you drop, of course. We've both been here before, but there's still plenty of things we haven't seen before, and we've only got a couple of days. So much for chilling!
14/04/05 Thursday (Rita writes)
We arrived at changi airport - what a fine place - and caught the mrt-mass rapid transit- to the city centre-where. we debagged bikes (Paul...but not in the biblical sense) and set off for our chosen guest house-Mackenzie, which surprisingly is not only situated adjacent to a well stocked wine shop but also in easy walking dist from sim lim computer centre and Little india quarter-curry tonight -hooray.
Our chinese run(DESPITE ITS NAME) guest house is clean,basic and on the fourth floor-uggh-theres the rub when travelling with bikes. Heat here is unbelievable too.
On our wayout ofcourse we had to drop by the aircon wine shop to check out the merchandise, I chose a chilean merlot, we drank some and left bottle to return to later, what a wonderful idea, my kinda shop.
We picked up cycles and went off round town intending to find shopping mall but first came across a bike repair place and gave my bike 2 new tyres to replce repaired one and new rear light and all singing and dancing new pump as ours has become faulty with overuse- since we have to deflate for flying -good place-great assistant whipped on the new tyres for a couple of dollars. Saved us all that sweating!!
Off we then trot to little india area and visit the recommended aircon aryana retaurant. For a change we both decided on their house speciality a vegetable thali and we were not disappointed. It was superbly authentic, as was the dĂ©cor and aroma of the place-I have to say in case you need this info- is usual indian high standard!!!!!!!! Thali consisted of about a dozen small portions of currys, dips and sauces along with roti and rice served on banana leaf within thali tray.
We returned home f.u.f.t.b. as my mother used to say.
I startd early using one of two pcs at our guest house updating web site and being hassled by a couple of japanese "when do you think you will finish? "
We both have projects 4 today and disappear in different directions to meet up at lunchtime
I got myself into a fine shopping centre an
did a few street vendors, a chinese temple and a souith indian temple all in the vicinity of the guest house-we decided to walk today.
We met up at lunch time to assess purchases and Paul had excellled ofcourse in the ipod area, plus case, and rechargale batteries and was grinning with pleasure when I made it to agreed venue an authentic chinese,and here I am talking chickens feet and pigs trotters-lovely then! Needless to say we drank only.
I know our life seems to consist of sleep eat drink cycle drink eat travel pack unpack tour drink cycle sleep and yes its tough, not to even mention the occasional laundry but with so few clothes even this is sometimes a less than weekly occurrence!
Despite singapore being an amazing shoppers paradise I could not find cheap cycle shorts. Anyone can pay through the nose but if we r going to blow our budget we tend to do it on the necessities of life.....
At lunch we had the daily downpour and were quite refreshed for 2 minutes.
We made off to the street market by ogs superstore and to the internet cafĂ©. We ate a snack lunch in a modern buffet style chinese place -stir fry rice and veg and Paul had chicken with spicy red chillli sauce and a cashew veggie stir fry. I found a screen print shop
called touch and print, they also have branch in Dunstable, and I had a couple of cheap t shirts made up with ouir web address. Aftrwars we made our wy back to little india and found a Dosa centre and had a masala dosa each for supper, then returned to finish our wine at the guest house wine shop b4 crashing out.
We cycled through the city centre stopping at Raffles for a singapore sling only to find they were not open, then on to the beach area of singapore, Sentosa island about ten miles in all. We planned to visit the fmous aquarium and fit in the dolphinarium and carlsberg tower while there.
the aquarium is exceptional, but it is great to know that you can see many of these fabulous fish for the price of a snorkel set.
The crlsberg tower looked great fom the bar at the bottom where we enjoyed chicken satay sticks and a pitcher of Tiger.
Paul spotted a marvellous lizard in pursuit on a tree trunk and got the pic. We were also plagued by peacocks eating peanuts from my hand- my fault shouldnâ™t have started!
But we never made it up the tower maybe one of you can tell us about the view sometime-we dont do queueing. We dropped in at the dolphinarium and wished we hadnâ™t as they were pink and looked ill- but we only went cause we had free tickets.
We cycled over the bridge and along keppel road to a korean store-(so many diferent nationalities in amazing singapore-one visit never enough) where there was a food festival on for the month. we Trekked up to the 5th floor to finds it was a dried food festival, comprising such delicacies as deer horn and birds nest soup, 57 varieties of edible mushroom, ginger ginseng and garlic!
c'est la vie.
We cycled on to a north indian restaurant on river walk behind parliament buildings where the local digntaries dine to be seen and ate a red hot hot vindaloo chicken - arenâ™t you envious?
Then we have a quick sprint back to the guest house to collect panniers and clear of to the tram(mtr) to Changi airport again for 22.15 flight to Darwin. (but then who's counting airports!!?!!). That was a tough stretch. We were 3 pints down on weight when we arrived at the airport - it is 32 degrees her today.
Flying Quantas is a pleasure and the award winning in flight entertainment is great - neither of us slept before arriving in Darwin airport at 3.15am. I watched the aviator and Paul watched Closer. Quantas also served us with mix mushroom appetiserr, Ravioli and chocolate mousse with cherry brandy sauce - yummm .
But Quantas immigration security pulled Paul in customs!!! Seems there is a dodgy paul collins running around - not the one we know and love. But they soon realised error of their ways and let us in.