Getting off the plane in Singapore we joined an extremely long and as it turned out very slow queue for passport control. Next up was baggage reclaim, surprise surprise, ours were the only bags left…..but at least the bikes were there and thankfully still in one piece. Then the fun really started, to get the airport transfer to our hotel we now needed to get a shuttle from one terminal to another. First problem, finding a lift to get upstairs to the shuttle, now to get two trolleys, two bikes and two huge bags into the shuttle. That accomplished we now needed to find a lift to go down again to arrivals before a long walk to the transfer desk !
We made it, but wait….your late said the lady, you were supposed to be here an hour ago, you said on the form that your plane arrived at 3.15pm and its now 4.45pm, you’ll have to wait an hour and a half !! We argued that the question was answered correctly but therefore the question was wrong, what they should have asked was “what time will you be able to be at our desk after arrival”. Even then I suppose it would have been a long-shot to get that right but we’d have been nearer the mark. Still they accepted our argument and to apologise they didn’t charge for the bikes, we still had to wait though. We settled in for a long wait at “Toast Box”, oh how the they love there toast out here. After about 40 mins though they came and collected us, they’d found transport and soon enough we were at our hotel. The Concorde Hotel on Orchard Road to be precise, the staff never batted an eyelid and took care of our bikes, delivered our luggage to our room and answered all our questions regarding food, water, directions and taxis !
We took a short walk looking for food, ended up with a curry and a beer, not to shabby either although it was a bit pricey. Next morning we took a taxi to the Flyer, Singapore’s answer to the London eye. We were booked on a city tour which picks up at the Flyer. Three hours on an air conditioned coach, visiting, Little India, China Town, The Botanical Gardens plus stops to take photos of the waterfront and Merlion, oh and some dodgy gemstone workshop. They always try to sell you something !!
A pretty good tour considering it was complimentary, we got dropped back at the Flyer then walked to the Skypark building, three towers with a huge park and observation deck across the top of the towers, incredible !! The views were amazing, bloody should be though when you consider how much they charge to go up.
Taxi back to the hotel to put bikes together then freshen up before dinner. We’d decided to treat ourselves, we were eating in the hotel, a rather expensive buffet including, lobster, crab, sashimi, sushi, fillet steak, roast turkey, salads, deserts, cheese board and numerous other tantalising delicacies….we tried everything and I do mean everything. We got our money’s worth and washed it all down with a good bottle of red wine before retiring to bed content and excited about our first days cycle.
Up fairly early, breakfasted, bikes loaded with our kit and we were just about to leave when the general manager asked if we’d take part in a photo call outside, who were we to argue ? Leo the general manager was very excited to have us stay at his hotel and wished us safe travels, bless, what a nice guy. Apparently the hotel publishes a monthly newsletter and we’ll be in it, he said he’ll send us a copy.
Then we were off, 10.00am on a very wet Wednesday, it just rained all day….never stopped but at least it was warm. Riding out of Singapore, you notice how clean and tidy everything is and how well marked all the roads are. It certainly made navigating our way north to the causeway at Woodlands and Into Malaysia fairly easy. We made one brief stop on route to fix a small problem on my bike, 5 mins work and no parts meant a bill for 35 Singapore dollars…ripped of !!
Emigration from Singapore and immigration into Malaysia were simple and took no time to do and soon we were on the route 1 heading north and looking for the route 5 signposted Pontian but the rest is another story.
Take care, keep reading