Monday 20 October 2008
Sorry about the long lag between posts - we were out of internet range ever since Makassar, apart from the Borneo post which Cheryl in Darwin put up for me via sailmail. Some places in the world really ARE out of the reach of the internet. And that's a comforting thought!
Our last evening here. Yesterday we managed to get out to the famous Singapore Zoo which surpassed its reputation and then some. What a wonderful place! Even if you don’t particularly like zoos it would be hard not to be impressed by this one. The gardens alone are magnificent, and the inmates are mostly housed in large open enclosures that seem to replicate natural environments pretty well. And they weren’t all locked up. We were amazed to see little monkeys scampering up trees right beside us along the paths, obviously free-ranging locals. I guess it’s a bit like seeing native birds flying around the zoos at home. But monkeys are so much more exotic! I was really pulled up short by the sight of several orangutans hanging out of trees over our heads though, right above a main walking path. Then I saw the defensive wires around the trees that kept them above our heads and not down on the ground beside us. Cute little monkeys chattering at you from a few feet away is one thing. A 200 kg orangutan dropping on your head to say g’day would be quite another… Come to think of it, orangutan droppings on your head wouldn’t be so cool either.
Collected the visas for Thailand from the Embassy today, did a lightening raid on the shops for groceries at Vivo City, and then Lex and I met our lovely friend Julia Christensen at a great little jazz club in Bali Lane, near Bugis Street in the Arab Quarter. Julia was returning to Darwin after visiting her family in the UK, and we arranged to meet when she passed through Singapore. Great to see someone from home, and to have someone to tell all our stories to!
We leave tomorrow morning, 21 October, for Langkawi, which should take about 5 days, stopping each night at islands along the way. Once there, the boat gets hauled out for some long planned work, especially examination of the rudder to make sure it really is okay after its rocky encounter in Ambon harbour. Malaika also needs anti-fouling and the hull repainting, so she'll be out of the water for at least a fortnight and probably longer. Good time for Ali and Jo to go home for a visit so we will head off to Melbourne about the 4th of November, and then up to Darwin for a few weeks.