Star dome…

Oh dear, naughty naughty! 20th November was the last post from us.

Tonight we are camping on a farm, under an immense night sky, in the Margaret River region of Western Australia… I guess that says it all! We drove in to Singapore, handed over the car to the shipping agent and then waited for what seemed like an age to get it back again!

On reflection to Singapore, it seems there is this belief that it’s impossible to take your car there and if you do it’s crazy expensive… none of this is true, although the temporary insurance is expensive the entire process is really quite straight forward and there’s just a $50 fee for the permit and paperwork. Really not bad at all! When you’ve come that far, who wants to gripe over $50 and some costly insurance (obviously subject to individual vehicle and personal circumstances). The rules are strictly adhered to though and campervans or vehicles with (obvious) internal sleeping arrangements are not allowed but on the day of the border crossing at Woodlands no one really looked that much at the vehicle, just the paperwork.

The entry process in to Australia was tiresome and all rather half-assed but that’s how it is here and you just wait your turn. We gave our car a DIY jetwash and a vacuum in Malaysia 2/3 days before shipping and only two things had to be cleaned for the quarantine guys at this end… our dusty max trax and a pair of old shoes we had forgotten to throw in the bin when we packed the car in Singapore. There was accumulated dust and dirt and grime all over the place and it didn’t seem to be an issue. Another potential myth busted! We didn’t have any asbestos concerns raised either but we had done our research in advance and had written confirmation from Land Rover that the cars and parts were asbestos free many years before our car was built.

So, on to more interesting topics… Mr. Frank Furter, our beloved Dachshund, is now with us and learning to travel overland! This has been a really big deal, after so many months of being miserable without him we took the plunge and flew him to Perth so he could do the last stretch with us. He’s not so sure about it just yet but if we lay on the luxurious cushions and blankets then he seems to manage. Such a diva.

While we waited for the car to make an appearance we spent time in Auckland, Melbourne and Perth, had time apart and time together that wasn’t overlanding. It’s been a rough ride this one and a long break was really what we needed, lots of sleep and time to think about other things, be with Frank, be “normal”… it was invaluable and now that we have set off again in a new environment and a new culture it is all rather invigorating. We met some lovely people over Christmas and tonight we have settled in to a campsite on a beautiful farm. The night sky takes your breath away and it’s all very peaceful. The coastline is stunning and we have so much to see and do over the next few days including a dog friendly wine tour which we are really excited about!

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy New Year!

J&R

Singapore at the window…

Blimey! Three weeks since the last post from us, I do apologise!

We have covered a fair amount of mileage in that time but not so much that we couldn’t slow down a bit and take time to do some pretty great stuff in Thailand and (west) Malaysia.

After the north of Thailand, Bangkok and Pattaya, where we left you last, we headed towards the coasts of the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea… the first seaside we had had on this route with the truck and we are water babies at heart so it was a refreshing change. We camped with the sound of the waves and the swishing of palms. We spent a night on a liveaboard at the Similan Islands and enjoyed two days of beautiful diving amongst humongous boulders and lovely corals. We have hiked in to jaw dropping caves and floated around in the ocean next to a Siam Junk (aka sailboat). It’s been fantastic but also rainy and we haven’t been able to trust the weather enough to camp as much as we would like to. I should confess we even had an accidentally massive night out and only knew what we did after finding the photos on my phone the next day. We slept in the car park we had driven the car to with the intention of a quick meal and an early night sleeping at the beach. Ha! Fitbit told me the next day we went to bed at 5am but we don’t know what we did past 11pm the night before. The restaurant owner bought us tequila shots… I blame him.

We have also faced facts in the last week or so… we are jaded and a bit over it and more than ready to get the car and ourselves to Australia for the next chapter and a new environment. This is why we are holed up on the Singapore border, on the 29th floor of a building overlooking the expanse of water we have not yet been able to drive across. Today we went on foot to Singapore and collected the permit that allows us to drive the truck there…. our faithful carriage is booked to sail the high seas this Sunday !! Tomorrow we will join the queue of vehicles on the causeway and wait our turn to drive the last 20ish km’s of Asia. There are many routes to take through Europe, Central Asia and Asia and you can’t pick them all but come tomorrow we will have driven ourselves from London to Singapore, yippee! It was 1955 when the first ever cars set off from London to reach Singapore… and they were Land Rovers [insert smug face here].

So chaps, just a short post today. We have some more detailed information we can add on Singapore for other overlanders but will do so after we have crossed this last land border.

Oh yeah, also, there are Christmas decorations everywhere in Malaysia and Singapore. It has come as a bit of a shock, I feel quite weird about it actually! It’s roasting hot, dripping with humidity plus I can’t believe we have been travelling that long already… crazy.

x J&R