Singapore Slings

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February 18th 2009
Published: June 13th 2017
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Geo: 3.04306, 101.441

Friday 13/02/09 Singapore Temps air 33°C Sea 29°C

Once again because of our size we couldn't berth at the cruise terminal which was a real shame as it's right on the harbour front and so easy to just nip into town, with easy links to the MRT underground and bus links as well as some great shopping, although it's no where near as cheap as it used to be. We berthed at one of the largest container ports in southern Asia which meant a 20 minute shuttle bus ride to the harbour front, so it was only a minor inconvenience. We had planned to visit a little known rainforest which is approx. 8mls outside Singapore it's not high on most visitors' lists of places to visit, but we thought it'd be interesting. The information we had suggested that there were different planned trails through the forest with the longest taking approx. 2hrs so it sounded ideal.

Having arrived at the visitors centre already bathed in sweat, I was beginning to rethink whether this was good idea or not, anyway we'd managed to find the place ( like it's a forest, can you imagine coming home and saying you couldn't find the rain forest, yeah right.). So armed with camera's, water bottles, and all the other paraphernalia off we set. The first ½ hr was all up hill approx. 1 in 3 gradient we hadn't actually gone very far as most of the time was spent watching troops of monkeys so we'd stop every 5 minutes or so anyway as I was already lathered ( Singaporeans don't approve of removing your shirt, even if it's soaking wet and stuck to your back?) and that's how the morning went on with ages spent watching monitor lizards, monkeys, beautiful birds ( feathered ones, don't worry the local birds ladies don't engage in anything which may present themselves in anything less than perfect poise)

The planned 2 hour walk took us just over 4 hrs and despite a lot of discomfort at times it was a fantastic walk. We arrived back at the visitors centre and discovered a drinking fountain in a shaded area, which was great as by this time we'd run out of water, so off I trotted to drink my fill and was literally shocked and amazed to discover that the water was freezing cold, can you believe that a chilled water, not cool, but chilled water dispenser standing outside in the open, in an ambient temperature of 34°C it was so, so welcome, only Becks at the same temperature would have been an improvement.

Saturday 14/02/09 Singapore Temps Air 30°C Sea 29°C

After a relatively early start we made off to visit the Chinese & Japanese gardens on the outskirts of the city, the guide says to allow 1 hr for each. The Chinese gardens were a real oasis and we thoroughly enjoyed our time walking around the gardens with their statues of famous people, Pagodas and small lakes. In the garden of abundance there were statues of the Chinese figures of all of the depicted years, unbelievably both Linda and I where born in the year of the dragon, yup I know you can't believe, it and neither could I.
We stumbled across a Turtle sanctuary which is listed in the Guinness book of records as having the largest collect of rare and different breeds of turtles and the like, as well as thousands of turtle related paraphernalia such as models, carvings, and jewellery. So we spent ½ hr or so in there before recommencing our walk intending to go across to the Japanese gardens opposite, when we stumbled across a turtle/ large Terrapin digging a hole in the lawn, so we knelt down to watch, and were rewarded with the sight of her laying a clutch of eggs no fewer that 4 feet in front of us, after 20 mins or so she finished and covered up the site with earth and off we all went, us to the Japanese gdns and her to goodness knows where, probably the lake as it's cooler there.

Time spent in the Chinese gardens 3 ¼ hrs, we just can't help stopping to taking everything in, we've never been ones to rush around, you always see so much more by being quite and taking your time, anyway that's my excuse for the poor time management!

After the Chinese gdns the Japanese one was a real disappointment, it was pleasant and tranquil enough with the expected bonsai trees, beautiful shrubs, and a waterfall flowing into one of many streams which were filled with Koi carp, and dotted with the iconic bridges which make the Japanese gdns what they are. But overall it was a somewhat limited and poor example of what we'd come to expect. With time now marching on, we'd spent 1 ¼ there, we made for the underground for the journey back to the bustling city just 25 mins away.

After an hour wandering around the shopping malls, and having managed to purchase some photography equipment at a decent price we made our way back to the shuttle bus to take us back home to the ship, strange as it seems we now refer to the ship as home.

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