We arrived in Singapore yesterday early afternoon and were greeted by some people from Mars and by the Logistics company who are organising getting our cars out of Singapore.
I met some ex work colleagues - William Duncan and Geoff Elliott, but sadly they were off to Japan that evening so we could not meet up later this week. We all three started on the graduate training programme in the UK in 1977. There was then a photo call for the cars and ballons were attached to them for us to drive around the block. Unfortunately it was teeming with rain. Apparently it was featured on the TV news that evening, but we were all off cleaning cars:-
In an attempt to get ahead of schedule, the shipping agent had arranged for us to clean our cars at 6 p.m. yesterday. We all drove off to a place that specialises in car claening for transportation, but most of the other cars there were brand new Volvos and Bentleys under plastic sheets. Australian immigration are apparently very strict about the clenliness of cars entering and so we set to with the cleaning team. Although we have tried to keep the car clean , we have a superb collection of mud, dust and flying insects from Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and China to name but a few.
I started by removing the sump guard. It is very solid and heavy and held on with the sort of bolts that real men use. It has earnt its keep and shows some impressive scars. Once up on the ramp they set to with soap and oil spray and then pressure hoses. I took the wheels off to clean them separately but despite huge effort then and again this morning for hours with every sort of brush and pad available they are still stained around the spokes. If the Ozzies don't like it they can find me someone who can get it off!
Next the car went to have the engine and engine bay cleaned. Meanwhile Charlotte was cleaning up all the things that live in the car and had been removed. Then off to the dry area to follow up with wiping and to clean the inside. We stopped just after 11 p.m. and got a taxi back to the hotel.
Today more cleaning. The finally onto a transporter and off to the port where I drove the car into a container. Wooden blocks were nailed to the floor in front and behind the wheels and the car was sten tied down with ropes, tightened by turing a piece of wood which was in turn nailed to the floor. A large lift then picked up the container, ran off with it and hoisted it up in the air to put down on the top of some others.
Car free until 30 October now. Whatever will we do?
We will now be have a few days off in Singapore then going on a holiday to Phuket. Normal weblog service will resume in Darwin. Please continue to use this to send us messages, though.
Best regards to you all from this important staging post on our trip,
Robin and Charlotte.