Having reached Carnavon we decided it would be a good time to register the car. We had to get an MOT equivalent done which the old beast passed with flying colours (not much safer than a car that doesnft start reliably). Then we had to pay the paltry 10 quid to insure it until July. Hardly worth while but itfll keep the coppers off our backs.
Afterwards, we blasted up to Coral bay. This litte collection of shops is based on a nice beach and close to the Ningaloo Reef which regularly attractes the worlds largest fish (stupidly named the Whale Shark of which it is neither). The lads spent the next two days futilely going on boat tours to see one of the beasties but to no avail. There were none. Are they as regular as the aussie tourist info claims. Undoubtably not and you canft get a refund for a no show either. They did see a large manta ray and the sad, dying state of Ningaloo reef though. Angry? I reckon so. The reef is apparently brown and dead with a paltry number of fish. The tour operators claim its because of El Nino heating the waters up. The literature Ifve read suggests its more likely to do with the massive soil erosion caused by Australiafs farming and irrigation practices which wash huge amounts of the already sparse topsoil into the water, thereby increasing its turbidity and killing the reef. But hey, its easier to blame the weather isnft it?
In short, Coral Bay was a failure so we blazed up to Karratha. It was just a petrol stop but we took a small detour to see some aboriginal rock carvings nearby. Well, wefre not sure if we actually saw them or not because all we saw were some vague scratchings in some rocks instead of the hundreds of distinct carvings the tourist literature told us to expect. Wefre fast coming to the conclusion that Australia will promote any crap as an amazing site. This is shown by the large number of brown signs on the roads that direct you to such exciting things as a former sheep shearing site a whole 100 years old (I jest not) and truly terrible monuments to events that are of such vanishingly small significance to anyone that I fail to remember a single one to use as an example of how rum they are. But trust me, they are rum - one was a metal fench section 60 cm long. Donft believe me? Herefs a sample - the stunning Beef Road monument: http://www.ipe.nt.gov.au/whatwedo/ntroads/restareas/victoria/duncanhwy.html
Many miles and hours behind the wheel later, we reached Port Hedland and motored on to Broome. This town also has an over-inflated reputation. The beach is lovely and there is a micro-brewery with some decent brews (first one Ifve found Tucks) but there isnft alot else. 99% of the tourist here are elderly couples out for a day at the seaside. On the plus side, we were starting to see groups of Aboriginal people in the shops and pubs and being treated like normal people instead of second class citizens. This situation improves the nearer you get to the Northern Territory and the further from South Western Australia.
By Sunday we had reached Derby, the gateway to the famous Kimberly region. A long drive done a dusty outback road brought us to Wingjara gorge. This is part of a former coral reef that existed 350 million years ago and now consists of towering limestone cliffs packed with fossils, that have been eroded into gorges by rivers now that the ocean has receeded. Its a visually stunning area and well deserves its reputation as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Walking along the gorge we saw quite a few crocodiles but they were freshwater beasts and therefore not dangerous unless provoked. Allegedly. We camped up here and got ready to tour more of the Kimberlys over the coming days.
The distributor took some setting up as it was an old second hand job but by Wednesday morning we had it running. It has to be tuned every morning though as the contact gap wanders while driving so its not a long-term solution but it will get us around to the east coast.
We hit the road and drove up north to Cervantes. It is just a small village which we didn’t spend much time in but nearby are the Pinnacles - a large field of strange limestone pillars that protude out of the desert near the coast. I wasn’t expecting much from this place but was pleasantly surprised - it has an eerie feeling about it. Afterwards, we had a look at some stromatalites in the area. They’re not much to look at but are interesting for what they represent (living microbes which are almost identical to organisms which existed 2000 million years ago and formed the basis for modern lifeforms).
After some unsucessful fishing attempts along the coast, the road north brought us to Geraldton which is a sizeable town. Here we came across our first free gas barbeque. They have them at parking sites near the beach along with toilets and showers. Luxury.
On Friday morning we did the Geraldton lobster factory tour which was not bad for 5 dollars. Then it was a long and dusty drive out an outback road to another country. Yep, another country that I never even knew existed (neither did you so don’t say you did you lying feckers). The “Hutt River Principality” is legally another country seceded from the Commonwealth of Australia under a hastily closed legal loophole in 1970. The place is gimmicky but quite cool. It’s basically a farmhouse, a postoffice and souveniour shop. The Prince (Leonard Casley) showed us around and stamped our passports and is an all-round cool chap. He declared the place independant after an argument with the Australian government over wheat quotas. He takes great delight in how much they dislike his existance and endeavours to send representatives to international meetings to goad them. Quality.
Afterwards, we headed to Kalbarri where we found another great site, with BBQ etc. These are going to be alot of help on this trip and definately an improvement from parking in fields and truck stops. We also caught our first fish here but it was only a small blowfish. Still, progress.
On Saturday we drove up to Denham in the Shark Bay area. There’s not much here except clear waters and desert country. We stopped off at some scenic gorge sites but they weren’t that exciting. The next day we headed to the famous Monkey Mia, where friendly dolphins come onto the beach (the free fish they’re given isn’t the only reason - its cos they’re friendly right?). The two Rs went on a boat trip to see the sealife (of which they saw very little excpet a loggerhead turtle) while I sat typing this before we headed further north to Carnavon.
We’ve been here long enough to talk a bit about the culture now so brace yourself. The Australians we’ve met have generaly been very friendly and professional in their work. They are easy-going and happy to help you out. Petrol is cheap. Everything is spotlessly clean and well maintained and the free gas barbeques in the towns and along the highways are pure genius. The reputation the place has for being upside down is true in some instances though. For instance, the beer is expensive and crap, but the wine is cheap and very good. Everything closes at 5.30 even in the city centre. People who are perfectly friendly during the day can become aggressive buffoons when they’ve had a beer in the evening. And everyone still thinks sarcasm is really funny. As for the attitude to aboriginals - mainly the people who bring the subject are the racists so it can quickly give you the impression that racism is endemic in the culture which is not the case. The younger people we’ve met have been well informed about aboriginal issues.
We phoned quarantine on Monday to see what the progress was only to be informed that they weren’t going to look at it because it was raining. This is a valid reason apparently though no explanation as to why you couldn’t clean a car in the rain was forthcoming. The rest of the week was spent sitting in the hostel reading, watching crap tv and indulging in rants against quarantine. By friday they’d “cleaned it” so we went down to pick it up. It was in fact dirtier than when they’d got it because they’d cleaned something else beside it and splattered it with mud (thereby revealing the joke of what they do). They’d also taken everything out and not put it in again and charged us for 4 hours cleaning (3 and 1/2 hours sitting saying it looks like rain and 1/2 an hour cleaning more like). Oh, and the ignition module was busted again. The air would have turned purple with language had I been able to speak past the red cloud of rage engulfing me. We had no choice though but to get it out of there so I went to get another ignition module knowing full well that it was doomed to self-destruct. There was something causing the problem but we hadn’t the time to find out what it was. Unsurprisingly, the module denoted the next morning so we got towed (by a kind passerby) to an auto-electrian to see what could be done. After discussing options we decided to change to an old contact points distributor as it had no electronics to be destroyed by our hooligan voltages. Dwyer
On Monday and Tuesday we got the paperwork through customs but unsurprisingly quarantine section reckoned the car was too dirty (despite us spending 4 days cleaning it in KL before it got on the boat) and had to be cleaned by them. Us having to pay them for the privledge obviously had no weight in the decision. Not only that but they stated we’d have to put it on a flatbed truck to take it to their cleaning facilities a whole 1/2 mile away in case any mud dropped of it. The flaws in this theory are obvious. A) There was no mud on it, B) How is mud dropping onto a flatbed any better than it dropping onto the road? and C) even then they weren’t going to bother looking at it until next week. Another bonus was that the car wouldn’t start. We went down and had a look and it was clear the ignition module had burned out. I got another one and installed it on Thursday. In the mean time we had a look at the ANZAC day parade on the 25th. There was a big turn out and lots of flag waving and memorial banners. (even including Vietnam which was surprising given that the other countries that supported that war are fairly shy about advertising the fact.)
On Friday we went to Caversham wildlife park and surveyed the strange and varied creatures of australia - wombats, wallabys, roos, tasmanian devils, emus etc. These beasties are one of the main reason that quarantine is such a hassle. Because Australia has been isolated from the other continents for at least 45 million years and has poor soil quality due to the lack of glacial movement and volcanic activity, life here has evolved in a manner suited to this dry and arid environment and therefore, vastly different from life elsewhere in the world. This leaves it very susceptible to ecological damage from introduced species which native species have never evolved any defence against. European settlers from 1788 onwards have introduced many species of animals and plants which have devastated large areas and populations of native wildlife (e.g. goats, camels, foxes, rabbits, cane toads, cats, rubber vine & mimosa). To try to avoid further problems, everything that enters Australia has to be checked for contamination by foreign species. This is a worthy cause. Doing it by washing it into the nearest drain is probably not the best way of doing it though and delaying items for weeks because you don’t have enough staff is no doubt costing Australian business a large amount of money and problems.
During the days, we lolled around the hostel and in the evenings we altered between Perth and Fremantle but we were becoming increasingly anxious to get moving. Unfortunately we were at the whim of quarantine.
We gave the landy a final clean, made some final tweaks, said goodbye to everyone in KL and had a final dinner with Albert Kon (who has been a great friend and help to us while there) before heading off towards Singapore. We arrived on Tuesday morning with all our documents in order and feeling pretty confident. After all, it was just another border. But no. Despite the fact that the AA of Singapore had told us to buy insurance in Malaysia and despite the fact that the insurance document said it covered Singapore, apparently it doesn’t if you are in the Singapore Land Transport Authority and so we had to buy insurance on arrival for 50 dollars. This is to cover you for the 30 minute drive to the port. What a bunch of tubes. Oh, and you have to buy a 10 dollar autopass, which is a little card for paying tolls even though you are supposed to get a 5 day exemption and you won’t actually go through any tolls on your way to the port. It suddenly becomes clear why Singapore has the reputation of being a bureaucratic bottomless pit that it does. Still, we got in, drove to the port and handed the beastie over to the stevedores possibly never to be seen again.
The next day we sorted out the carnet down at the port, took a few promotional shots of the landy at the ship and booked a flight to Perth for Thursday. Well, I did. Richard decided to go back into Mayalsia for some crazy reason.
So on the 12th of April, I finally arrived in the big O Z. Perth is an amazingly clean city and has a nice relaxed charm. People are genuinely friendly and they speak passable English aswell. However, the shock of the prices nearly had me back on the plane to Malaysia. 8 dollars a pint! 3 dollars for a canned drink in a 7/11! 5 dollars for a sandwich! 20 dollars for a hostel bed isn’t bad though. Soon after arrival I got the train out to Cottesloe beach where I met up with my old friend Richard Clayton who has been out here for about a week.
On Friday and Saturday we wandered around the small port town of Fremantle (quaint - nowhere near as exciting as everyone says) and explored the streets of Perth. Friday night revealed the Aussie drinking culture which is very much of the Liverpool variety. Drink too much, stumble between a few pubs then at closing time spill out onto the streets and start a fight. This would explain the heavy police presence around the nightlife areas.
A visit to Kings park in Perth revealed great views over the city and confirmed the impression that I’d initially had when coming from the airport. There are only suburbs. Everyone lives in the suburbs. There’s the city centre, then suburbs, all of which are very nice and well laid out. Everyone has a garden and a car and a bbq out the back. There doesn’t seem to be a big difference between areas like in other cities. Maybe this will be different in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Landy won’t be arriving until next weekend so we decided to hire a car on Sunday and head down the South West coast. The first stop was the Ngilgi caves which were very impressive with stunning shawls, mites and tites. Afterwards, we hit the small town of Magaret River for some local wine and cheese. By the time we reached Nannup we were knackered so settled down for a rum nights sleep in the car. Tomorrow we were going to see the famous “Tall Trees” of South Australia.
Following a sweaty 13-hour bus journey, Kuching arrived. It’s a small but picturesque town and has a nice atmosphere. The highlight though was the Sarawak Cultural Village. This offered the chance to the lucky ticket holder (anyone who rocks up at the entrance) to see a cultural dance symbolic of the seven tribes that inhabit the village and a chance to chat to them too. It sounds wanky, but was actually quite good and I had the chance to dress up in native dress (I look ridiculous!) and use a blowpipe, which I was quite adept at. Naturally the villagers were impressed and offered me a place as their new leader, the old one accidentally getting in the way of a stray poison dart that may or may not have come from my pipe. I gladly accepted the title along with the several vestal virgins betrothed to me, but had to quit the village as the football was on and they hadn’t any cold beer. Heathens.
Back to KL, back to the Land Rover and normality, back to the mechanics. Before we went back to our favourite mechanic though we joined the fabulous Land Rover Malaysia Group up in the Cameron Highlands for a big get together. Hey had a small off-road course there which of course we didn’t bother doing (at 3 tonnes we were going nowhere!) and we met fellow overlanders from the UK as well. A weird coincidence, but nice to chat to others and talk about the problems they’ve never had with their landy. Bastards.
Dave and Rose are on an extended vacation and have a 110 hard top I believe and you check out their site at http://www.nessiesadventures.com whilst Dan had gone one step further and bought some 3.2 tonne Wolf that was bound for a Sir Ralph Fiennes that never happened. A truly remarkable machine, but fat as hell! www.lonewolftransglobal.com. We also met up with Mohd Azhar Ibrahim who’s started up a 4 Wheel Driver magazine in Malaysia and will do a feature on the three of us I think. He rocked up in a great Toyota Troop Carrier and was kind enough to let me have a good snoop around – absolutely huge! None of the vehicles had as much room and comfort as our landy we have to say, but then again they can probably go over 60 mph without batting down the hatches and gripping the vibrating wheel for dear life!
Unfortunately my lasting memory of Brunei will be happening across a man clad in Islamic dress mass-debating (lets be civil) out of the window in the stairwell of the hostel. Nice image eh? Well now you’ve got it burned into your memory too, it’s nice to share isn’t it?
As we arrived at the Shell Oil rich country, the sign at Customs announced mater-of-factly something akin to “Drug trafficking is a serious offence and the punishment is death”. It doesn’t get much more serious than death! The weird thing about Brunei, especially compared to the hard lined Iran, is that here you can actually bring in a small quantity of alcohol into the country and drink it in your home. In addition, Chinese restaurants can serve pork - this only dawned on me after I’d ordered pork noodle soup mind you. I’m not the fastest knife in the forest.
As it was the Prophet Muhammed’s (p.b.u.h.) birthday on the 31st of March - which of course you remembered - the Sultan took a walk around the city centre with his entourage and with very little security visible. I was a stone’s throw away, but the man walks quickly so could only get a few snaps. All quite exciting though. It says something of the state of the country that the head can stroll about the place without fear of getting shot. But then again, anyone with any radical political views is probably in prison anyway.
I popped into a few museums whilst residing the squeaky clean capital city of Bandar, rarely spying any other tourists at all. I had the grand Raffalesia Museum all to myself for an hour or so, and I had more of the same medicine when wandering around the well-kept mausoleums and the manicured lush green parks. Empty. The best thing in the museum was the upright right arm made of pure gold that held the Sultans chin when he was crowned. And why not? Must be hard work holding your head upright and stuff…
However, there were no photos of the wonderful character Prince Jefri, the Sultans brother and ex-finance minister that attempted to ruin the country by financing his own fun – as a taster, he has, or had, a large yacht called Tits and two smaller vessels named Nipple 1 and Nipple 2. He also bought the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Empire Hotel and coveted Asprey’s. The man is a genius and, unsurprisingly, also in exile.
I met up with some friends and took the last bus out to the ex-royal theme park. It was apparntly created for the Sultan’s 48th birthday, but after a hundred and fifty six goes on every ride going, he bored of it and opened it up for the country. Naturally, being a country where the citizens receive free health and dental care, free sports and leisure facilities, free schooling and pensions for all, the theme park was free. The populace flocked to the park like Royal Navy Marines to Iran (topical) and many went there every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Eventually, after about 5 years apparently, they whacked the hefty charge of five Brunei-an dollars onto the entrance (£2.60) which even in oil rich Brunei, is a mere trifle. Strangely though, the citizens took umbrage and refused to go, so when we went we had every ride to ourselves – the log flume proved good fun even at the third time of asking.
On the way back from a day trip to the Brunei Museum, I hitched a ride from an ex-Lahorite now living in Brunei, but obviously thinking of leaving (he’s been here 20 years!) as it’s too damn boring. I met Malik after hitching back from the fantastic Brunei Musem, with an incredible collection of Islamic art and gold illustrated Quaran’s, and he was kind enough to buy me lunch and show me around a little. He took me to the opulent Jame’asr Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque that the security guard denied me entry to as I was an infidel – fortunately he only spotted me on my way out of the mosque, so I praised his vigilance and left with a spring in my step.
Getting out of the country was easy enough, or was supposed to be, but as the buses knock off early on every day ending with ‘y’, by 4pm I was stranded in the middle of some poor excuse for a town. A few taxi rides later and I was at the shite-hawk town of Miri in Sarawak, a real prostitute laden dung hole full of queers and beers. I ended up staying at the aptly named Fairyland Inn for a single night and left early next morning as fast as I could.
I popped into the fabulous Niah Caves on the way down to Kuching, desperately hoping to see the bats swarm out at sundown as they were too lazy in Sabah. I spent a good eleven hours wandering around pitch black caves, eventually finding the ancient drawings of the sun-lit Painted Cave. However, getting photos wasn’t easy as the paintings were behind some barbed wire, which in turn were a good thirty feet and a metal fence away from where I stood balancing on a stalagmite. The bats eventually came out, but the sods were tiny and hugged the roof of the cave as they flocked out straight into the trees. Bastards, the lot of them.
Crikey, I’m using Windows 98. So, Borneo. We flew into the port city of Kinabalu that lied a small distance from the mountain with the same name, the highest mountain in South Asia at a whopping 4015.2 metres. The LP labelled his as ‘an easy climb’, but for the record it was absolute hell and my limbs ached for a 3 days afterwards. Then of course taking into the account we started at 1pm instead of 8.30am like sane people, and the lack of oxygen at 3000 metres, and an early rising of 2am to climb up the last 2.5 km in the dark, it’s no wonder I was knackered. Well worth it though to be up at the summit for sunrise and the trip down was made more fun by the increasing volumes of oxygen and telling downcast up-hill trudgers the summit really wasn’t worth the effort. Ha ha ha.
I’d done the climb alone after Dwyer had fallen ill to a mystery illness (’common sense’ I think he called it), after we’d been playing with the orang-utans over in Sepilok. We’d hired a car to get out there, catching a glimpse of the famous Raffalesia flower (largest flower in the world and named after Sir Stamford Raffles of Singaporean fame) as we past. We also made a pit stop at the awful Poring Hot Springs. I’m not a fan of baths in general (let me finish), more of a shower man myself, but swimming in egg-water packed with other people’s dead skin is not what I do to relax. We lasted about five minutes before getting out and going for a cold shower in equally grubby water. Fortunately Poring also has a fascinating butterfly enclosure with some of the most beautiful specimens in the land gently frolicking amongst a rich and colourful arboretum. Unfortunately it was closed, so that completed our miserable time at that wretched hodge-podge of a place.
Sabah made up for itself though by the incredible orang-utan sanctuary. We arrived a little early for feeding time but decided to make our way to the platform anyway, where Dwyer luckily got up close to the massive ‘Mr. G’ who happened to be taking a the morning air. This huge strong male orang-utan had at least a 3 metre arm span and, as reported in the orang-utan film shown at the centre, is capable of tearing a man in half. After feeding we took to the trails and got attacked by some leeches for our efforts, but returned to the platform on the off chance of seeing one of the furry little fellas once again. We were in luck. Three young ones were playing around, one slightly aggressive and had developed a penchant for stealing stuff, another engrossed with the inside of a plastic bag the builders had carelessly left around and the last a friendly soul that walked up to us and held our hands. It was one of the best things we’ve encountered on this trip without a doubt. This incredible, delicate and intelligent animal took time to play with us, swinging from our arms and grasping my camera at every opportunity, the media hussy. Even at two years old, they have a really strong grip! I managed to capture a few videos of the mischievous little fella with the plastic bag and will try and upload them when I get to KL (naturally we told the centre that the little critters were playing the builders shovels, bolts and bags. We do realise you’re not supposed to touch the little orange men but hoped our informing the park of the various building hazards aided the karma a little).
We did some hard driving on bumpy roads in the rented Proton to the village of Sukau to take a short boat trip out to see the famously ugly Proboscis monkey with their large cartoon shaped nose, but didn’t get close enough for a decent photo I’m afraid. We didn’t have much luck in the nearby Gamontong Caves either as the bats refused to come out and play at sunset, the selfish sods. We then had to bribe our way out of the park as it was gone knocking off time for the security guard (by a half an hour). He tried to ease the tension by saying sorry several times when demanding the cash, so that made us feel batter….I imagine Dick Turpin did the same thing. “I’m dreadfully sorry my dear, it really is very rude of me to butt in on your journey like this, but would you mind passing over all your valuables and anything else of worth that you own? I’m dreadfully sorry you see, but I’m a highwayman you know, it’s just what I do. Thanks awfully, toodle-pip!”
On the way out of Sabah to Brunei, we made a small stop at the duty-free island of Labuan where a large bottle of beer cost as much as 5 ringit (about 80 pence for 750ml). Wicked! It’s also the site where the Japanese signed the peace treaty in 1945, and there’s a well kept Allied war cemetery just outside the city centre dedicated to mainly Brits, Indians and Australians. Labuan also had a futuristic mosque that attracted the notice of my camera lens, and along with the latter came oodles of locals eager to see what the hell I thought I was playing at. ‘Well, I’ve got a camera, and a tripod….what do you reckon I’m doing? Fishing?’ All were just curious of course which I can understand. I’ll make a point of hovering around anyone foreign looking with a camera when at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium next time I’m home, which may require a great deal of hovering indeed.
Next stop, Brunei and Sarawak!
There’s nothing like a rum nights sleep to motivate you in the mornings I find. We headed into the minuscule village of Pemberton where there was a very tall tree. The Gloucester Tree is as exciting as things get out here. 60m tall with steel spikes hammered into it to aid climbing it was a bit of a no-no for someone with my fear of heights. While Rich climbed it, I hung out with the Rosella birds down the bottom. They’re so accustomed to tourists that if you stand with your arms outstrecthed a shedload of them land on you. There’s always one exuberant fecker who goes for the head as well.
After this frivolity we hit the road again to the impressive sounding Valley of the Giants - supposedly home to massive tingle and karri trees and featuring a walkway 40m high to give you views of the tree tops. What they don’t tell you is the platform is not very long and takes about 50 seconds to walk across at a moderate pace and that the trees aren’t that big anyway. They’re wide at the bottom which tends to hollow out so you can stand inside but they’re not much more than 40m tall and pretty thin after the wide base. The effect is underwhelming. In short, this place is Bundaberg - don’t come here.
Desperate to find something other than sheep farms and empty roads to justify the long drive down here we ended up in the small town of Albany which boats the marvellously non-PC Whale Slaughtering Museum. They call it Whale World but all the exhibits are of the slaughter (apparently called flensing) that went on here until 1980. You can wander around the whale cookers and other processing machinery (they were basically flensed into pieces small enough to fit in them before being boiled down to an oily soup), an old whaling ship with harpoon gun, see the flensing knives and graphic photos depicting their use, oh and watch a 3D movie about how whales are our friends now and its much better to earn money by sailing a bunch of tourists after them in boats than it is to chop and boil them although the smell of all those tourists is worse than a freshly flensed whale in many people’s opinion. No one else seemed to understand why I found it so funny. Shitehawks.
After another Bundaberg night in the car we’d pretty much burned up all our options in SW Australia so we headed back into Perth. We headed out to Whiteman park where we saw a pretty cool birds of prey demonstration and got to hold a brown falcon for the obligatory cheesy photo. By this time, Mr Reed had flown in from Malaysia where he had been enjoying monsoon weather on Tioman island.
Over the next few nights we sampled the Perth nightlife, with trips to comedy (not bad), theme bars (cheesy) and live music (good sound quality but mostly non-descript cover bands). Perth was very quickly losing its appeal and given that you can walk around the whole city centre in about 40 minutes it isn’t hard to see why. We spiced things up with a trip to see an AFL game on Sunday (West Coast Eagles hammering Carlton) but despite being an entertaining match, there’s precious little crowd atmosphere. No chanting, no songs, no insults aside from the odd boo. Disgustingly civilised. In between these brave efforts to pass the time we’ve had to send a ream of documents to the customs people to get the car in (it arrived Saturday safe and sound) and book a quarantine inspection so they can milk a bunch of dollars from us when they find the ants nest under the rear wheel arch.
Arriving back into Kuala Lumpur we dropped the Landy off for its cleaning only to find out that the ship was leaving early and they wanted the car on Wednesday. This was going to be difficult but maybe just possible. I got the overnight train down to Singapore on Tuesday night, went to the Automobile Association and sorted out the documentation after a lenghty discussion as to whether our machine counted as a campervan. Apparently campervans are not allowed to drive in Singapore and have to be towed. Why? Nobody knows. Eventually sense prevailed and we got the necessary permission. So it was back to KL where the next 4 days were spent sorting out another ship and a travel plan for Borneo.