Saturday 5th July – Sunday 6th July J.B. – Singapore

I was so lethargic in J.B. that I actually considered that I may either have inadvertently ingested some soya milk (I have a very odd allergic reaction to it) or that I was getting carbon monoxide poinsoning from my rather old hotel air conditioner.  Anyway, I finally managed to move on the Saturday and opted for a taxi to take me across the border.  This was a wise move, and a relatively cheap one to be honest. 


When I got back to Singapore it soon became apparent that finding accommodation at a reasonable price (for reasonable price read anywhere other than hotels like ‘Raffles’) was about as easy as finding a good analogy at the moment!  I’m not going to elaborate too much on this one as it was very painful and dull.  I have finally conceded that this is perhaps the one time that I should have pre-booked a room.  I spent the best part of the day walking with all my bags and in taxis going from place to place to be told that there was no room at the inn.  I did, however, eventually find somewhere where I was told that I could pay and check-in and that the room would be ready two hours later.  Although normally I wouldn’t go for such an offer, I had given up by this stage.  So I paid them the forty quid or so (very bitterly it has to be said) went to get some food and drink and returned later.  When I got to my room it was compact, to say the least.  To be fair it was immaculate, to the extent that they had disinfected the doormat, but there was one vital omission.  No window!  I have stayed in a couple of budget places where there has not been a window but it is possibly the highest priority on my room list.  I don’t even care if the window literally looks against a wall, I just need some natural light and to be able to tell vaguely what time of day it is.  I had little option so had an early night.  Well I think it was early but, you know, it was hard to tell…..


I woke up this morning and immediately checked out, only to check into another place which had a room ready a few hours later.  I went and ate, returned and went to my, even more compact, room which also had no window.  Sigh!  At least I’m not paying the same price for the privilege this time.  I’ve also been informed that tomorrow I can move rooms to a larger room with a window.  Apparently weekends are crazily busy here in terms of accommodation.  In all fairness you can see it as numerous people traipse round only to be told that there are no vacancies.


Other than the room, today’s actually been great.  I went to the botanical gardens which were amazing.  Inside the gardens there is also an amazing orchid garden.  You have to pay for the latter but in all fairness I was shocked that the botanical gardens were free.  It was so peaceful and the plants were stunning.  In the V.I.P. orchid garden the flowers had been named after famous dignitaries who had visited.  There was even an orchid called “Margaret Thatcher”.  It was bright red, had a sharp tongue and only sleeps for three hours a night! 


After the botanical gardens I came back to relax in my penthouse suite and then went to the zoo for the “night safari”.  This is apparently heralded as a unique experience where you can see the animals in their natural, night-time habitat.  It was pretty fantastic to be fair.  A couple of words of warning though, do get the tram but don’t pick a seat engulfed by small noisy children.  You’ll be able to see them before you get on as they will all have glow sticks and very noisy parents with them.  One of the parents behind me actually did a nappy change mid-tram ride in the light of her children’s blue glow-stick which I thought was most admirable.  The other piece of advice is that red polka dot wedges are possibly not the best choice of footwear.  Okay, so I appear to be commenting on a lot of bad shoe decisions on my blog.  I didn’t really think that I was going to be walking that far tonight and I also didn’t expect there to be so many hills.  I also thought I might have time to go to Raffles for a Singapore Sling afterwards but, after completing every night trail, I was slightly sweaty and had blisters on my blisters so decided that I wasn’t in the mood to pose provocatively over a cocktail. 


Although the leopards and fishing cats were pretty cool by far my favourite exhibit (is that the right word) was the “mangrove walk” with the bats.  Basically this was a free-flying area for bats and some of them were positively HUGE!  I have seen some big bats but these boys were absolutely massive.  Their wingspans were probably a good couple of feet, I kid you not.  I’d heard really good things about the zoo, for example that there are not visible cages with moats and the like preferred, and it didn’t disappoint.


On that note I’m going to bed as I need to be up for a full day of fun in Singapore tomorrow before I fly to Australia on the 8th.  If I’m lucky I might even get a window! 

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