Continent Hopping

Trip Start Sep 15, 2003
Trip End Sep 14, 2004

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Flag of Singapore  ,
Monday, December 1, 2003

Hi Faithful Travelogue Companions!
Getting off the plane at 2am our time (South Africa) we found ourselves in the immaculately clean, densly green, humid city of Singapore. We could see the difference before the plane even landed! The lights were brighter, the buildings taller, and there weren't massive field fires burning in all directions! We had an incredible flight! Neither Paul or I have been so spoiled while getting from place to place. Each and every seat had an Interactive Video, Audio, Gaming system that allowed us to chose our own entertainment for the entire 9.5 hour flight! There were about 25 movies and 25 TV shows as well as Documentaries, News...and even Super Mario! Blair: Fly Singapore Airlines if you ever get the chance! They even offered us a menu and fuzzy red socks to keep our delicate toes warm! We had a bit of a hayday (although I should not admit) with the free travel toothbrushes/paste, razor/cream combos that were available in the bathrooms! So, right...back to Singapore! We hopped on a city bus (which also happened to be airconditioned and had a TV) and changed 3 times to get to our resort (yes, resort...nice sounding isn't it!) We were unable to check into our we crashed by the pool for most of the morning. I awoke and could hardly breathe. The humidity here is like a weight on your body, contantly pressing down. The hut (which we had pre-booked from Canada) is exactly what we thought it was - small, comfortable bunk bed with A/C which is essential being just 1 degree north of the equator!) The island itself does not really seem frequented by westerners. It is marketed as the Club Med of Singapore - an Island Escape from the busy city - which is really just over the bridge! We were a little frustrated that all the brochures we picked up are geared to Singapore residents only. They have amazing package deals to the dolphin cove, butterfly park, mini-golf etc...but all the prices are unapplicable to us! Anyhow...the island has tonnes of beaches and hiking trails, a monorail, beach train, aquarium and many pools and pubs. I think most people who come here do not head back into the city the way Paul and I are going to tomorrow. We hope to check out Chinatown and Little India as well as the largest fountain in the world. We will wrap it up with (what else?)a Singapore Sling from the world famous Raffles Hotel. Before leaving we also hope to see the Zoo-which is acclaimed to be one of the best in the world due to its open, cageless concept. Also the Night Safari is supposed to be a unique experience. WHen most zoos close, this one opens its gates. On foot you explore the moonlit paths. Did you know that over 90% of the worlds species are nocturnal? Seemed awfully high to me! having a lovely time thus far in Singapore! Since Margate, South Africa we spent 2 GLORIOUS days in Durban with an incredibly kind couple - Nancy and Dave McNeil from Calgary - and thier two children Rebecca and Sarah. Their beautiful Umshlanga Ridge Home was a piece of paradise for two weary travellers! Together, we toured the North Beaches - which were beautifully kept and what I would imagine California to look like - and a massive West Edmonton Style Entertainment Mega-Mall. I was fascinated with the surf park where daring surfers and body boarders attempted to conquer massive forces of water and concrete! The best part of Durban was our visit to the Natal Sharks Board. I could write an entire entry on this organization itself. Breifly (like anything I write is BRIEF!) there was great need to start putting up protective netting along the costal beaches surrounding Durban due to many, many shark attacks. It started out as completely human motivated, but has today turned into a world class research facility dedicated to conservation of sharks and other marine life. Each day the nets are checked - anything alive is tagged and released while anything is collected for research. We watched a dissection of a female ragged tooth shark - one of the less dangerous sharks in those waters. If you are interested, please check out for lots of info on this project.
Lets see: since then we spent 2 nights at an Eco-Grad (aka me!) paradise called St.Lucia. Here, where 5 ecosystms intersect we found plenty of facsincating flora and fauna to keep us occupied. The hippos and crocs were the highlight. We also did our last African safari. We got rained out the first time, and it took the driver hydroplaning off the road before he figured out that the rain was coming down too hard! The next day we were lucky and encountered lions, giraffes, rhinos, buffalos, warthog (families!) and zebras. The best though was the bull elephant who really wasn't too alarmed by our presence until another small car came zipping along the road, disturbing the peacful distance we had established. The car was smart enough to get out of the way and the elephant began advancing on our truck, ears flapping indicating distress. Of course our engine was off. People were yelling 'Go!...Go now...Go FAST' but the engine did not turn over the first time. I remember being pulled back into the truck by Paul - as it was advancing on my side and I'm out there doing whatever it takes to get that perfect shot (dumb tourist!). It was a really heart stopping few moment. I found myself imagining what would've happened if the engine hadn't sputtered to life the second time. Would he have turned the truck over? Where would we hide if we were lucky enough to escape? Such an overactive imagination! Right, so needless to say: made it out alive. Swaziland was beautiful...but really saw none of it. We stayed at a comfortable hostel near the airport in really saw nothing of it either. The adventure continues - stay tuned! Until then ... Bonnie and Paul.
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