Sunday, 30 October 2011

Singapore to Darwin

This is my first & only flight since leaving London 2 months ago. I spent ages trying to get a sea crossing but its absolutely impossible. There are no ferries, freighters or any cruise ships that are not on route to half a dozen destinations before returning to Australia.

Changi airport in Singapore is still the best airport in the world. Free internet, free gadget charging & a grand piano player surrounded by fresh orchids! Its clean & spacious, nothing is out of place & the toilets are clean & fragrant. All around the airport there's a surfeit of comfortable chairs, tables & sofas & its still civilised enough to have a clean & tidy smoking area.
Duty free is genuinely duty free with prices around half to a quarter of that charged at the bogus UK 'duty free' prices - for the same products. There are dozens of places to eat & drink, again at standard street prices rather than the UK standard 'trapped mug prices'. Many are open 24 hours unlike some UK airports that close up shop around 9pm.

The Darwin flight arrived at the un-Godly hour of 4.30am but there was no shortage of shuttle buses & taxis. I didnt manage a wink of sleep as the Jetstar flight which was so cramped I think people were going to the toilet - just for the extra space!

The Holiday Inn on the Esplande were good enough to look after my bag & check me in 3 hours early or maybe they just glad to get my untidy dozing presence out of the lobby. The town is a bit of a WiFi desert, couldnt find a single free WiFi point - even in the middle of Cambodia there were far better & more widespread internet facilities - how absolutely bizarre. My hotel only allowed 20 minutes free Wifi connection & then it was restricted to the lobby & bar.

Darwin is a bit of a 9-5 town for shopping but the bars are already packed by 4 o'clock. Rorkes Drift was my favourate Darwin pub but its transformed into Monssoons - a hidious party themed pub. Gone are the comfortable raised booths & the relaxing basket chairs on the front veranda, now its packed with pokey tables that cram more drinkers in, for the blaring music, the giant TVs & the occasional live music session.

1 comment:

  1. I’ve been following your blog for the last few weeks. Very impressed with the progress you’ve made, you must have the feeling that you’re almost there now. I thought you’d had it when the floods hit Bangkok. Good luck for the rest of the trip. Bob Cains, Perth