We are now in Singapore, for a delayed celebration of our 50th wedding anniversary.
I was interested to see just you easy air travel has now become to here after Covid. We checked in (Singapore Airlines) about 2 1/2 hours before our flight and had some pleasant time in their lounge at Melbourne before boarding. An interesting difference to flying with Qantas is that Jill could ride her mobility scooter all the way to the gate. It was then loaded into the aircraft’s hold. When we arrived, it was delivered to the door of the plane and she could ride it all the way through the terminal to our ground transport.
Three weeks ago, I had some surgery to repair a hernia and I’m unable to lift anything heavier than 5 kg for six weeks after the surgery, I am very grateful to everyone who has helped me with bags – airline staff, crew, fellow passengers and hotel staff. I even had help from a police sergeant last week while I was in Bendigo for my army unit reunion.
Face masks were required to be worn during the entire flight and everywhere indoors in Singapore. That will change from Monday when masks will only be required on public transport. None of that American crap about individual rights here – everyone falls in and follows the government regulations carefully. There are no pre-tests or post arrival tests for Covid anymore. You just had to submit an electronic health form prior to arrival and attach our International vaccination certificate bar code. Then it’s straight through immigration but there’s no simple entry to those who are not fully vaccinated.
The flight from Melbourne to Singapore takes about 7 1/2 hours and for well over half of that time, we were above Australia. Your flight path took us over Uluru and just south go Halls Creek. At one stage, I checked our location on the map and found we were flying over the Great Sandy Desert. This is an enormous wasteland of northern Western Australia and is Australia’s second largest desert, It extends from Eighty Mile Beach on the Indian Ocean eastward into Northern Territory and from Kimberley Downs southward to the Tropic of Capricorn and the Gibson Desert. It’s a vast arid expanse of salt pans and sand hills interlaced with Spinifex Grass. There is nothing at all for mile after mile.
It’s very nice to have a day time flight on this sector. On an overnight flight, it’s too long to go without sleep and too short for a decent one.
We crossed the Australian Coast over Cape Leveque, near Derby. This remote area is famous for its ‘horizontal waterfalls’. The tide here averages 13 metres (30 feet) and as it ebbs and flows, it rushes through a narrow gap between the sea and an inlet, just like a waterfall flowing horizontally.
It’s the monsoon season in this part of the tropics and for much of the time between Australia and Indonesia, the seat belt sign was on continuously. It was raining as we landed in Singapore and we expect tropical rainstorms every day over the next week. Hopefully, there will be a few dry patches in-between.
We are staying the the Parkroyal Collection, Marina Bay Hotel and upgraded our room to Ione overlooking the bay. The Singapore River (probably more of a small creek) has been dammed at its entrance to the sea and the bay now forms a fresh water resource for Singapore’s water supply. This country has been a leader in water recycling and purification and most drinking water has been used a number of times before it flows out of the tap.
Our hotel is quite grand with an enormous atrium that houses an indoor garden. Very spectacular! Our room is on the 21st floor (although they rather quaintly called ‘stories’ here.
At night, there are some wonderful views across to the famous Marina Bay Sands Hotel which has a garden and infinity pool on its rooftop. We stayed there for our 40th anniversary. The view at night is wonderful.