Saturday 16th November. Transfer to Singapore. John and Mark meet with Sang and Tina at 0830. New plan. Tina can’t take his van into Singapore, something to do with ‘private use’ and insurance, so last night Sang hired another mini bus to take us and the luggage over the border. John insisted on cycling into Singapore with Sang with interesting results! They followed the bus to the Malay side of the border to be told they had to enter the exit gate out of the country with the bikes separately from Mark and Tina, who had to take all the luggage out of the bus and take it all by foot through the Malaysia exit then entry into Singapore customs to meet up again with the driver and his bus. All told it took about 45 mins and we hoped to meet up with John Sang and the bikes once in Singapore for the driver to lead the bikes to the hotel. Not a hope. The van with Mark, Tina and all luggage waited for the cyclists but had no means to communicate with them. So as the cyclists became a ‘no show’, the van made its way to the hotel arriving at 1115. Eventually the cyclists arrived at 1230 so Sang could pay the driver and he and Tina could return to Malaysia. Sang said his goodbyes to John and Mark which understandably were slightly emotional, we had been on a memorable journey together and somehow he helped to keep the show on the road. John went to get a shower at the hotel gym as we didn’t get access to the room until after 1400. We learnt later that it had been agreed yesterday between Sang and John that they would make their own way from the border to the hotel and the van would not have to wait. Unfortunately Sang hadn’t told the van driver or Tina!
John and Mark finally got their luggage to their room at 1500 and walked to Chinatown, about 15 mins from the hotel picking up a Big Mac and fries on the way. I know, one hell of an admission but we needed comfort food. We spent the rest of the day in Chinatown before returning to the hotel at 2100.
The following images are taken from a series of wall art on a flank wall of a building. There are number of significant works around Chinatown. These are about five years old and were refreshed two years ago. There are no signs of negative graffiti to be seen anywhere.
So there we have it. The TMS challenge is complete. We will do a review shortly on the success and dramas and learning taken from the challenge. Suffice to say there are so many memories. We have seen beautiful vistas, met some incredibly warm people and eaten delicious locally produced fresh food, mostly at the side of the road. The journey isn’t simply about miles won. It’s about how this is achieved, the inner depths of resolve needed to produce such a feat. The teamwork necessary to effectively communicate and agree decisions and strategy, and to simply ‘get on’. What John has achieved is nothing short of incredible. His ‘hills to climb’ or on a different scale to ours and yet he conquers them with a wit and an infectious smile. Amazing.
This has been a fantastic journey on so many levels.
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John and Mark.