Day 33-34 - Thursday 10 January to Friday 11 January - Singapore to Canberra

So we went to bed around 20:00. Then I woke up at 23:00. For over an hour. Hurrah. Got back to sleep but then woke up around 4:00. The sweetie woke up around then too, most unusually for him, so got up around 5:00 after not getting back to sleep.

The internet at this hotel is very slow, which is pretty unusual for Singapore, so struggling to get things done. I did get the GPS downloaded - 16500 kilometres from New York to Singapore :)

Also had to fight hard with APPLE being retarded and not letting me copy timelapse .mov files to the laptop. Every time I tried it crashed hard and said the device was unreachable. Hate Apple. HATE. In the end what worked was changing the photo settings from Automatic to Keep Originals in the Photo settings. Le sigh.

Went downstairs and had breakfast in the hotel. Nice enough but very expensive.

Packed up and took the hotel's shuttle to the airport.

Changi Airport
Changi Airport

We'd originally going to go to the Changi museum on this day, but it was closed. Then I thought maybe we could look at the flower and forest domes next to Marina Bay Sands. But we also wanted to catch up with Audrey. So rather than leaving our bags at the hotel, and taxi to/from a train station and then taxi to the airport later on, we decided to put our luggage into storage at the airport. We thought it was going to cost $50, but it ended up only costing $20, I think because it was only for part of the day. And from the airport we could use our EZ-Link cards which still had credit on them. Annoyingly I couldn't leave my laptop in the suitcase, so had to reshuffle some things around to take it in the backpack. But anyway the whole exercise only cost $20, instead of three extra taxi rides plus a lot of hassle.

Yeah so dumped our bags in luggage storage at T1 at the airport then headed to T3 for the MRT train. Tapped our cards and they worked just fine. Took the airport train to Expo, and changed to a Downtown (blue line) train to Fort Canning (1.81 on the tickets).

Stopped at a Starbucks, because, the sweetie.

It was around midday at this point, so like a mad dog or an English man, we headed out into the midday sun. And climbed the hill around Fort Canning, having a look at the lighthouse and flagstaff.

Bird of prey in Fort Canning Park
Bird of prey in Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning Park
Fort Canning Park

Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay

Fort Canning Flagstaff
Fort Canning Flagstaff
Photo by Stu

Stu in Fort Canning Park
Stu in Fort Canning Park

Rain Tree in Fort Canning Park
Rain Tree in Fort Canning Park

Fort Canning Lighthouse
Fort Canning Lighthouse

Raffles House
Raffles House

Rain Tree in Fort Canning Park
Rain Tree in Fort Canning Park

Came back down the hill and had a bit of a wander through Clarke Quay.

Old Hill Street Police Station
Old Hill Street Police Station

Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay

Orchids at Clarke Quay
Orchids at Clarke Quay

Orchids at Clarke Quay
Orchids at Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay

Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay

Then another Starbucks to cool down.

It was now 13:15 and we needed to meet Audrey at 13:30, so hopped on a purple line train from Clarke Quay to Chinatown (0.83 on the ticket).

No durians sign
No durians sign

Waited a few minutes for Audrey to arrive (yayyy!! :) ) and then wandered into Chinatown to find some beer and lunch.

Audrey and Stu in Chinatown
Audrey and Stu in Chinatown

On the main drag we stopped in at a very touristy place, because, beer. Had a couple of beers, but didn't get much food from there because it was tourist price expensive. Just got some pork buns (just regular steamed buns not the awesomeness of crispy buns), and some egg yolk buns which were really good, Audrey was very impressed with them.

Kaz, Stu and Audrey in Chinatown
Kaz, Stu and Audrey in Chinatown

Egg yolk buns at Chinatown Seafood
Egg yolk buns at Chinatown Seafood

Then we headed into the big food hall and got a couple of different sorts of dumplings, both delicious (although I only had one of the spicy ones, because, spicy). Also coconut.

Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao store
Zhong Guo La Mian Xiao Long Bao store

Dumplings we ordered
Dumplings we ordered

Stu and coconut juice
Stu and coconut juice

All too soon it was time for Audrey to go to work, so headed back to the station and off she went.

Sadly the machines wouldn't let us use our tickets, claiming insufficient funds. Which was super sad times, because we had enough to get to the airport. And the minimum topup value was $10. So we just got single tickets as I really don't know if we'll be back before the tickets expire.

So blue train from Chinatown to the Airport, $2.60 each, changing at Expo.

At the airport took the Skytrain back to T1, and went and collected our bags. Reshuffled things again and then went down to checkin. They have machines to checkin, but you still have to queue up for the bag drop anyway, not really sure it saves any time.

Kinetic Rain sculpture
Kinetic Rain sculpture

Bags dropped, headed for the Qantas club. First order of business: a shower! Felt so much better after that. But not hungry because of lunch. So had a little bit to eat because dinner would be late, but not much.

Shower in Qantas Club
Shower in Qantas Club

Bathroom in Qantas Club
Bathroom in Qantas Club

The Qantas flight was in an A380, which was very full, but miracle of miracles, there was noone next to the sweetie, so we had the two seats out of three to ourselves.

Qantas Airbus A380-800 VH-OQK at Changi Airport
Qantas Airbus A380-800 VH-OQK at Changi Airport

Leg room on the A380
Leg room on the A380

The poor sweetie had no room at all the *entire* flight
The poor sweetie had no room at all the *entire* flight

Dinner was not too late, had pasta.

Pasta I had for dinner
Pasta I had for dinner

The A380 entertainment system is somewhat better than the old 747 one, but it's still not great, especially if you've just gotten off newer jets that have great systems. The Singapore Air one let you add stuff to a playlist which made it super easy to pick stuff later, and is quite quick and sensitive. The Qantas one is just slow and kludgy. The flight path never actually worked, and the whole system actually crashed in the first hour and they had to reboot it. Qantas really need to lift their game if they want to compete.

This Qantas' A380 is only 8 years old but already feeling its age - the flight path didn't work
This Qantas' A380 is only 8 years old but already feeling its age - the flight path didn't work

I watched three movies I've never seen before - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (somewhat silly), Heathers (yay 80s, not a bad movie), and The Seven Year Itch (also pretty silly).

They forgot to serve a bunch of rows breakfast which was pretty annoying. They claim we were sleeping. I don't buy it. Had to actually ask to get something. How rude.

View out the window
View out the window

Cool shadow over NSW
Cool shadow over NSW

Arrived in Sydney 3:15 Singapore time, 6:15 Sydney time. The approach to Sydney was super boring - came in from the north but the clouds didn't part til only a kilometre or so north of the runway.

Tail camera on the A380
Tail camera on the A380

Qantas Airbus A380-800 VH-OQK at Sydney Airport
Qantas Airbus A380-800 VH-OQK at Sydney Airport

Immigration was quick and easy, but then had to wait ages for our bags. This time at customs we declared "medicine" but they sent us through the straight to exit line. Go figure.

Took the transfer to domestic, and went to Qantas club for a light breakfast. Sat and watched the planes for a while before boarding.

Qantas Boeing 737-800 VH-VXQ at Sydney Airport - in retro livery
Qantas Boeing 737-800 VH-VXQ at Sydney Airport - in retro livery

Dash 8 to Canberra. We were right next to the propeller which made me slightly nervous heh. Takeoff from Sydney was equally boring as straight into the clouds. Pretty boring flight all up actually.

Qantas Dash8-400 VH-LQJ at Sydney Airport
Qantas Dash8-400 VH-LQJ at Sydney Airport

Arrived in Canberra, collected our bags, and taxi home, arriving home around 10:30.

Doc took great care of the place. There was a power outage a few days ago, but the UPS kept my computer going. Stumpy's heat lamp has blown, not sure when. Our pool is gone. Unpacked and did some washing, but zombie tired so had a nap, but had to force myself to get up and keep going.

So overall, a pretty good holiday. Certainly everything "worked". The biggest problem was the sweetie getting quite sick for a week or two, and he's still coughing even now. Kinda put dampener on the second half of the trip. And my permanent jet lag until we got to New York the first time didn't help my mood for the first half of the trip. Getting to go onto the bridge of the Queen Mary 2 was pretty awesome, as was getting to Maho Beach on St Maarten. And now the fun of sorting photos begins..!!