18th December 2008

Well, here we go again!

Today I delivered my trusty Landcruiser to the shipping company in Suffolk. A ninety mile drive from south London on a bright and sunny morning brought me to Cars UK Ltd. They would load my car, and all the other cars coming from the UK, into containers for the three week journey from Felixstowe to Singapore.

Below are a couple of photos of my well-travelled Landcruiser parked up at the shipping company, awaiting loading into the container.

I had completed all the final checks on the car and, apart from a few spare parts being brought up from London by my friend Chris Cooper, the car was fully loaded.

I always get a sense of excitement and anticipation when the car is finally ready for shipping. We are less than two months away from the start of the tour and I can't wait for the event to begin. Let's hope it is as good as all the other drives we have done. If it is, I will be very happy indeed!

A very happy New Year

A very happy New Year to everyone who follows our travels around the world. May it be a healthy, peaceful and (dare I say it in these turbulent economic times?) a prosperous year.

Apologies to those who might have noticed my 'deliberate' mistake in the heading to the blog. Of course it should have been 'Singapore to Macau by 4x4 - February/March 2009' and NOT 2008! I've corrected the error.

Hyundai Singapore sailed from the UK on Jan 1st

On January 1st at 15.05 the container ship, Hyundai Singapore, sailed from London Thamesport for Singapore. According to the manifest, container No.MOFU0535743 containing my Landcruiser, is on the ship. Let's hope so!

A recent photo of the Hyundai Singapore, fully laden with containers. For a larger image just click on the photo.

The journey will take 20 days, with the ship scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 20.00 hrs on January 20th. This will allow plenty of time for unloading, customs clearance and delivery to the storage area where we will collect the cars on February 5th.

January 20th - Arrival in Singapore?

Well, according to the shipping line's schedules, the Hyundai Singapore should have docked in Singapore today, at 22.00 hrs. With just over two weeks before the start of the tour, there should be plenty of time for customs clearance.

I've just received my new Rino Garmin handheld combined GPS/walkie-talkie, as well as a road map data card for Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. We don't normally use sat-nav devices on these drives, as the 'tulip' road books that HERO provides, give us all detailed navigation information we need. Still, it's good to have the Garmin, as it gives lots of useful information, such as restaurants, petrol stations and general points of interest.

Finally, thank goodness we paid for the event when the sterling/dollar rate was $2.00/£. The collapse in sterling to $1.40/£, over the past six months, only means that the running costs on the event will be 30% more expensive and not the shipping and hotels. Still, it's not good news, when we all need something to cheer about at the moment!

January 21st - Arrived.

The MOL Shipping line website has now confirmed that the Hyundai Singapore container ship has arrived in Singapore.

The container port with the Singapore skyline as a backdrop.

January 23rd

I've just been reliably informed by our organisers that the cars on the Hyundai Singapore have now been 'unstuffed' from their containers.

We have all received collection timings for our cars. I'll be picking the Landcruiser up at 2pm on Thursday 5th February and driving it to the underground garage of Raffles Hotel.

January 29th - T Minus 5 and counting

Only five days to go before we head for Singapore on the 21.15 BA flight from Heathrow. I've just discovered that at least four other participants are on the same flight as us, so we will be able to start the partying early!

In today's Telegraph there is a front page report of bad weather, including heavy snowfalls, hitting the south and east of the UK next Monday and Tuesday. We have got to hope that Heathrow is kept clear and the flight goes on time.

If the snow does come, I'll post some photos of a snowy London, which will make quite a contrast to Singapore, where it is currently 33 degrees!

I've now heard that the cars have all cleared Singapore customs and that our 'slot' for collecting the Landcruiser is a week today at 2pm. That will give us nearly two days to make our final arrangements before the tour starts at 9am on Saturday 7th from Raffles Hotel.

Finally, thanks to Tony from Brisbane for his comments which I have published on my posting of January 23rd. It's good to see that the blog is being read by people from far and wide. If you want to read any comments click on the comment link at the bottom of each posting