“I” I said, “will, no matter what time of the morning it is, drink a Vodka Martina at the Raffles before setting out on this Journey”.
At ten o’clock I sat at the cocktail bar in the Raffles’ front courtyard with the drinks list in hand. “Hum, a little on the pricy side” I said. “how much” said Seb, I told him, we looked at the menu, we looked at each other, we looked at the pair of shiny white bicycles leaning at the end of the bar and slowly and quietly we rose, took hold of our machines and made our way to the exit. And so our journey began, cocktail free.
An hour later the future of the journey looked to be on rather a sticky wicket when a police motorcyclist explained how he could confiscate our bicycles and have them impounded and crushed. We explained to the policeman as politely as we could that there were no signs informing us that this road was a bicycle free zone and he explained that bicycles were not allowed on the freeway and that ignorance of the law is not a valid defence.
We employed diplomacy and narowly escaped having to send a rather embarrassing letter to Alta explaining how the bicycles had been impounded and destroyed after only twenty kilometres and left to find a more minor road.
Our bicycles continue to be a focus of attention. We are becoming quite used to being photographed by now. I like to think that it is my handsome good looks but if I am honest I would have to admit that it is the white bicycles.
We crossed the causeway from Singapore to Malaysia, immigration on both sides was simple fast and efficient, and we began our ride to Thailand by plotting a course north-east.