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Dave & Jo’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 16 Aug 2007

Location: Singapore, Singapore

MapThis is the final blog entry for this part of our trip, tomorrow we fly home and from there we have a few weeks before we embark on the second leg.

Since leaving Malaysia weve done a few things, we had a weekend in Singapore to see The Cure, they were awesome, played a set that was over 3 hours long, cant complain about what they played or the length of the show.

Then we high tailed it back to Thailand to see if we could get another slug of wind, and get up on the kite board. I have to say that its not as easy as it seems, and when the wind started to blow at over 20 knots, my kite was just too powerful to use. But on the plus side I saw definite improvement, I just need some nice stable wind for another week and Ill be there.

We then managed to have a bit of nightmare with flights. On getting confirmation for our new flight date, we asked what our baggage allowance would be, they said 30kg each and with the Kitesurf wed easily use all of that. However on looking at the Qatar website it states that economy ticket holders only get 20kg, Jo called the airline and the conversation went something like this

Jo: Were travelling economy, Singapore to London and would like to confirm our baggage allowance
Qatar: It states the allowance on your ticket
Jo: I dont have the ticket I only have a print out, can you check your system.
Qatar: The standard amount is 20kg per person
Jo: How much is excess baggage?
Qatar: £25 per kilo
Jo So a kite surfing bag, weighing approx 30kg, will be £600 in excess baggage charges
Qatar: Yes
Jo: Do you do any sport kit packages, where we can purchase weight up front?
Qatar: No

This conversation is relayed back to me as Jo informs me that there is no baggage information on the print out we received from Qatar, filled with an impending panic because we no longer had the actual paper ticket and were due to fly in 3 days, I called Qatar and the conversation went like this:

David: Were travelling back to London on the 13th and we no longer have our paper tickets, is this a problem?
Qatar: You are on a paper ticket; you must present the coupon in order to get on the flight
David: We no longer have the tickets as we believed from our conversation last week that they were no longer valid
Qatar: If you no longer have the ticket the only way to get on the flight on Monday is to buy a new ticket, one way to London is £784 per person, would you like to buy a new ticket?
David: No, Id like the tickets to be re-issued
Qatar: You can have them re-issued but all tickets must come from London via Dubai and then through our re-issuing office in Bombay, this will take at least two working days. They wont be here in time for your flight on Monday morning. I can put you on a waiting list for a flight on the 26th August.

I have to say that at this point I was just thinking of myself, wondering if Jo would let us stay in Thailand so I could grab another week in the wind. It was a slim hope and upon relaying the news my hopes were quickly dashed, when Jo stated that on no account would we be staying in Phuket. Ho Hum. In all fairness it was a bit of an ask, there is very little to do on Nai Yang beach if youre not a wind junkie, and the beach is full of nasty biting sand flies, far more itchy than any mossie bites, so after a week reading by the pool, Jo wanted to do something else, and I dont blame her.

We got back to Singapore last Saturday (11th Aug) and raced to get the Qatar office before it closed at lunchtime, and just missed it. On the 13th when we should have been in the air we went to see them, we had been moved from a waiting list on the 26th to the 17th, hopefully just an extra 4 days in Singapore. There are plenty of worse places to be stuck for a few days, problem has been finding cheap accommodation, its all booked well in advance. And to stopping spending, we have found another shopping mecca.

Once again Qatar confirmed our 20kg weight limit, and not wanting to spend £600 just getting this stuff home, we took a trip to a local post office and posted back 30kg via slow boat, much cheaper.

That evening we received a call from Qatar confirming our ticket re-issue and confirming the flight on the 17th, yippee. We went to collect the tickets the following day and found that our baggage allowance was in fact 30kg, draining. Although taking another look at our stuff, we may still hit the 60kg limit, oops.

And what have we done with our extra days in Singapore? Shopped, weve cruised the endless shopping malls and shopped. Terrible, we took a break from shopping yesterday and visited Chinatown, awesome fresh noodles, and then off to Raffles in the evening to sample an original Singapore Sling, at £7 a pop we just had the one round.

And this is it the final day of our trip, its been amazing, but were really looking forward to seeing all our friends and family (And squeezing in a bit more kitesurfing). If you have a chance to take some time out and explore, do it, youll never regret it.