To get to Malaysia from Indonesia you have to cross the notorious Singapore Straights – the busiest shipping lane in the world – they are not kidding. The actual crossing is only about a mile so takes only a short time but you are dodging huge tankers, tugs and cargo ships, all of which are doing at least double your speed. It was quite fun weaving in and out of them and once we had crossed we just stayed just outside the shipping lane and headed up toward Johor Bahru in Malaysia.
We headed straight to Puteri marina, but as we had not got a pen here, we only stayed the night, checked into Malaysia and a group of us ended up having a drink in one of the many bars. The next morning we up-anchored and together with Restless M we headed for another marina just five miles up the river. We were not sure what to expect as they had demolished the older one and re-built this one – Country Garden (very Malaysian name!) as part of a huge development of condominiums. 8,400 in all. There was not a marina as such, just a jetty with 9 pens, but it was great not to have to launch the dinghy and worry about dragging. The gem here was the infinity pool. It was such a clean pool and always empty! There were guards everywhere in very smart uniforms shooing some of the locals away from the pool and blowing their whistles so that we could swim, and every time we left the marina they saluted us! Claire and I even went through a couple of times just for a giggle to get another salute….
We were not the only people from the rally here. Brahminy 11 were also here. They have gear box problems so they may be here for a while. We spent the next day sorting out our phones and getting new sim cards for Malaysia and ended up in a huge Hypermarket, where Claire & Errol and us stayed for dinner. It was weird not eating Indonesia food as the restaurants here are far more western even though they offer Malaysian food.
There is massive construction going on in Johor. It is only a few miles from Singapore and connected by two bridges. The construction is mainly carried out by Indians and Pakistanis and the money is flowing in from Singapore. Most of the apartments in the complex have been bought by Singaporeans as they are up to a third cheaper than in Singapore. The landscaping was very artistic and included unusual streetscaping – all themed on the ocean.
We spent a few days here shopping and working on the boat and then decided to head over to Singapore for a few days – three countries in a week! Next up: Singapore