Wednesday 12 October 2011

P.S. Singapore and beyond.......what Calypso did next.

Oh hey hi guys.   This final “last” blog is for all you Calypsoites out there.   I have had a chance to read the cards you gave us at the end of the trip and it warms my heart to understand that we all did have one humdinger of a trip, a true Odyssey of an experience!  
We've been everywhere man!
Like I said in the last blog, I was off for a feed and a few bevies with the guys at the Hyatt and wammo what a spread it was. What a ripper, terrific food, great bubbles and loads of it.   Brilliant idea Mandy, really top draw, thanks.   I trust you and the others out there have a good time out in Australia with Jim at the real end to the trip, congratulations and well done and yes Mandy, you were right, Em deserved a better prize as Blog winner, so trust Pete will not skin me alive when he finds out that Odyssey paid her meal at the Hyatt...she wrote a great blog, as did you.  Fear not Pete I paid for my meal............

Seafood at the Hyatt in Singapore

Crab meat

Fresh prawns

Meat platter

Chocolate & raspberry slice

Chocolate fondue

Ben getting his money's worth in the dessert buffet
I must confess that I also feel sad because reality really set in as we said good bye to one and all as we headed back up to Malaysia and Calypso, the trip is over.  I mean of course I knew this before but somehow it only really sinks in when it happens!   Thanks again guys, keep in touch and who knows where we will next meet, an AA meeting most likely.   Trust you all got your flights ok.   Here we had a painless journey back.  Bus to Melaka and Calypso was parked up in KL by 5pm, curry and bed by 7:30pm.  Next stage the big clean and sort out ready for shipping.   Bosh what a day of cleaning it was, no rain thank goodness.   Colin, Wendy, Clare and Steve all helped and we blasted through the truck, wood rack and tyres off, tyres changed, sand mats off, seats out, bull bar off, tents up cleaned and away, kitchen cleaned and away, brilliant.  Knackered but happy, just need to do a service, board her up and we are ready, which reminds me I must phone the shipping agent!

A real spring clean

Sweaty CJ

All hands to the pumps

Calypso gets a full once-over

CJ actually working

Colin, Wendy, Clare & Steve, brilliant work, thanks guys!

Head-butting the tyre

Inside Calypso ready for shipping

Cleaning the tents

Steve gets to grips with Calypso's nuts


The name says it all, thanks Colin

Tyre time

Few photos here of the last few days just to keep those end of trip blues away as Calypso is now ready and so are we for the next great adventure, whatever that may be.   Trust all is good post trip, facebook says it is and that you all arrived at your next destinations safely.   As my gramps used to say, keep taking the pills and carry on.   RE truck gear for the UK is safely packed away, will mail you once we know UK arrival date....laters, CJ out

The Odyssey Boys in Melaka, Malaysia

The Odyssey Girls in Melaka

CJ & Jim all dressed up at the Long Bar, Raffles, Singapore

Travelling the subway in Singapore

Tent buddies, Mandy & Emily

Denis, Ben & Steve

Sylvia & Russell

Colin & Wendy

Sandra & Keith






Jenn & Claire

The Long Bar, Raffles Hotel, Singapore

The Scottish Connection - Clare & Denis

Saying farewell to Emily in Singapore

Monday 10 October 2011

We made it!

No regrets, big rewards from risk and now it is time for reflection, alternatively, we are here in Singapore, we have made it all the way overland!

Final farewells

The shirt says it all!
(Editors note...just get through the first paragraph it gets normal after that!)

This title is inspired by a book I once read in Spain, written following the research of a doctor at a hospital for the terminally ill, but with great relevance for those of us in the here and now.   The patients were asked what advice they would give.   Nearly all of them said that they wish they had risked more and reflected more, in the immediate, on all the things they had done in their lives, that they had “grounded” themselves and enjoyed not worried about life.   With this in mind I feel we Calypsoites can be happy that we have risked, we risked a great journey, an intangible goal/dream.   Just what were we going to get out of this trip, did we even know what we wanted out of it, and now it is very nearly done, did we get it?  Maybe this is where the reflection comes in, giving us a chance to relive the ups and downs we have had, lessons learned, sights seen, people met.   How have we grown, where are we now, are we the same people or changed?

Well I did say that this entry would be a little bit “reflective and airy” as i ponder 26,000kms, over 20 countries and 6 months of life affirming travel from London to Singapore all over land, with Australia a mere short hop away.

Still in the digestive phase here but let us start with the details of the last few days starting in the stunning Perhentian Islands of Malaysia.  The Odyssey Olympics were brilliantly organised by Zoe and Susan and saw us all running, jumping and crawling our way along the beach as we competed for Gold.  Now there was some discussion as to which team actually won and I feel that the real winners were the Yellow team.  Yes I was a member of this team but this is a completely true and fair account of the Olympics.   I mean ok yes Blue team got more points and were called the Gold medal winners and yes the Red team got Silver but I still feel that we the Yellows were the real winners, such heart and courage was shown as we battled our way to last place.  Selflessly we let the Blues have the glory they so badly wanted, selflessly once more we let the Reds, a desperate team of cheaters, have some glory, so well done Yellow team, walk tall you honest men and women!   Man we were smashed, terrible.   Anyway that was followed by a very pleasant beach side meal to celebrate Zoe’s Birthday.   It was then a sensible get up and boat ride back to the main land followed by what turned out to be a smooth ride into KL, laundry, dry rooms, cafes and a couple of very large, iconic towers!

The Perhentian Islands

Beautiful beaches

Plenty of fish!


Snorkelling with turtles

Keith, Sandra, Russell & Sylvia enjoying a beer and the view

Flying squirrel

Monitor lizard

Let the games begin

Tribal markings

The only thing the yellow team won... sand castle making

Beach art

Ben the mermaid

Iconic Petronas Towers


Let it rain!

It was in KL that Ben finally got to strut his comic stuff as he headlined a great gig at Dirty Nelly’s, a rather cool bar run by a couple of well know Malaysian DJs.   And yes he was funny...brilliant stuff, cheers mate.

On stage


Top comic, Ben Buckley

It was then a short and sadly final drive in Calypso!   Destination Melaka, yet another UNESCO god how many of those have we seen on this massive venture?   Top spot with the Geographers cafe coming out as the top nibblies spot.   It was very sadly also the spot where we said goodbye to Calypso, our very trusty beast of burden over these last 6 months.  Strange to see her in Malaysia, and stranger still to remember that we have driven her here from London!   My God but Dover seems an age ago.   It is not so much that we have been overland travelling these last few months rather overland travel is what we do, our definition our raison d’etre if you will, and now we must redefine ourselves and move onto the next thing, whatever that may be...ahhhhhhhh but not for two more days as we then travelled to Singapore in some considerable mini bus luxury, arriving to seal the overland section of this massive venture with horribly expensive gin slings at the Raffles Long bar and later today with what I am hoping will be a top feed at the Hyatt buffet lunch, arranged by Mandy.
Lovely Melaka

Transport, Melaka-style

The Long Bar, Raffles, Singapore

So there we are, 6 months and I cannot quite believe it is nearly over, I will go back to Calypso, sort her out and ship her back ready to make history again as she sets of on her next Odyssey and I will part from her with remarkable memories.   So let me end this blog by wishing my younger sister a very happy birthday, it is time for home, and thanking a few people,  Pete, Kirsten, I trust we have done you proud with this trip, thanks for the opportunity to experience such a venture.  Jim, my best friend and fantastically reliable bloke, top drive mate. Then to everyone on the trip, you Calypsoites, what to say other than a huge thank you for making this trip what it has been, a massive life living adventure that shows me yet again life really is a juice worth the squeeze, see you all for a good feed and booze up in a few hours.  For those of you out there in bloglandia reading this, I trust it has been a good read and maybe see you out there sometime in the future, hasta pronto and love Charlie X
Sally & Aoife

Ben, Zoe, Mandy and Susan

Keith & CJ

Colin & Wendy

Mandy, Denis & Lucy

Emily, CJ & Colin

CJ & Ben

Jenn, Jim & Clare

Sandra & Keith

Clare & Sylvia

Melissa, Aoife, Mandy & Lucy

Russell & Jenn

Sylvia & Russell, the Bears

Denis, Mandy & Steve

Jim & Colin

The posse, Odyssey Overland London to Australia 2011