Obstacles are there to be overcome; or finding a way from Singapore to Australia by sea

by Anna Blanch on March 10, 2012

By far the most complex part of the planning so far has been trying to come up with options for navigating south east Asia between Singapore and Australia (largely by sea) safely. I’ve already written a couple of posts about like Sailing Asia? Or what to do about the possibility of Pirates. It’s not an exaggeration to say that this area of the world is much more convenient to fly in hops, but…and this is a big but – I really don’t want to hinder the spirit of this trip just because it is hard. I’m not willing to get my mother completely offside by suggesting something inherently unsafe – but what I hope she and you realise is that I’m not actually clueless. I do want to experience this trip without risking my own safety. I do keep harping on about safety because the reality is that this is at the forefront of your mind as a woman traveling solo. It’s a fact of life (unfortunately).

On that note, I’ll be taking my ‘wedding ring’ with me on this trip – it’s a plan (very cheap gold band) I bought a number of years on the advice of a more seasoned traveler. It was extremely helpful the last time I was in asia alone – rather useful for convincing someone you have someone waiting for you. It’s a low risk way of helping you avoid the more persistent hawkers and touts.

So how do I think I can do this?

After a bunch of research on all the lonely planet boards and finding people who’ve traveled in the archipelago regions, I’ve hatched an itinerary that looks to be possible. This is so much more attractive to me than giving up in Singapore and flying to Cairns!

Okay, so here’s my rough plan (as it stands – these things as with all things Overland to Oz may change as we go along):

  1. A Ferry from Singapore to Batam (Indonesia)
  2. Batam to Jayapura (West Papua) (inter-island ferry with PELNI)
  3. Jayapura to Vanimo (PNG) (sea or bus)
  4. Vanimo to Popondetta (PNG) (passenger ship)
  5. Popndetta to Alotau (passenger ship)
  6. Alotau to Cairns (small cruise ship)

This is the beginnings of a plan that might actually work! If there’s anyone who might be interested in joining me for the Singapore to Alotau leg, please let me know! It would actually be good to have company for this part.

 

Listening. Observing. Participating. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.

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Traveller. Scholar. Photographer. Writer. Dreamer. Teacher. Anna Blanch is founder of Goannatree, and a PhD candidate in the Institute of Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at St Mary’s College, University of St Andrews, Scotland. Overland to Oz is a crazy adventure marked with photos and word and inspired by the incredible women in Anna’s family, especially her late grandmother, whom she knew as Nan-Nan.

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