I see a gray big building with a tower in front of me. Woodlands, says a road sign with big capitals. This is it. This is my last border crossing. Large buildings on the other side of the river are saying what this means for me and my journey. There is Singapore. Almost a year ago I departed from Rotterdam in the Netherlands, without even having a clue of what I was going to undertake. Chills went through my body.
Have I really cycled from Rotterdam to Singapore?
My departure from Melaka in Malaysia was with mixed feelings. It was still 250km to the final destination. I had a very nice evening in Melaka. An Asian karaoke night. If you’ve ever heard me sing then you understand how much fun this was. After a final shot of rum I made my decision. The next day I was going to break my daily record with the longest distance in one day. My daily record was 202km in Iran.
The next morning I got way too late on my bicycle for a record day. After a year of continues camping I’m still not a morning person. It wasn’t easy. Not because I couldn’t keep on cycling in a fast pace, but more because I had all these spontaneous meetings today.
In Muar a guy named Acid came cycling around a corner. Acid is a cyclist with passion and I knew him from the cycling world on the internet. Never really met him. And suddenly I cycled into him in the middle of Malaysia, nothing agreed, just a spontaneous encounter. I recognised him immediately.
And what amazing, how small the world can be!
Later in the evening, I met a traveler on his old Yamaha motorbike. On older man from Singapore. The sweet man didn’t stopped talking. He even wanted to bring me to a safe campsite for the night. He warned me about robbery in this area. I listened to the sweet old mans stories but it started to get late. I still had not broken my record. I told him that I really needed to go and kick in some last mileage. And finally late that night I find a campsite after breaking my daily record with 10km. Now it was 211,5km!
I really was exhausted.
I pitched my tent there in the dark. Misquotes had bitten me all over. Ants had bitten me all over. I couldn’t care less. The end was near. 20km left to Singapore.
The next day I’m there right next to that big gray building not knowing what to really feel. Am I proud? Disappointed? Happy? I don’t know yet. Until the moment that in Singapore I get an escort by the Anza international cycling club. We went around, drink a coffee and went to the WWF Singapore office for an official welcome here in Singapore. And what a welcome it was! There was a line of people waiting, clapping, yelling! Even a waving panda!
I was getting it by now. I felt happiness. Yes, this felt great! I actually made a dream come true!
I cycled from Rotterdam to Singapore!