Here is a little insight into what we might just ‘do’ all day when we are not sailing, diving, snorkelling, relaxing or socialising with other cruisers. And another story to add to the little known fact that cruising and boat ownership sometimes feels like endless repairs and maintenance in exotic places.
I love technology and simplicity and get very excited when I find new stuff that helps my life run a bit more smoothly – which is why I am sharing with anyone who will listen about my UBER experience. Yes I have found UBER and am now wondering how I ever existed beforehand. Well I do know really, I existed in a travellers world where I walked miles and searched for a taxi stand only to find myself joining the end of a queue so long I audibly groaned. Yeah that was me. Or I called a cab company with appalling attempts to explain my location in Malay/Chinese/Spanish/French/Thai.. you get my gist, only to wait eternally for the appointed car to arrive, or not arrive as was often the case.
Here’s my shameless plug – if reading this inspires you to create an UBER account please enter my referal invite code ubersalty123 and we will both receive free rides!
In Asia the cabs with the TAXI lamp on top are not always in the best condition, often no seat-belts or air-conditioning and with questionable cleanliness. All over the world these branded Taxis charge such inflated rates I never get that ‘value for money’ feeling. Taxis in Perth, Australia wins this title with a $55 fare for a mere 13 minute and 14km drive. Ok they did have seatbelts and I get they have to cover various license costs but I don’t really want to foot this if I don’t have to.
Then I found UBER. This company uses technology to link registered drivers in their own vehicles operating their car as a small business with passengers like me and everything is managed through an App on your smartphone. UBER determines the fare – not you or the driver – which is calculated by distance and estimated in advance and you know EXACTLY how long it will be before your driver arrives. If this wasn’t enough good stuff the awesomest part is they are often over 50% cheaper than the corresponding taxi quote. Yep! that’s 50% travellers transport savings. Here’s a recent test quote for a ride I took towards Singapore – minimum fare for Taxi was $17 vs UBER $7 and I was actually charged $7.40 when I completed the journey.
For the booking you can choose what type of car you’d like from standard UBER-X through to UBER XL (Executive Luxury) depending on what is locally available. Then you enter the pick-up point and destination (both with GPS locations) and this not only tells your driver where to find you but gives them the map navigation route to follow to your destination. If there is more than one route option they will ask which one you prefer when they collect you. But for me the real travellers magic is the that it conveniently manages the payment through your registered Credit Card or PayPal. Absolutely no cash is exchanged, no fare negotiation is required. You simply get charged on the milage and demand rate. If you are someone who likes to know these things upfront the fare can easily be estimated before you book.
Travelling UBER feels very safe to me compared to flagging down any marked cab on the road. Before the car arrives I have the name and photo of my driver, the car make/model and plate number to identify them with. In Malaysia I’ve been transported by Mums who do it part-time when the kids are at school, supply teachers making up the hours, Uni students supplementing their cash to study, people in-between jobs and similar friendly and interesting drivers were encountered in the UK and Singapore. In Australia we met an entrepreneurial driver who had his own limousine hire company in Sydney but had recently relocated to Perth. He had taken the decision to drive with UBER for 6 months to learn the streets and obtain first hand knowledge of the transport trends and anticipated costs in order to establish a similar set-up to his Sydney business.
My experiences so far have all been exceptionally good. Beautifully maintained new cars sometimes bottled water, mints and even the daily paper have been offered. Sure UBER is not everywhere (we found none in Spain) but for travellers and especially boating cruisers with no wheels and often no knowledge of the local area it is a real godsend. Hey, if you look on the UBER map and there are no cars available you can always revert to old-school taxi/bus/pre-UBER existence!
So how do you get it? Easy! Log on to uber.com or Install the free Android or iOS app to your phone, launch it and follow the steps to set up your account and you are ready to go. Here’s my plug – if reading this inspires you to create an UBER account please enter my referal invite code ubersalty123 and we will both receive free rides – now that’s UBER love 🙂
Hiya! it’s no secret I’ve been awol a few years from posting here and so many wonderful journeys and events happened in that time. Neil has captured some fantastic anchorages and bits of Tiki’s ongoing refurbishment on our site at SY Tiki – Adventures on a Young Sun 43 Both sites need updating and overhauling and it’s on the nice job list for me now I have the time.
A quick summary is we journeyed up and down East Australia spending 2011 between Queensland’s coral coast down to Sydney and all of 2012 on Sydney Harbour. 2013 started in Tasmania for a haul out and refit before cruising to Pittwater, getting married (yippee!) and then north again to Brisbane where we stayed until May 2014.
The adventure continues as our route takes us further north and over the top of Australia to Darwin and into Indonesia. Let’s see how I go this time with the updates… I’m more consistent with Twitter – @saltygardener or Instagram – @saltygardener if you’d like to follow me.
Wishing you fair winds and rich soils.
Sand engine instrument panel, repair joins and oil teak
Refurb main skylight hatch. Remove teak trims and old window and replace with new. Sand and stain the trims and hatch base. Polish steel bars. Re-assemble and remounted.
Sew spray hood patches where fabric has worn. Replace old broken clears with new clear vinyl.
Align and install the spray hood frame mounts on deck. Design and install a mount for the foot-rail of the spray hood to attach to.
Put up the spray hood and test for sturdiness, attach webbing straps where needed.
Glue and repair the interior drawers from the aft cabin.
Test out new 3.5HP Yamaha engine on the dingy. Check out all the other boats in the Marina whilst doing this :0)
Complete overhaul of the engine fuel system – fuel tank emptied and cleaned, fuel filter lines replaced, manual lift pump removed and cleaned out (noted – need to buy new one). Primary and secondary fuel pumps removed, cleaned, filters replaced. Electric fuel primer pump & filter cleaned.