03 September 2011

The Southern Ridges

Edited to add this Note: I realized this post is nothing historical or informative. It is more of a personal perspective.

"Are there snakes here?" "Of course." That answer was all it took to remind me that Singapore is not just an urban jungle but a country that is literally trying to grow a jungle within the city. We hiked from Harbourfront MRT to Mount Faber Park, which was the start of our walk through The Southern Ridges. Like most trips I had, I tend to get lost in the moment and just enjoy it so I tend to miss out the details.

I hesitated to join the trip since the weather forecast showed mostly rain showers and thunderstorms. It did rain that morning but stopped at around 10 in the morning. The cloudy sky was a consolation for me because it would mean that I wouldn't be perspiring a lot. I was all geared up though: light clothes, running shoes, a baseball cap, an umbrella and a point & shoot camera. My companions were just wearing sandals and that made me feel too equipped.

The uphill climb to Mount Faber was the most difficult part. My knees aren't designed to repetitively bend at 90-degree angles but had to do it. I eventually reached the top, and it was just the beginning of a long journey through paved trails that cut through thick foliage. The scene from the top was peaceful but wasn't really breathtaking. But peace was what I needed and I could stay there and not budge. Unfortunately, I could stay only for a short time and had to move forward to the Henderson Waves Bridge.

The flip of the trail map from my companion's iPad was quick but I wasn't quick enough to catch where we are headed. My fear was to walk in the woods and get lost for being left out. But I'm glad that wasn't the case. I managed to maintain a decent conversation though I'm not really good at spitting words. To like people to talk to me is just unnatural of me. However I can get too comfortable and I may never stop talking.

It rained again while we were at Henderson Waves Bridge. I couldn't do much. A cheap camera isn't even too helpful but I did manage to take a few snapshots from the top. At least the camera had this miniature effect mode and I like the way how some of the photos turned out.

We came across a few tourists who were also following the trail but all of them came from the other side. I was curious why we had to walk from the other end, but I guess there must be a reason. Unfortunately, I could not figure it out until now. I feel more obliged to go back there and just have a better look just like when I'm reading a story for the second time. The first time is always a blur and I think I might have forgotten the names of other parks we went through.

The next trail we took was the Forest Walk which seemed endless but definitely came to a stop at the Alexandra Arch. I was too tired to take the camera out of my pocket though I am totally sure I wasn't dead tired at the moment. It was probably because the sun came out of hiding out and it was already 2 hours past noon time. That breakfast we had at McDonald's have all been converted into heat. However, lunch was easy to dismiss at the time since HortPark was something I thought I couldn't miss.

The sky was as boring as blank canvas but the vegetation at HortPark were interesting. Wish I could borrow my friend's photos of the flowers and butterflies and post them here. There was one spot I liked a lot. Right there, peace came back to console me and wished it lasted longer.

My stomach started growling and so we headed to the Alexandra Market. I decided to have Thai food for lunch and then shared ice kachang with a friend. I fell asleep in the bus and woke up just before my stop. It was 5 in the afternoon when I got home. Exhaustion finally claimed me and so I hit the sack. Then again, I wished everyday is just like that -- a good hike.

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