Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hiking on a public holiday...

January 2. Public holiday in Singapore.


Whereas most of the Singapore population were probably still in bed fast asleep and enjoying the last day before the madness of another work/schoolyear, I have already left the house at that ungodly hour to meet up with good friend Melvin.

I haven't seen the guy in ages. I haven't gone hiking in awhile. It was time for another hike with this guy. He asked Bryan to come along. But when he found out what time the hike was, he chose the bed. I asked Alex and Chris to come along. Same response as Bryan.

Not everyone is as crazy as me and Melvin I suppose. Hehe!

Days before the hiking get-together, Melvin and I were talking about where to go. He suggested having no plans and just getting lost. I though, "Uhm, no." Hehe. I told him I miss the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. So we agreed that's where we're going.

But come hiking day, there was a change of plans just when we reached the nature reserve. Melvin suggested doing the kampong trail. He also asked whether I was up for some fish feeding.

He said, "It is therapeutic, you know." I was psyched for a hike that morning. So even though he said we will be walking for two plus hours, I was okay with it. (Uhm, I was sort of okay that Alex and Chris didn't go. Otherwise, they would have killed me for sure. Haha!)

After parking the car at the Beauty World Plaza (I'm serious! That's the name of the building!), Melvin led the way towards the kampong trail. We quickly passed by a convenience store to buy a loaf of bread for the fishies. And then, we were off.

We were along a main street, car after car zooming past us, and I had to ask if we were supposed to be walking along that road. We reached a part of the road where Melvin just jumped over a road barrier. I just followed.

The next I know, we were already surrounded by trees. There was not a concrete building in sight. It was all greens, the morning sun, and the chirping of birds. Nice, nice.

We kept on walking for about an hour. There were other hikers and trail bikers. I'm not sure what area that was, but I followed Melvin as he made his way through a path lined with trees. This led to a hidden pond.

After finding a spot to sit down, Melvin brought out the loaf of bread. He took out one slice, tore a piece and threw it into the water. Ripples started forming as several fishes suddenly zoomed towards the bread. I took my own slice, and started throwing small pieces into the water, amused by the fishes that raced towards the bread. Several minutes later, a terrapin surfaced and started swimming to the bread pieces as well. Several minutes more, we spotted a number of snakeheads and their young. There was also one huge black fish, which Melvin thinks is a pacu, that joined the other fishies.

Around 11 plus, Melvin and I started to head back to "civilization." We took a different path going back, but it still brought us to the area where we started.

We also reached an area where the KTM railroad tracks used to be. I'm glad I was able to see those tracks a couple of months ago, before they were taken out. It was a part of Singapore history.

It was a good hike, I have to say. Came across some kingfishers, a sunbathing gecko (read: ordinary lizard - LOL!), snakeheads, a terrapin, several monkeys, an oriole, an unidentified bright red-chested bird, and an Oriental whip snake!!!

So, you see, Singapore is not all about skyscrapers and luxury malls, it has a "green" side which I am just really happy to discover because it brings back memories of the Philippine countryside (which I love!)

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