SDS 1.3 – Welcome to the Jungle

Past the urban jungle of Singapore, lies nature (relatively) untouched. There, our adventure crew for the weekend headed into Bukit Timah nature reserve for their guided walk by the park volunteers! It happens every 3rd Saturday of the month and it’s totally free, unless you’re in a large class group or something then you’d have to pay for the excursion. Meanwhile, this episode’s co-stars include: Joelyn Alexandra, Raven Silvers and Avariel. (Mintea guest stars in the later part of this post.)

We were to meet at least by 9.15am because the guided tour started at 9.25am. I was early however, reaching there at 9am so I set up my camera to check which settings would be best to use. Unlike normal days, I was using a DSLR this time cause I wanted some pictures of nature for some competition I needed. With that said, haaaaa. I didn’t put in my best shots in this post because I would be using those for the competition. Oh, if you’re wanting to go on a guided tour around the parks and all, just go to the Nparks website and check the info there, you need to call them up to register.

Anyway, what was surprising because it was a weekend morning and there were numerous people with hiking sticks that I had no idea where they got them from walking around from the carpark area into the nature reserve. I thought it would have been a quiet and “ulu” place to go to but apparently it’s pretty popular. On the other side of the visitor centre is some track route for mountain bikers so that was cool seeing people in gear getting ready to ride up the bumps and stuff.

If you don’t know the general rules of the place, it pretty much is leave nothing but footsteps and take nothing but pictures. And oh, don’t feed the monkeys. There’s loads of monkeys around so don’t disturb them and they won’t disturb you.

Don’t feed theeeeem. They have enough food in the forest without people feeding junk to them.

Oh yeah, near the visitor centre, I saw this. Bonus points achieved if you get to see this in my various posts or locations! They’re markers for historical events in Singapore. I can’t remember how many of them are there in total but they’re there! There’s a list somewhere, I think. This one is the battle for Bukit Timah.

Anyway, the rest arrived pretty early and so we went up the exhibition hall to look at the stuff there. It’s pretty much a little info centre where you get to read about nature’s products and what past adventurers did at Bukit Timah in the past when there were tigers and all that.

Try to spot a fake owl on the tree if you can but pretty much this section showed what wildlife was there in the past. I’m sure there’s still owls and the such at the nature reserve… Just no more tigers. After wasting enough time up there, we headed back down to find the rest who have registered for the walk. There were two groups and we went with Anne, an experienced volunteer guide for the reserve.

She pretty much showed us which trees and plants were what that surrounded the visitor centre and we made our way on the green route, up on the hill. There’s also the red, yellow and blue route. The green route is the easiest.

Anyway, we saw lots of stuff including lizards, spiders, bugs and all sorts of creatures. It is best to go on the standard routes because the reserve is actually that dense and you’re not to actually break/trample on these plants and such. Don’t be naughty and break a branch or decide to take a fruit or two cause those things are for the animals to eat.

Fun fact, you might find one of the tallest trees in the forest (there’ll be a sign/nameplate near it) and at the back of it, there’s safety lightning conductor rods to direct it away from the tree during a storm. We also learned that if the cicadas stop singing, hurry to a shelter because that means there will be rainfall and you totally don’t want to be out in the rain when branches could fall down at any time.

Anywho, after the educational guide which taught us which plants were what and the history of the reserve itself, Anne left us at the mid point of the hill where we are welcomed to choose any of the routes or to just head downwards to go back to the visitor centre. We said goodbye to her and decided that since we were there, we might as well get to the top!

Oooh, considering we weren’t close to any buildings and the electrical interferencess, Raven told us her compass app finally worked properly! Not that we really needed it but it was cool to know it worked.

Eventually, we made our way up! For those who played Tomb Raider: Underworld, you will find the “short cut” to the top pretty similar to the game in the first few levels because the steps are pretty high. We took the long route to the top which was a winding path, passing by people with baby strollers and the such. It was a long walk and we ran away from various butterflies, bees flying at us.

And yet, once we reached the top, you can notice the (abandoned??) phone/radio tower thingies. I think they’re in use though because then Raven’s iPhone had difficult in connecting anything. Compare to the first pic and to this, you can tell how high we were up in a way.

And after a rest… Going downwards was the hardest part. UNNGH, our thighs were achey by the time we reached downwards. We took the shortcut which would have been more tiring for us to go up to instead of down. It was kinda scary too because it really was that steep. This is the part that was totally like those levels on Lara Croft, only without the shooting of acid poison spitting Nagas, bats flying out of nowhere and without the jaguars attacking you.

So hurray! That was fun! We might go again and check out the other routes. After that though, we went to Al Amin to eat and heck, yeah it’s like we replace the calories we lost by eating lots of stuff like cheese prata, mee goreng with Milo drinks and all. Next stop, we needed to meet Mintea as I wanted to pass her some t-shirts she ordered online! I hmmed for a bit and figured the one place which was a good meeting point in the city.

Oh heck yes, we cam whored a bit there in front of the Singapore Arts Museum. In fact, before we did so, people were just passing by and looking curiously. When we started our own mini photoshoot, other people wanted to do so too, so that was cool.

GUESS WHO MADE IT! It’s by Vertical Submarine! We totally love their stuff, only we don’t know their contacts so if anyone knows, send me an email and all. We want to nominate them for NAC’s Young Artists Award under visual arts if we can. I say “if we can” because there’s details in the nomination form that can seem stalkerish if you’re a random person who wants to nominate whoever you want to be part of the list. You might also remember from here that we went to see Vertical Submarine’s side of the exhibition at SAM too.

We met Mintea and passed her the stuff but then decided to head to the National Library to do some research over some book things. In line with the day’s theme of conservation and natury stuff, it was interesting to see an exhibition there about recycling and all that save the Earth things! We saw something… That we wanted to try out though.

SEGWAAAAAAAAAY! We got to ride a Segway once we signed the indemnity forms. It was a slow ride for all of us because we were leaning slowly and following the instructor. It’s the new version where the wheels can go on rough terrain. It would be so cool if I had one… ANYWAY, that’s the end of this post. The rest of the day had to do with book research and then off we went home.

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Well, this is seriously Sarah and that's all you need to know for now.

2 thoughts on “SDS 1.3 – Welcome to the Jungle”

  1. Your adventures really ARE adventures. I don’t think i’ll ever keep up.

    But OOH. I’ve hiked at Bukit Timah before……four years back…haha…i remember that super vertical slope right in the middle of the hike.

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