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lundi, mai 02, 2005

 Labour Day Holiday 2005: Pulau Ubin

So we kind of went to Pulau Ubin today. If you think "kind of" is "really did", you're right. We went to Pulau Ubin today and got baked - broiled actually, since it wasn't fantastically sunny, but it was still really hot, and the humidity was.. certifiably, Arkham Asylum insane.

We met at 10:30am at Tanah Merah MRT and took the number 2 bus over to Changi Jetty/Changi Village. Of course, it was lunch time, so we ate first. Which means we got to the island at the scorching hour of... 12:30pm. I think. Somehow, time doesn't make a lot of sense when you're about to get browned.

we kind of took a trip...we kind of took a trip...
LEFT: Walking shoes! RIGHT: My first look at Pulau Ubin in 10 years.

We met at 1030, had lunch at Changi Village, and finally got to the island by bumboat. Charges are $2 per pax, $2 more if you bring your bike. The first person we see when we get there is Samuel. WL: "Hey! Leaving already?" Sam: "Yah, we got here at 9am, so going back now." Smart lads. It was about 12:30, and we were cooking. Broiling. Browning. Whatever. It was HOT.

Sam was there with his cell group. We were there in a big bunch, 16 people strong, made up of Tat's teevee ministry people, and a couple of crusaders. Linked by a twin threads of commonality called Tat, and Jesus.

...and there...and there
got back into the bumboatand splashed our way back to the mainland
Gorgeous day! But hot. And humid. But no rain!
Some amazingly kind soul(s) had gone ahead in an advance party and borrowed bikes for us. They've been on the island since 10:30 waiting for us. We had NO idea about this. After sorting out the punctured tires and adjusting seats and gears, we headed off! After about 5-10 minutes of cycling, we got to... the CENTRE of the island. No kidding. It's THAT small. Some people wanted to see Chek Jawa, so we headed in that direction.

Lots of slopes and hills, though luckily nothing went over 30m above sea level. We went the wrong way once, which ended up at the toilet (which was a stroke of fortune for those who had to go.) We took a break there, and then headed off again, in pursuit of the Chek Jawa trail. Not as easy to find as you might think - there are paved trails, and there are dirt trails - the trail leading to Chek Jawa was a dirt trail.

After about another 10 minutes of cycling and pushing our bikes up hills (followed by the exhilarating downhill scream of fun as you hurtle along at 50m an hour), we reached Chek Jawa. The picture's on the top of the blog, but you can see a larger picture here.

Josh and WL at the scary bridgewl and some girl

It was... underwhelming. It really was just a marshland, but I guess in land-scarce Singapore, it's a gold mine. A really seaweedy, smelly one. With nothing to do but to sit and feed mosquitoes, we decided to explore a little, and hiked over to the abandoned jetty bridge, which was quite an exciting thing to do, since we had to walk over a single plank to get onto the bridge, which had broken off somewhere in the middle, and had large, scary cracks all over. Josh started jumping up and down halfway anyway... mad boy.

We got down and walked further, where we saw sea cockroaches, a whole bunch of small crab-holes, crunchy seaweed baked in the sun, and a German man studying for his basic theory driving test on a boulder overlooking the sea. No kidding. It's in two weeks' time, and he's confused about our road signs. He thought that Ubin was a nice place for a getaway, and provided some nice scenery for studying ambiance.

Tat also caught an eyeful of a couple making out. Or so he says. Hee hee.

After hanging out at Chek Jawa for about an hour, it was time to let the mosquitoes find other targets, so we left in search of our new holy grail: the cold soft drink. Our bottles were mostly empty by this time, and I, for one, was starting to feel the lack of sugar and salt getting to me. Water just wasn't quenching my thirst anymore.

So we cycled back, which brought the pleasant surprise of passing Joel along the way. Cool huh? I commented that our Ubin trip was more happening than a stroll down Orchard Road, and Josh said that he's never met anyone on Orchard Road. I have, but I think the frequency of coincidentally meeting someone there is lower than the frequency that I meet people away from town.

After returning the bikes, and sitting around for about half an hour downing approximately two canned drinks each, it was really time to leave.

then we lefttired, scratchy, itchy, fun!
LEFT: Leaving... RIGHT: Tired, burnt, smelly. Fun.

We got back on the bumboat and left. Taa-daa! That's the end of the Pulau Ubin trip. I highly reccommend it for people who are stuck in a rut with what to do during the weekends: it's fun, cheap, and healthy! Bring sunscreen, though, and plenty of water and small change - nobody wants to break your big $50 note over there.

There is an epilogue to this tale, of course, but since I don't have pictures of what we did at dinner - which was a totally different genre of outing anyway - I'll leave you with pretty, pretty pictures of... the bum of the bumboat. :-)

total funin the sea
Last looks.

[Labour Day Holiday 2005: Pulau Ubin]
Sngs Alumni @ 2.5.05 { 0 comments }


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