Saturday, January 02, 2010

Trek to MacRitchie to begin the year

What could be a better way to start the new year than a healthy 10.5k trek in a tropical rain forest? So, me and Shyam (aka fox2mike) did exactly that for New Year 2010. We headed out to trek around the MacRitchie Reservoir, Singapore, which is classified as a rain forest. The MacRitchie reservoir is connected by bus 157 from Toa Payoh MRT station. If you plan to go there, you should try to carry sunglasses, caps, sunscreen lotion, loads of water and energy drinks and possibly a raincoat. Between us, we had everything except the rain covers and as Murphy would have it, it rained quite a bit for us. :)

First, have a look at the reservoir from the front (the barrage side).
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The trek is not too steep and it should be easy to maintain a steady rhythm. The canopies cover you well in case of a light shower. Don't depend on it if it rains hard, but there are rain shelters every half km or so.
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Being a popular destination for hikers, don't be surprised to find company.
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The first leg of the trek, about 5km, should end when you reach the HSBC treetop. Its a very narrow, wire suspension bridge, where you can walk only one way.
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Dress for comfort, not vanity. It can get hot, humid and sweaty (specially because of the sun screen lotions).
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The view from the treetop walk is quite excellent. There is a wide variety of flora to be appreciated and there is also good views of the reservoir and a distant view of the city to be appreciated.
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Stop every now and then to check out and appreciate the variety of plants and trees around you. You would normally not associate such diversity with something thats right in the midst of a bustling city-state, but this is Singapore and anything is possible here!
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This was on our way back through a different route, along the reservoir, where we stopped every now and then to soak in the nice views of the water body.
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We were stuck in the rain a couple of times and this snap was shot to capture the ripple effects of rain droplets on the water surface. Nice pattern.
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It took us a total of 3:40 hours to cover the 10.5k including the stops. As per Shyam, Singapore is only one of two cities, other being Rio De Janeiro, where you can find a rainforest in the middle of a city. So, its a worthwhile treat to your body and senses to head out once in a while and do the trek.

More photographs on my flickr profile with tag macritchietrek.

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