Tuesday, January 01, 2013

MacRitchie Reservoir

Like a couple of nitwits, we waited until the sun was blazing in the sky before heading out on a bus to MacRitchie Reservoir. Any sensible person would go early in the morning (when we were eating breakfast) or late in the afternoon, when the air has cooled, but we chose to emulate mad dogs and Englishmen.

MacRitchie Reservoir is very peaceful; the 11 km path around it is not too rough, and although it undulates quite a lot, there aren't any really long harsh climbs. At least, not until you begin the never-ending trudge up to the Treetop Walk.

That is a slightly wobbly metal bridge strung through the canopy; you can't see down far enough to be scared of heights, but the constant wobble left my legs weak and a sick feeling in my stomach. Or that was heatstroke.

The Treetop Walk is over very quickly, but then there's a very long walk back down the hill. At least when you reach the ranger station there's a water fountain: I think it may be the only place in Singapore where you can get water for free. Well, you are by a reservoir; they must get a discount on H2O or something.

Unlike the zoo, there aren't many animals to see. That means there are no crowds of people either, just occasional joggers punishing themselves on the hills. We did see a skink, a somewhat nondescript but fairly large lizard, and a lot of fungi, plus the first bright red dragonfly I've seen in my life, but the walks you take there are better for seeing stationary life than stuff that moves.

We walked for about two and a half hours straight; after the first half hour I was starving and exhausted, fantasising about burgers and fries. By some miracle, as we walked down the road from the country club that runs the perimeter of the reservoir, a taxi was passing, and five minutes and five dollars later we were at Fatboys, the honestly named burger chain that seems to have a branch near every park in Singapore containing an elevated walkway.


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