Natalie’s week and a bit in Singapore

Our friend Natalie from Sydney has just left. We had a wonderful time, reminiscing over old adventures together Down Under, and also creating new ones together. We kayaked, hiked, swam, cooked, and ate and drank our way around Singapore and Langkawi while she visited.

Kayaking to Pulau Ubin

It was a beautiful afternoon to be paddling to Ubin. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. The rain had stopped and the clouds parted, and the air was fresh and much less humid than usual. Plus – and this is a big plus – the southwest monsoons had washed the usual bits of flotsam elsewhere, leaving the channel the cleanest we’ve seen it.
We paddled up the mangrove, in search of the auntie who sold coconuts by the river bend. But we arrived late in the afternoon, and she’d already packed up for the day.

Walking the Southern Ridges

After a few false starts from West Coast Park, we finally got on the Southern Ridges trail at Kent Ridge Park, and enjoyed the next couple hours leisurely strolling the elevated walks of the Southern Ridges, reveling in the lush greenery.

Langkawi

Given that Natalie was also here for two weekends, we took the opportunity to go somewhere nearby for one of them. Searches on Google Flights yielded reasonable tickets to Langkawi, so off we went.

It’s a such a chill destination. We’d much prefer to rent kayaks or standup paddle boards to go exploring round islands, but we simply couldn’t find any operators that offered that. Rather, available activities beachside were all the motorized variety – jet skis, banana boat rides, paragliding, and island / mangrove tours via boat. Ah well – we contented with splashing in the surf and poolside, and drinking cheap cocktails ($7).

Photo credit: Nat
Hike to Seven Wells Waterfall. Photo credit: Nat

Here’s to many more such memories in years to come!

Exploring verdant Singapore

I’ve to confess – since I moved to Singapore, my DSLR hasn’t really seen light of day. This contrasts with my using it every day in Sydney. But I’ve always been a little self conscious wielding a huge camera and tripod in urban environments, and much prefer to take pictures of landscapes.

And when we do go out to explore the little trails dotted around the island, the sun’s way too high in the sky and the weather too humid to want to lug that beast of a camera around. Excuses I know. But my phone has been more than capable of capturing snapshots that depict exactly how lush and green Singapore is.

This past weekend, in our attempt to break into our new hiking boots and get in a bit more training before our big walk up Kilimanjaro, we headed south to Hort Park, where we tripped across the tree-top bridges through to Mount Faber.

It was both our first times doing the trail, and we were very pleasantly surprised how beautiful it was, walking amidst tall leafy trees opening up with occasional glimpses of high rise apartments and office buildings in the background. The scenery reminded me of the backside of the Peak in Hong Kong. We only did the southern half of the trail before doubling back to Hort Park, but in the future, we’d want to start at West Coast Park and walk the length of the 9km trail.

Southern Ridges Walk2