The Tale of a Walk- East Coast Park to Changi Beach Park
This is a story of three Indians, a French man and a Singaporean. Long long ago (i.e. a little more than a year ago), these five exemplary men from the planet Earth set foot on a journey to walk the 21km coastline between the East Coast Park and Changi Beach Park in Singapore.
Yeah I know that was some lame start but it seems it serves well enough. Are you yawning already? Hold on to yourself! There, it was a bright day with no signs of rain. Pleased, looking at the skies the Fab-Five hopped out of the bus that dropped them to the East Coast Park well before noon. Breakfast had already churned out. Lunch was calling even before they could have a peek at the beach.
Almighty hell. One, they were so hungry. Two, the range of restaurants were even more explicit. Enter East Coast Lagoon Food Village or The Seafood Centre or The Marine Cove- a wide range of food chains spread out. The cuisine of western, seafood, local; the shouts and smell of satae and noodles filled the air. The relaxed ambience and the amazing food were such a pleasing gift in the hot weather to these food-o-holics. Like starved dogs, they munched down all the stuff on their plates to the last bit.
Lunch done, they set on their quest. They walked along the most popular beach park in Singapore- a 15km stretch that is built entirely on reclaimed land. It was where they intended to start. The manmade beaches and backwaters seemed a delight to swimmers. They took a leisurely stroll across the beach only to find that the place offered something for every single person- recreational or a place just to relax and enjoy the sea.
Kiosks renting bicycles, tandem bikes or inline skates did tempt them for a while but men of words they were, they chose against it because they had planned on walking all the way to Changi. They walked the way and saw the atmosphere liven up with each step that they took. Sand castles being built and broken by kids, tennis and bowling in a flow thronged by men and women alike, wake boarding, cable-water skiing, Frisbees flying around, pets running around and kids laughing around the amusement park- a delight to their sights.
They walked and watched as people camped at many idyllic spots enjoying their beautiful Saturday. They couldn’t (, neither could anyone) miss the traditional ice-cream man on his little motor-bike ringing his bell all the while. Well, the variety was there- local style ice cream in simple flavours of chocolate, ripple, strawberry, corn, mango, durian (the smelly little national fruit!!! ) sandwiched between two wafers or slices of rainbow-colored bread.
Time and again, with an ice-cream in the hand, they walked sometimes on the path lined with trees sometimes on the sandy beach. They looked at the shelters nearby and sometimes at the people around the barbecue pits. A little further, they passed the longest and most popular fishing jetty in Singapore- the Bedok Jetty. Thronged by cyclists, roller bladers, park visitors and joggers, that site happened to be an amazing place for a lot of anglers.
Lucky enough there was a little RC car race organized that day. The little cars zoomed passed the huge black imposing Lamborghini Gallardo by the road. They stood, watched, laughed and then walked again. They journeyed along the coast line, losing their way at times, getting drenched in the intermittent rain at times. It was a long walk, through bridges, backwaters, little roads that went through clearings and bushes alike.
Might I have to say, why the Changi Airport is one of the busiest in the world. I guess they would tell in a better way. They found themselves walking on the footpath now that was covered with trees on the either end but the only thing that separated it from the long runway was a highway that ran parallel to it. Different planes different airlines flew, took off to cities around the globe every minute.
Soon it was a welcome sight at the Changi village and the Changi Beach Park at the northeastern tip of Singapore. The 28 hectare park was almost 3.3km long with stretches of sandy beaches between Changi Point and Changi Ferry Road. It was indeed a beautiful setting to enjoy fishing, to watch airplanes land, to jog and to watch the dusk creep in.
Like ECP, here too they found plenty of places to have barbecue parties, to go camping and do some watersports. They were close to their destination but were not done yet. They walked past the fortified military complex by the bay where new recruits were being shipped to an island for training (well every kid in Singapore is given military training, you should know that).
Then, when the long walk finally ended at the nearby Changi Village, a beautiful dinner of crabs, chicken and steamed rice raced its way into their bellies. It was well past 2200 hours when they decided to leave from Changi back to their apartment after the long walk that was in some way a very memorable one to each of them.