The Southern Ridges- A walk to remember

Location: The lab, Kent Ridge……Date: 06/07/2012 Friday……Time: 15:00:00.19

An unexpected power failure. Reason- A burnt fuse.

“Shall we walk the Southern Ridges?”…“Yeah. The weather is good. Let’s go”

So that’s how that day had actually begun for me and my fellow lab mates. I hopped into a bus from the National University of Singapore to embark on my enterprising walk. Starting at Kent Ridge Park – Canopy walk – Hort Park- Alexandra Arch – Henderson’s waves and culminating at Mount Faber, that was what it was gonna be – a full 9 km walk through some splendid locations across the Southern ridges of Singapore.

The harbour at the bay- a splendid view from the Kent Ridge Park

The harbour at the bay- a splendid view from the Kent Ridge Park

Alighting at the Kent Ridge Park, we began our long walk. The 47 hectare public park is a haven for bird watchers and joggers. Far off, we could see the red sky and the vast stretches of the sea and ships lined up near the harbor. I walked between trees that blocked sunrays, bushes that were thicker than the tree barks themselves, greeting fellow walkers and mocking at some really stupid sign boards.

Yeah a few had a touch of creativity.

Yeah a few had a touch of creativity

Yeah makes sense to me now. (Pick up your dog poo please)

Yeah makes sense to me now. (Pick up your dog poo please)

Oh me. I am a little confused which way now.

Oh me. I am a little confused which way next.

As the 300m long Canopy Walk greeted us, it was clear why my lab mates had asked me to walk through these trails before I was on my way back to India. For instance, this trail is about 16m from the ground, built of wood and goes through forests and wildlife with a plenty of birds hovering around. Little descriptions of trees around were put up on some parts of the railings as well.

As the 300m long Canopy Walk greeted us, it was clear why my lab mates had asked me to walk through these trails before I was on my way back to India.

For instance, this trail is about 16m from the ground, built of wood and goes through forests and wildlife with a plenty of birds hovering around. Little descriptions of trees around were put up on some parts of the railings as well. It is a trail that links Kent Ridge Park to Reflections at Bukit Chandu.

Reflections at Bukit Chandu- once known as Opium Hill and the site of one of the last battles of Singapore in the World War II

Reflections at Bukit Chandu- once known as Opium Hill and the site of one of the last battles of Singapore in the World War II

We reached there and found beautiful bronze carvings, cannons, paintings but time constraint pushed us forward on our track yet again. The path (called the Floral Walk) this time brought us on and off the tarred roads and in and out of residential areas and nurseries. The 300m stretch was a stroll under the bright evening sun along a path lined with flowering plants.

Next stop- Hort Park, a 23 hectare gardening hub, themed gardens and restaurants. Not many people, no hustle-bustle, it was indeed a great place to relax.

Next stop- Hort Park, a 23 hectare gardening hub, themed gardens and restaurants. Not many people, no hustle-bustle, it was indeed a great place to relax.

Not too far away lays the Alexandra Arch. we trotted on this 80m long bridge which has a curved deck and tilted arch like an open leaf and overlooks the busy Singapore traffic.

Not too far away lays the Alexandra Arch. we trotted on this 80m long bridge which has a curved deck and tilted arch like an open leaf and overlooks the busy Singapore traffic.

Having crossed, we walked into the Forest Walk, or so is the 1.3km long walkway called. It wound round and round the hill, lifted from 3m to 18m from the ground, metal walkways that went through the heart of the canopy, overseeing the entire forest below.

Having crossed, we walked into the Forest Walk, or so is the 1.3km long walkway called. It wound round and round the hill, lifted from 3m to 18m from the ground, metal walkways that went through the heart of the canopy, overseeing the entire forest below.

Amid the greenery, we walked our way through to the Telok Blangah Hill Park. This again is a huge 34 hectare park with a series of semi-circular terrace garden at the top. Well, in short I can describe this as park dedicated to the couples and yeah joggers as well.

A few signboards asked us to take a kilometer long Hilltop Walk to reach the much talked about Henderson Waves. Well, why shouldn’t you talk about such a beautiful bridge?

At a height of 36m, the 274m long pedestrian bridge has wave form made up of seven undulating curved steel ribs that alternately rise over and under its deck. Entirely covered with timber, the ribs form little shelters to rest in.

At a height of 36m, the 274m long pedestrian bridge has wave form made up of seven undulating curved steel ribs that alternately rise over and under its deck. Entirely covered with timber, the ribs form little shelters to rest in.

Well, I have no words for the beauty of this place.

Well, I have no words for the beauty of this place.

Singapore Skyline from the Waves

Singapore Skyline from the Waves

Once lit up, there was only thought in my mind- “Romantic- this is what defines it!” A panorama of the busy roads underneath, the bright city far away, the little islands that came to life, the beautiful sky at dusk, the cool wind and the ambience of the place- it just consumed me.

After spending more than an hour here, we walked on a kilometer long Faber Trail towards the Mount Faber Park. Supposedly the highest point in Singapore, the Faber Point never really seemed too daunting to me with the sea so close by. Even then, I was well served with the mesmerizing view of the skyline; look at the dully lit pinnacles in the distance and the colourful facade of the HDB flats in the nearby housing estates. Turn towards the seaward side, well, the entertaining Sentosa and the other outlying islands are so clearly visible. We chose the Marang Trail, the last of the paths to be walked on. It was a little road about 800m long with steps, shaded footpaths within the woods. Hungry rats in the stomachs asked for a dinner at HarbourFront/ Vivocity. Only then did we leave back to the apartment at Bukit Batok.

It was an end to my little journey, a beautiful evening that I will remember for a lot more than a couple of things. I wish to go there again, feel the place again, walk the walk again.

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