Monday, June 16, 2008

5 a.m. at bukit timah summit

do you know that as early as 5 a.m. you have people trudging up to the summit of bukit timah. because it is still dark, a lot of them have to carry torchlights to guide them along the road. just like at upper seletar reservoir, most of these early risers tend to be hokkien or mandarin speaking.

on the ascent, most people use the road but on the descent, some use the hiking trails. the challenge is in the very steep gradient at the early stage of the climb. quite a number of walkers on the steep road choose to walk backwards, so those who are moving upwards have to look out for such people.

some groups will gather at the base, near the ranger station, before moving up together. when you reach the top, you can hear music being played at the pavilion. there is this small group of 4 or 5 people who will be swaying and doing their workout to the music.

how do i know that there are exercise fanatics at that place at such an unearthly hour? because i have made it to the summit in the darkness before. the first time, i got lost and ended up at the singapore quarry side. it takes about 20 minutes to reach the summit using the road. the descent, although it does not require as much effort as the ascent, also takes about the same time.

both at macritchie reservoir park and bukit timah nature reserve, i have come across some men training their vocal chord - to prepare for some yam seng or karaoke competition? - by making a long-drawn out call. i often wonder if it is vocal training technique or a form of a whole-body work-out.

on a weekend, if you go to bukit timah nature reserve after 6.30 a.m. you will be very lucky if you can find a parking space.

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