Sunday, October 12, 2008

canoeing days off pasir ris

pasir ris park has grown over the years; the trees have matured and the park has expanded in size. all of us who were at the walk today (11 oct) agreed that it has turned out to be a more pleasant place with a rustic feel about it. for some of us, the last visit to the park was made some thirty-five years ago, when our canoeing expedition took us from pulau ubin to pasir ris beach.

these days, to organise such an overnight activity and outing will entail a lot of logistic support and administrative procedures, so much so that it hardly happens. those days, all it needed was a standard consent form which was used for an excursion, a hike or a visit to a park. of course, we took all the safety precautions like having a safety boat to escort the party and ensuring that everyone put on the bulky life-jackets.

we first canoed around pulau ubin before heading for pasir ris where we would beach the canoes and spend the night camped on the grassy patch, just outside the people's association compound. today, as we walked past that stretch, it brought back memories of the cold that we had to endure while camped near the beach. to ward off the cold, we would wrap our feet in plastic bags.

we did not made things easy for the student canoeists. they had to carry the food that they would be cooking at the campsite with them in the canoes. the canned food, rice and other stuff had to be properly packed and kept in securely wrapped polythene bags. these were stored in the tight space at the bow of each canoe.

of the nine of us at the walk today, five of us - three formers students and two teachers - could recall those canoeing days.

as usual, at 8.00 a.m. we were all at the pre-arranged car-park d along jalan pasir ris. we walked towards area d where the people's association bungalows are located before making an about- turn and moving towards the boardwalk between sungei api api and sungei tampines. from there we made our way to the food court at downtown east for our 're-charge'.

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