Sunday, November 30, 2008

balestier group at chek jawa

the coastal loop boardwalk

the visitor's centre

the antique light switch

from coastal loop to mangrove boardwalk

the 5 overseas walkers

today, a reduced strength balestier group - five of us - showed up at changi creek to make the overseas trip to pulau ubin. we decided against taking any form of transport on the island and chose to walk from the jetty to chek jawa, the much talked about place on the island.

the last trip i made to pulau ubin, at the beginning of this year, the fare was $2.00. today, we paid $2.50 one way. the fare to penggerang has also been raised from $8.00 to $9.00. the charge for bicycle remained at $2.00 per bicycle.

there seems to be no lack of bicycles for rent on the island. along the way to chek jawa, we came across many groups on rented bikes - mountain bikes, tandem bikes, normal bikes and bikes with balancers. there were groups which opted for the taxi service on the island. no more reject taxis from the mainland; they use vans and jeeps.

a monitor lizard crossed our path but for me, someone who is a frequent visitor to sungei buloh wetland, it did not cause any excitement. the excitement was to come later after we had finished our walk at chek jawa. as we were walking back, two wild boars, the first one larger and heavier and the following one, smaller - i think the smaller one might have been a wild sow - came charging out of the clearing in front of us. we were stunned for a moment and did not move until the two pigs were clearly out of sight.

at chek jawa, there is a coastal loop boardwalk which joins up with the mangrove boardwalk. because it was high tide, we did not see any of the much talked about sea creatures on the sea bed but as we neared the mangrove area, we saw shoals of fish and some mudskippers.

near the end of the boardwalk is the 21 metre jejawi tower which we climbed up. a guide was telling a group that they could see the white-bellied sea eagle from the tower on their lucky days.

our final stop was the visitor's centre which is actually a tudor style brick building built in the 1930s. we explored the house and its surroundings and one of the old fixtures on the wall caught our attention - the old round light switch.

lunch was at changi village food centre.


Annette said...

The only reason for me being aware of Pulau Ubin is that the Outward Bound School used to be there. I attended their 3 week course in 1971. I'm so glad I had that experience. The instructors whom I remember were Zainal Abidin, J. Shanmugam, Mick Lowe, and the warden was I think Mr Oh. The school motto: To Serve, To Strive, and Not To Yield.

yg said...

hi annette, we do have something in common; i also attended the 21-day outward bound course. i blogged about it here . in was course 15 in 1969. (my friend dick yip commented) i think shanmgam and zainal abidin were also there and mr oh was also our chief warden.

Annette said...

I was in Sec 3 then, and the duration of the course coincided with the school holiday plus 1 week of school.

I was in Bo Seng watch - reluctantly - because I hadn't a clue who he was. Later when I did some research and learned more about him, I felt rather unworthy.

yg said...

hi annette, i remember we had two students (boys) in our watch; they were in either sec 2 or 3. i was in shackleton watch.