Tuesday, October 5, 2010

bukit panjang to upper peirce reservoir




today, i finally accomplished what i had wanted to do for sometime - go on a hike from chestnut avenue to upper peirce reservoir. actually, i started the hike from my home at bukit panjang. the building in the above picture can be seen from the dam at upper peirce reservoir. a former student of mine, who had gone with us on the trek to the shinto shrine deep in the macritchie reservoir, offered to show us the route but some how we never got around to doing it. there was another occasion when keith initiated an attempt to use the same route to get to lower peirce reservoir but at the last minute because of inclement weather, it had to be called off.

at the chestnut avenue waterworks, i asked the person manning the gate if there was a track leading to the upper peirce reservoir. apparently, he has not gone on any hike around that area, and his answer: ''it is very wide". i also approached a mountain biker waiting for his buddies but he could not help me either because he was unfamiliar with that area. he told me that he would be using track 15; must have been referring to some mountain biking route. since i was already there, i had no choice but to 'plunge in'.

at the initial stage, there were many fallen trees across the track. they must have fallen like dominos. sawn off tree branches were used to cover the soggy track. the paths were quite well marked except for a few spots where you had to detour because of the fallen trees. as usual, i did not meet any walker during the entire hike but i did meet the cyclist whom i had approached earlier for help.

certain sections of the track hug the edge of the water. the water level was quite high; if it should rain a bit more, i think the track will be obliterated by the rising water. that is one of the reasons why some trekkers can get lost in our water catchment areas; the rising water covers the track and forces them to move away from the marked (well-used) track.

i did not see any 'sign of civilisation' until i came to the dam. all the way, it was the forest and no sign of human or human activities except for some plastic water bottles, wrappers and some markers left behind by earlier hikers. it was at the dam that i came to realise that the upper peirce reservoir is the nearest reservoir to bukit panjang because i could see the blocks of flats that i had walked past earlier.

11 comments:

Lam Chun See said...

Well done man! So you got tired of waiting for us. How about that Neo Tiew Rd recce? I am still very keen you know. Don't go without me OK.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi YG, I have been to this place a long time ago. And that McRitchie one too.
Looks so serene. Very beautiful.
Wonder any good fishes there?
Best regards, Lee.

yg said...

hi chun see, the one we had wanted to do was from chestnut avenue to the lower peirce reservoir, which i have not done and which is much longer. to get to that dam at upper peirce from chestnut avenue, i think i covered only 3 km. if i take the shortcut - which i did on my 2nd visit last sunday - it is only 1 km.
neo tiew rd, no problem. will wait for you to set the date and time.

yg said...

hi lee, most reservoirs look the same. if you have been to upper peirce reservoir, it is likely that you have accessed it from upper thomson road, part of the old grand prix circuit. the part i went to does not get so many hikers but there are quite a number of mountain bikers during the weekends. macritchie is now a very popular venue with runners,joggers and walkers. it is packed during the weekends.
those i saw caught were small fish like aruan and cichlids but i have seen huge tomans - maybe half a metre long - at upper seletar reservoirs.

Anonymous said...

There is hiking trail from chestnut ave to upper peirce reservoir is known as the woodcutter trail, however, its not open to public as its the SAF training ground. But I am amazed you managed to walk through some portions of the mandai forest without getting lost.

Keith said...

Sorry YG, I have been too busy lately. Hopefully sometime in November/December but if really wet season then have to reschedule next year. Anonymous is correct - the woodcutter trail is an SAF training area but I think weekend or public holiday is ok.

yg said...

hi anonymous, i must admit i was lucky to find my way out all by myself. yes, there were some criss-crossings along the trail but somehow i managed to stay on the right one. i did not meet any soldier along the way. i did it on a weekday, a friday.

yg said...

hi keith, yes, certain parts of the trail was quite soggy. good thing i took my trekking pole along. it helped. december, i will be in ozzie land again.

yg said...

yesterday (11/10), together with my walking buddies, i hit the woodcutter's trail again. we wanted to reach the upper thomson side of the reservoir. however, we had to abort the attempt because my 70-year old buddy found it too much of a strain. we came to an open patch which seems like a heli-pad. according to my other buddy, from there if we kept going right, we would end up at the upper thomson side.

Anonymous said...

yup there is the helipad, but it is still a long way to go to upp thomson (upper peirce). u will need to cross 3 streams. not advisable to go hike through as i understand there are a no of fallen trees blocking the path as well.

peter said...

YG, next time you hike, can u please draw a sketch map, noting down some prominent features......