In May 2008, NParks first opened the Southern Ridges trail to crowds. At the time, Kenneth & Winnie walked the longest interpretation of the trail, an entire 15km route from West Coast Park. They are still the only people I know who have walked that long version.
I walked the ~5km route version from Kent Ridge Park last May and found it too short to work up a sweat. So this morning, Ladybug dropped Kevin and me off at NUS’ University Cultural Centre and headed to Vivocity for brunch. This route is 9km according to Kenneth Pinto’s Runkeeper’s iPhone app:
I had decided not to offer the July Heritage Fest walk which would have taken place today so the previous two weeks were free of the publicity and registration effort that precedes such a walk. Instead, after Yu-Mei initiated this walk, I simply extended the open invitation to friends and a group of nine turned up from amongst my mac, heritage and naturalist kakis, almost all of whom are on twitter: @acroamatic @bubblevicious @budak @brainopera @nokoso @sivasothi @spoonrabbit @steelwool and Anand.
It was overcast and the distant sky was hazy, so it was not a great day for photos or birdlife. But the weather kept us cool and the rains held off as suggested by the 4am weather report twittered helpfully by @neasg. The group walked at a comfortable pace and took a couple of breaks where we chatted, took in the sights and the photographers experimented with angles.
I’m at a far cry from my fitness of the regular briskwalking Sundays which pretty much ended for me in 2007, when I switched to full-time teaching at the uni. So this relatively mild walk was a good way to break back into shape in the hope of eventually resuming the Mac Ritchie-Bukit Timah walks.
The Southern Ridges walk is a pleasant walk that I hope to encourage the first year life sciences student to enjoy. Previous graduates might not be aware Kent Ride Park even exists, so from last year, I have the semester 1 LSM1103 Biodiversity cohort walk from the department to Bukit Chandu [google map link]. I encourage them to explore the rest of the trail [pdf map link] subsequently and it’s a lovely morning or evening walk with friends. Animal and plant life can be rewarding when the weather’s cooperative too.
We had begun at 7.15am and were done by 10.30am. Vivocity was all abuzzz with Hair for Hope and the regular weekenders at 10.45am. Still feeling alert after brunch and a coffee session, I headed to Queensway Shopping Centre to finally get a replacement backpack. By the time I got back home, the crew had posted their photos to facebook and several had already woken up from an afternoon snooze.
Kai Scene appears like the Flash on the dot at 7.15am and we head off.
Happy crew at endpoint – end of Marang Trail, Mt Faber Park, at approximately at 10.30am.