My last journey on the KTM train was in the last week of its operations after visiting Taman Negara by way of Jerantut. I had left after some intense work setting up International Coastal Cleanup Singapore immediately after exam marks were submitted in May and had simply grabbed my stuff and left.
Taking the train was the usual way and on my way back, it dawned on me that this was one of the last few rides into Tanjong Pagar Station. So I stayed at the doorway of a carriage and filmed the ride back from Woodlands Checkpoint to Ghim Moh until I ran out of camera battery!
One of my overseas pals is in town and seeing how she’s a geography grad, I suggested taking a walk from MacRitchie to Bukit Timah when we meetup. It’ll be a stroll with a couple of other Saints who were in SAJC with me in the 80’s and I loved how they were game for the walk instead of dinner.
I started walking at night in the 90’s in reminiscence of my otter-tracking work in the moonlight at Penang. Then I introduced others to joy of walking in the ambience of the forest. By the late 90’s, that gave birth to the MR-BT briskwalking events and I made a webpage with Dreamweaver’s frames, my favourite amongst the many I threw up on the web then. Subsequent maintenance was with TextWrangler though.
A trip report from 2000 reflects the pace over eight Sundays which ranged between 1:35 to 2:20. We used to start at 6.45am and some people would come early, so we’d turn up at 6.30am and chat with early birds. These days I am more likely to be going to bed at 6am so I need to fix my world!
Some participants eventually stepped up to help me look after others, and even introduced orange towels to help us be identified to participants and flag down an ambulance in an emergency (thankfully never happened). Still it was odd being brightly colured in the forest but under the dense canopy in the early morning, we were not that easy to spot!
I stopped this event in 2007 shortly when I went back to full-time teaching, it was getting to be a strain to do so many things and the forest was well sign-posted by then. I simply walked with kakis and eventually stopped even that, opting to cycle instead and only settling for the much easier Southern Ridges.
After a recent holiday in Taman Negara, I’m game to restart once again. It’ll be a slow, not brisk walk this Sunday since my kakis and I will be catching up – well that will make it painless, a very good place to start!