Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Walk ( Green Corridor from Hindhede to Rail Mall ) and more

First  light. Morning has broken.
Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Ps 103 :1

It started as an aimless morning walk. I am in my usual self, undecided. Should I turn right towards to Bukit Timah , check out Rifle Range Rd and hopefully end up at Turf City ? Or should I go for the familiar by doing the Old Ford Factory route?

In the end, after my mental dilly-dallying, I decided to do a right. Sometimes , I consider a bit of right as a major decision so as to inject excitement in my life. After all, I am at the crossroads and it has to be either right or left , isn't it?   

The walk from home towards Hindhede Rd was cool. I was flanked by cars piled up towards Bukit Batok on my left and a long, green lush slope on my right. Despite the sound of traffic, I could make out the songs of different morning birds.

At the Old Fire Engine House ( The Spruce ), I headed right as decided. The pedestrian walkway opened up to merge footpath and bike path. The space was a pleasure. I tsked at the mass traffic pile up, cars waiting to turn off to PIE / Bukit Timah. 7.30am should not look like this.

Now that I have turned right,  I am faced with another decision. Should I make my way towards Turf City, I would have to endure peak hour traffic on Bukit Timah on the way back. It is a good 8 km one way and in my state of fitness,  I am pretty sure a bus ride home is the only option for me.

So I am short, and all I see is grass.
From where I was, a good 100m from the nature park reserve, I saw first light from behind Bukit Timah Hill. It is a good sensation and I did not wish to lose it by walking among houses along Rifle Range Rd.

Path to the secret garden, around Hindhede Rd
So, I did a little climb up the slope, stepping on the steps carved out by those before me who trekked up the old railway track a thousand times. The dirt was fresh with dew and wet with  yesterday’s rain.

View from the old railtrack , towards the nature reserve.

Ok, this looks like many of the other walks, but it feels special to me.
 I skirted stones and puddles. The wet terrain has become uneven because it is heavily used by mountain bikers and trekkers alike. I headed towards Rail Mall , soaking in the unfamiliar calls of birds just meters from the private condo estate. The green track of land is a world of its own, serene and isolated.

Rail Mall Bridge ahead. An early riser.
Sensors were put along the track , a new addition. I suspect it is some sort of monitoring system because underground digging was underway for the downtown line brely 50 m away.

Men at work. Have you given thanks for them yet?
I got off the track at Rail Mall because some workmen were at work. I have got to appreciate them, starting their day so early while the rest of us have it much better than them. 

I did a Take 5 at Toast Box. Tea C Kosong Ice at $2 , nicely executed by a cheerful staff of 4. Give thanks, I thought, for the people who wake up so early to serve us.

I continued along the bridge outside Toast Box. A new bridge, longer, ramped and higher is coming up alongside the present one. I could even touch it if I stretch out hard. In the east, the glory of day shone behind the Bukit Timah Rail, as it always does. It was beautiful, even with the traffic below and all.

At Hillview, The Hillier's monstrous twin towers broke the lush skyline. Just off the roundabout, a man sucked the last of his cig, threw it on the grass and headed for the bus. At the impulse of the moment, I called him back and pointed to the cig butt. The burly man was like a school boy, caught littering. He backtracked and picked up the butt to bin it. Then he ran for the bus to join his friends who were getting up. If the bus was not packed, he would have missed the bus altogether because of me. I showed my approval and waved to him. The gesture was not appreciated. 

I was thankful the litter bug responded to me; hopefully he will not do it again. Perhaps I should consider getting a job at NEA. I have been doing this for free for too long.

Jubilant from the little victory, I did my first jog for a good 3 blocks down.

I made a detour to the market place at Bukit Batok. It was hardly  bustling and the closure of many grocers did not help. Where do folks get their grocery and stuff, I wonder? There was nothing for me to see and I made my way back.

It was a 2 hour me-time and I loved it.  The watch I was wearing ‘died’ at the start of the walk and because of this, I could focus on my experience instead of trying to achieve my timed target. Not totally a bad thing at all!

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