Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bukit Timah to Venus Drive 10 May 2017

For the longest time, we have been talking about walking from our Bukit Batok home to MacRitchie Reservoir. It was all talk for at least 10 years or maybe more, if the timer starts from the time we even thought about it.

We may live within walking distance to many trail heads, but we mostly ignored the call of the wild because weekend sleep is a precious commodity. That is, until the good doctor told me that I am in dire need of exercise.

I have been walking parts of the Green Corridor off Rail Mall and making countless ‘summits’ to Bukit Timah Hill. The walks quickly gathered steam to 10km walks and our forays went from our backyard to the central catchment area.

Recently, I did a solo 10km walk from Venus Rd to McRitchie . I raved about it until  Pat felt  compelled to join in the league. Soon enough, he became my weekend walking partner. It must have brought back a bit of army days to him.

These walks paid dividends handsomely. We are now fitter and trimmer.

This morning had an ominous start with overcast sky. Despite a sudden shower , we were not deterred. We made our way to Hindede Rd and found that half the population around the area has descended upon Bukit Timah Hill. The Kampong trail starts from the Monkey business placards. Among ruins, we traipsed along the  disused road before coming to a crossroad of sorts.  Upon the sign post that points to  MacRitchie Reservoir, we did a right and continued the dirt track until it hits Rifle Range Rd.

We made a left on the uphill Rifle Range Rd that was devoid of cars since it was a holiday. It was about 9am and walkers from MacRitchie were already at their tail end of their walk, soaked in rain and sweat.

Rifle Range Rd extended over the BKE and at long last terminated before ST Kinetics. There was no guessing where the dirt trail towards the reservoir was; scores were emerging from a sign posted track at our right.

We took the obligatory selfie to prove our accomplishment and hit the dirt track again. After a long walk on a proper road, it was tedious stepping on gravel and stone embedded in red clay. My $10 walking pole bore my weight reliably as it provided relief for my right knee.

We passed countless water tanks and made slow progress because of the terrain. Youthful runners zipped past us both ways making a mockery of my slow progress.

At the Sime track, we headed towards the Treetop walk. The treetop trail is a one way trail so we gave it a miss and used the bypass to head to Venus Drive. We couldn’t bash our way to the treetop walk even if we wanted to  – scores of walking folks of all scribes were pouring out from the treetop trail making a celebration of the place.

At the 2.5 hour mark, we chanced upon Pat’s colleague Ivan and his wife ,Conney, at the Venus Dr carpark. We chatted a bit and  then it was down to Thomson Plaza for an early lunch.

Would I do it again? Definitely yes! The route is varied with a bit of urban and rural. The vibe from the other walkers were infectious. The weather was cool, overcast with occasional glimpses of sun but not too much. If there is anything to improve, it would be to get another pair of hiking boots, thicker sole this time to take the strain from the stone and gravel.

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