I experienced a misguided nature walk at the Lower Peirce Reservoir in the aftermath of a flooding, and it still reminded me how unforgiving the rainforest can be…
One morning in Singapore, I decided to conquer my fear of monkeys by visiting the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in the Central Catchment area of the island. After all was said and done, I was fairly untroubled by the monkeys – it was the strenuous physical exertion that nearly killed me that was the problem! However, soon afterwards, I ventured back to this scary area of Singapore for more morning walks through the “rainforest”. You will notice I always do these walks in the morning, as in Singapore it always rains around 2pm, and you cannot risk either being caught in the monsoon deluge or being trapped under the canopy of the tress which are like magnets to lightning in these parts.
My adventure this time occurred in fairly good weather, although overcast, yet it was happening in the aftermath of a huge storm the previous evening. A lot of the roads around Singapore were still wet, and that was even with the heat from the sun shining down on it! So I could only have imagined how bad the forested areas of the island would have been!
Even though as I began my jungle adventure the sun was shining quite strongly, all the boardwalks for hikers were submerged under the rising water of the reservoir (or lake or whatever it is), and I could go no further. The sound of the rainforest beside me gave me some unwelcome noises and I became a little scared that I was all alone in such a frightening situation.
The weather had gradually became a little more miserable, and the skies a little darker; I was now worried that I was going to be stuck in the middle of the next deluge! Another problem I had was in these parts, even though it is a fairly popular walking trail around the reservoirs, was that the signposts were pretty useless as they were either misleading or completely covered with encroaching moss. The monkeys here are also annoying. I don’t usually encounter any nasty ones in Singapore, but here in the Central Catchment Area I think those monkeys must had become deranged from the recent storm, and I almost got attacked twice!
After a good 45 minutes of not knowing where I was heading (yeah, that sounds strange for a country like Singapore), I eventually headed in the right direction back to the main road called Thomson Road – though this was probably more down to luck than judgement! I did not see a single soul during the scary part of my walk, which is very different to other trails in Singapore, such as the ones at Bukit Timah or Macritchie, where there are people aplenty!
In the end, I was glad to negotiate the terrain without coming into any serious danger, but even though Singapore is a modern, built-up city, you have to remember that this remains the tropics – home to, among other things, lethal snakes and giant monitor lizards than give you a bit of a nip!
After my trekking adventure at Lower Peirce Reservoir, I decided that next time I come to the Central Catchment Area of Singapore, it will be via taxi, and probably only to come to the great Singapore Zoo up by Mandai Lake. There are plenty of other nature walks across the island, for example the Southern Ridges Walk, or the nature reserve at Labrador Park, which I also found very relaxing – and no need to bring my wellies!
And, once again, no sign of the mysterious Bukit Timah Monkey Man, who is said to roam these parts. I was getting quite disappointed not to join in with this ridiculous urban myth! If only I made a sighting…