Weekend Missions: “Ridging” the End

To quote Raven, “The Adventure Crew needs a quota of at least one nature-related adventure every year.”

In 2009, it was Bukit Timah and the guided tour. In 2010, it was the Singapore Zoological Gardens. Last year (in 2011), some of us went to the KTM Railway Nature trail before KTM closed the station near Tanjong Pagar. So this year, 2012, we finally got off our bums and headed to a place we’ve been planning to go for at least two years – The Southern Ridges.

The steps were just right in front of us… ok, not really.

This weekend mission had Dude, Max, Mintea, Raven, Sarah and myself. Also, many thanks to Dude and Mintea for planning this (in about a day) because we would’ve dragged this on for forever if no one actually decided to do something.

We all met at Buona Vista MRT in the morning before taking a bus to our starting point – Kent Ridge Park.

Where we all started.
Yeah, so here’s the main “problem” over the entire trail – Dude kept stopping to touch flowers, plants, leaves, berries, and play with insects. HAHA.

It was cloudy, but we did not think much about it. It was only a stair-climb and a short water break at the first pavilion later when something came pouring down on us.

The rain.

Troupers through the pouring rain.

We waited, some of us having a light breakfast with Dude’s cookies before we took out our umbrellas (ponchos for Mintea and Dude) and headed for the Canopy Walk. One cyclist there was rather amused, telling us, “Don’t rush! Don’t rush! We are not chasing you away!” as we stepped into the rain.

Fortunately, the rain stopped halfway to the Canopy Walk, where we made it to Lookout Point.

*in Melissa’s (Adventure Time) voice* Oh guys, you’re so bad!!!

Yeah. Great view though.

Dude naming the places and birds.
So this is supposed to be the lookout we would get if everything wasn’t blocked.

Our second pit stop was at the end of the Canopy Walk, where “Reflections of Bukit Chandu” sat. The colonial building now houses a museum set up in memory of the last stand in Pasir Panjang – during World War II. We’ll be planning another visit here so stay tuned!

Entrance to Canopy Walk.
Max with his imaginary chunk o’ cheese, Mintea bringing peace. Hee.
View from the top. Kinda reminds you of Cameron Highlands?
Next pit stop for the day.
Remembering the bravery of those in the last stand at Pasir Panjang.

After a winding road downhill, we finally made it to HortPark – a hotbed of tropical plants and educational panels. We had our picnic break here, next to some Brownies who were having their weekend activities.

Sidenote: Copperpot Red Capsicum Dip and Raven’s wraps = AWESOME

We spotted this in the forested area on the way to HortPark. WHAT IS THIS?!
One of the gardens in HortPark.
Atrium area, where they were playing “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry on repeat that day.

HortPark itself deserved a good walkthrough – various greenhouses, event spaces, playgrounds, as well as a Butterfly observatory. Their main office stood at the front atrium, where there were cafes and restaurants for guests to enjoy.

The Alexandra Arch came next, which is like the halfway point for the Southern Ridges. Word of advice here: If you get vertigo… DO NOT LOOK DOWN. You are very high up, so look straight, the scenery will be better for you.

Treetops walk after Alexandra Arch.
Walking within the tree tops. And above.

At the end of this treetops trail is Telok Blangah Park, where we traversed – or in our case, hung onto the bag of the person in front of us as we walked (seriously, it’s probably the only conga line we will ever form) – before reaching the famous…


Woohooladeeda for familiar-looking wood!
Riding the Henderson wave.
A lizard we saw on the way up the Mount Faber road.

We were supposed to end here, as Dude and Mintea had to be somewhere else. However, since we were almost at the end, we charged (not really) to the end.

From Mount Faber.
Max and I went ahead, then we turned around to take pics of the rest who were coming up.

Continuing uphill, we reached the end of the trail, finishing at Mount Faber, near the Cable Car Station. A quick water break later, we then finished the day’s hike with Marang Trail.

And it was all downhill from there. HEE. No, seriously, you continued down all the way.

Where it was all downhill until we reached the open car park opposite Vivocity and Harbourfront Centre.

In summary, we took 3.5 hours to cross 10km (uphill, downhill, dirt roads, asphalt roads, bridges, what not) that morning – not bad, if you’d ask me – leaving us very tired, but also satisfied.

There are many places you can start and end with on the Southern Ridges. Most people I know start with HortPark or Alexandra Arch and end at Henderson Waves. It’s quite flexible, so you can plan your own route.

For more information on the Southern Ridges, click here. Also, to see Sarah’s take on our hike, click here.

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