Friday, 22 November 2013

Morning walks - Gardens by the Bay - Bay East and East Coast Park




Most mornings I try to go for a walk, back in the UK it was walking Oscar the dog but here it started out as getting a feel for the locality and to become acclimatized to the heat out here, which worked, I became better at coping with heat quicker than hubby who travelled and worked in an air conditioned environment. I also think it has helped ward off any colds, sometimes if I feel I'm coming down with some bug I walk it off.  The keeping fit side of walking is just a bonus. I feel fitter now than I have in 15+ years - not working and having less stress in my life probably helps as well!

Anyway most days I walk along East Coast Park, trying to vary the routes as much as possible averaging usually between 5-7 miles. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are down there exercising, all ages, nationalities, sexes, shapes and sizes. I regularly see someone in full jihab, people walking backwards, wearing full saris, a charming "uncle" in "plus fours" with his walking stick, saying good morning to everyone. Another "uncle" wearing his cap with a multicoloured umbrella on top! and a westerner walking his green parrot. These are just some of the more standout sights, amongst all the walkers, runners, skaters and cyclists. It doesn't matter how fit you are no one judges down there. You will also see groups in their club uniform performing tai chi and other such martial arts (I don't proclaim to know the differences) you will see them using flags, swords and fans. I really would like to have a go but the only groups I've seen advertised are expat groups over in the Botanical Gardens. 

Aunties practicing tai chi

Now as much as I enjoy the East Coast Park it is busy at 7 am, so I do try to make at least one walk a week up to Gardens by the Bay East. I would go more often but it's a walk of almost 3 miles just to get there! It's so much quieter. I pass through Tanjong rhu along Kallang Basin passing a few joggers but mainly maids walking the dogs or pushing push chairs, stopping to have a natter with other maids and, depending on timings suited businessmen and women hurrying over the footbridge to catch the MRT at Stadium. In the 8 months we've been here I seen the construction of the new Stadium change from a skeleton to an almost finished product (due to open April 2014) The basin is full of fish and today there were shoals breaking the surface of the water. As it is a reservoir there is always a boat going up and down scooping up foliage and any debris (as the saying goes Singapore isn't a clean city but a cleaned city) dragon boat racing is a big sport here and you will nearly always see at least one boat practicing. 

Kallang basin
The new Stadium nearly completed now.
Once you have passed by the condos at Tanjong rhu under the ECP flyover you walk along the edge of Gardens by the Bay East, the smaller relation to the Gardens by the Bay across the water, with the biomes and Supertrees. Now you will see just a few walkers, runners or cyclists and it is soooo quiet, something you really appreciate in this busy hectic city. From here you can walk across the barrage through the gardens, visit Marina Bay Sands hotel, The Shoppes at Marina bay, taking in the attractions of Marina Bay and the CBD. However for me the best view of MBS, The Flyer (worlds largest Ferris wheel) CBD and F1 pit lane is from this side of the water as opposed to the view that millions of tourists see from Marina Bay and Merlion. 

MBS, The Flyer, Helix bridge and Marina Bay
Supertree grove and biomes
Supertree grove at dusk
Below are a few photos taken from Gardens by the Bay East. Taken with my phone as I tend not to take my camera walking, not only as it's heavy after a few miles but also I've been caught in several storms on this walk and with 4-5 mile walk back home it's not advisable, drenched doesn't even describe the wet you get!!  Today I spotted, amongst the usual birds, a Brahminy kite, humming birds and these green looking pigeons that I have never seen before,which after looking them up have found they are called Pink-necked green pigeons (Treron Vernans) a correct description! The photos taken are poor as from my phone and taken from a distance, they were also very active! I also made an "uncle" laugh today taking a snap of a caterpillar! The reason? Thousands of them along the path that I had to give up trying to dodge them. I must have looked quite amusing trying to dance between them, they moved really fast as well!! 





Very poor photo of some pink-necked green pigeons
Tiny humming bird, not bothered by the attention I was giving it. There were several on nearby bushes.


The iconic Batman Building (Parkview Square) flanked by 2 other buildings.

One of the thousands of these caterpillars covering the path, many not to survive!