Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hiking in the Rainforest

Back in the day, the pre-colonial day that is, Singapore was mostly covered with tropical rainforest. While progress has cleared most of that forest, a huge nature reserve of primary and secondary rainforest remains on the slopes of S'pore's highest hill Bukit Timah. It's said that Bukit Timah has more species of trees on this hill than exist in all of North America.

I've attempted to hike Bukit Timah on the weekends with Jeff a number of times, but for a number of reasons we've never made it. So I was happy this morning when Jimmy called asking if I wanted to go hiking today — yes! finally! With Marisa's visiting brother Barney in tow, we headed for the Treetop Trail Hike, an 11K that would bring us over a tension bridge at the summit of Bukit Timah.

I forgot the camera today, but some of the highlights we saw along the way were the tasty rambutan fruit, some beautiful butterflies, icky snakes and lizards and the ever-popular Long-tailed Macaques! These monkeys had eluded us all day, until at one point we paused on the trail after hearing a bunch of rustling in the trees. Sure enough, there they were surrounding us! A bunch of baby monkeys were in the group of 10 or so. They just paused to look at us too, probably curious to see if we had any food they could snatch.

Our hike ended around the MacRitchie Reservoir where I noticed a bunch of crew teams rowing in the water. I'm going to have to investigate if kayaks are available to rent here.