Our trip to the Tree Top Walk
Here in Singapore, Good Friday is a public holiday. This meant we had to do something fun with Andrew’s weekday off 🙂
We walked 10 minutes from our home to where we would catch the bus to the nature reserve. We rode the bus, following along in our handy street map to make sure we got off at the correct stop. We said goodbye to the bus that held the last bit of AC (or AirCon as the locals call Air Conditioning) we were going to see until several hours later that afternoon.
The trail was in a Nature Reserve. As we started out on our walk what struck us most was the sheer size of some of the plants. Palms, ferns, trees and vines seemed to be massive!
In order to get to the suspension bridge, the piece de resistance of the Tree Top Walk, we had to follow a one-way path up a long and very steep hill. At the top of the hill we crossed paths with an Indian family that had a few young children and a stroller. We would later have pity on the family for all the steps they would need to drag the stroller up and down.
What goes up must come down. Once done with the bridge we had to go through a series of stairs (up and down) and boardwalks through the jungle to get back to the original path we started out on.
As we sat down in the shade to get a break from the heat we ate PB&J sandwiches. The flies and bugs seemed to be interested in them too! Sticky – but nourishing.
About 2/3 way through our walk through the jungle we heard the first rumble of thunder.
In the few short weeks we’ve been here we’ve learned not try to predict the weather. There are a few reasons for this: 1) the weather doesn’t vary that much, 2) it’s always about the same: hot, humid, mixed with showers, and 3) see previous two reasons. It’s always humid. It’s always hot. Some days you get by without showers. But when it pours no one is surprised in the least.
A tourguide book on Singapore that I was reading recently noted that locals consider it very shallow to use weather as a conversation topic. No wonder. What are you going to say? “Boy, is it humid today!” To which anyone who has lived here for more than 2 weeks would think, “It’s always humid.”
All of that is to say that when the first rumble of thunder rang out, we couldn’t tell whether it would start pouring momentarily, wait a few hours, or drizzle and pass through without much ceremony.
We continued to walk back, but did not take as much time to read little signs describing the wildlife or different aspects of the nature we were walking by. (We knew there was still a fair possibility of rain.) About an hour away from finishing the walk we continued to pass several people – many families with younger children. Perhaps this was a sign that the locals did not expect it to rain.
But I digress. Back to the hike. For the topic of wildlife:
Though there was supposedly a bit of wildlife in the jungle, I think the animals were smart and tryied not to come out during the heat of the day. We did see a skink and some moths.
But the funnest animals we saw were monkeys! We saw about 3 groups of monkeys during our hike.
Note: When we do an outing like this again, we will bring TWO umbrellas or one LARGE one. One normal sized umbrella is not sufficient to cover both a 6’1” man wearing a backpack and his 5’6” wife while trying to keep the same gait through a narrow path in a jungle.
Eventually it was raining so hard that we decided to make a run for the bus stop. Andrew ran without the umbrella. I attempted to run while holding the umbrella. Unfortunately, in order to keep the umbrella upright and not flipped I went slower, and in the process probably became more soaked than Andrew! We arrived at the bus stop wet with both rain and sweat. It was worth it. A hot, sticky, sweaty, and rainy day. Just another day in the jungle.