Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Unknown Treasure

Hey, I'm back. Okay, let me fast forward a bit to Sunday and go straight to my trip to the most unlikely place, for a Malaysian that is. LOL!

I was out of ideas of where to head off to with my Adik, whom I meet like only once or twice a year. A bright straight-As Bio-Engineering student who is also a poet and a budding song writer, he makes an excellent company. He turned 20 this year. Usually, a big part of our whole-day date would include catching a theater, but this time there really was nothing on. It was between Christmas and New Year anyway. Okay, I wasn't in the mood for Sentosa, too loud and commercialised, I think. Furthermore, this is weird but somehow, I always find myself in search of nature appreciation outings whenever I'm in Singapore.

And then, I found out about the Hermit Trip to Pulau Ubin, for the first time it coincided with my visit. One would think that we Malaysians have more than enough islands, don't we? So, why go next door? For once, Singapore is tiny and well-organised. I don't have to plan in advance and I don't need a group to arrange tours. The way they 'preserve' things also amazes me. Ubin is sort of off-the-beaten track too. My Adik admitted that though he is a Singaporean, he had never been to the island and was damn curious. My Singaporean blogger friend hasn't either, so there you go.

So, we hailed the MRT to Bedok, then took a cab to Changi Ferry Terminal Point. The bump boat had to wait for 12 passengers before it would move. There were many people that day, so we hardly had to wait. We were lucky that it wasn't hot, cloudy though. Upon arriving, we found the man at the Information Counter clueless. The customers who saw the trip on the website had to inform him about it.

We had a quick lunch at a Chinese seafood restaurant. Our noodles were tasteless though. My Adik's handphone battery was running out, so he had to play the song he composed there and then. Titled Caroline, it was sung by his friend. It was a good song, nice voice too, easy on the ears. I was surprised that
it was about getting out of a nightmare, and not about a woman/romance.

We took a van to Chek Jawa. It was either that or 50-minute of walking or cycling. There were few houses there, all on power generator. The paths were crooked and narrow, poor cyclists along the way had to stop and made way for us. At the Chef Jawa Information Counter, we were divided into 3 groups of around 12, mostly locals and expatriates, hardly any tourists. The 3 tour guides were volunteers from different professions. Cool, they usually make the best guides as they do it purely for passion.

The tour started with an unused well, there used to be a Malay village there up to like 10 years ago. Next was puffy leaves, used to stuff pillows in the old days. Then, we adjourned to the newly-built boardwalk, more than a year old. It looks wooden, but was made of a mixture of fiber glass and cement. The wood-like pattern repeats after a few rows of 'wood'. Prior to that, visitors had to find their own way in the jungle.

From then on, the view was just stunning. We passed by the mangroves, algae, beach and sea. The roots of the plants stuck upwards out of the mud to get oxygen. We came across mud skippers, crabs and mud lobsters. I took lots of photos. Several shots remind me of the image of the earth, floating in the galaxy (see below). We came upon a tower. At first I hesitated to climb up the 7-flight of stairs. Somehow, slowly, I found myself arriving on top, the view was amazing.

Unfortunately, 10 minutes before the tour ended, I looked down and realised that the sole of my right shoe came out. It was an old pair of sport shoes but still, I had to drag my feet from then on. Ideally, as soon as the tour concluded and just as we were walking back to the Information Counter, the sky started to pour. Others called for the vans. When our driver arrived and saw us, he asked us to squeeze into the front seat next to him. That was a good ride, full view ahead.

When we reached the jetty, he showed us the old-fashioned retail shops selling slippers, among other things. The shop lots reminded me of my hometown 20 years ago. They also had Durians and Coconut drink, hence we stopped and relaxed for a while. After that, it started to drizzle again. Passing by a stretch of faunas, I decided to snap some shots. Hey, flowers and leaves during a rain - it may be suitable for my book cover - 'Counting Raindrops'.


Kak Elle said...

glad u had a good stay afterall inspite of not being around...haha

kakyong said...

foto yg last tu cantik.. & nampak segar..

Ms B said...

happy new year! glad to know u had a good break.

sue said...

Happy New Year Hazia..

may this year will bring you more happiness..

p/s: masa kat SNC u batch mana? i dah browse album dulu2 kat kg tak perasan pulak..ingat tak Cikgu Che Mah?

Ms. Ephy said...

thanks for your comment.

happy new year and wishing you all the best!

silversarina said...

Happy New Year!!

Love all the pics . Akak suka tengok gambar nature tapi dah duduk kampung ni suka ke bandar pulak kalau melancong :)

Hazia said...

Kak Elle,
Next time ya? Hope you have a good break:)

Hazia said...

Kak Yong,
Thanks, tapi the shot nampak amateur la:)

Hazia said...

Ms B,
Happy new year. Hope you had a good time too:)

Hazia said...

Happy New Year.
I kat sana 4 mths aje. Then masuk boarding school:)

Hazia said...

Ms Ephy,
Happy new year. Love your blog:)

Hazia said...

Kak Rina,
Happy New Year. Melancong ke bandar? Macam pelik pulak ya, ya la, tukar angin kan?:)