Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reb & Rach's Rad Rendezvous

Two weekends ago it seemed like EVERYONE was out of the country except for Rachel and I, so we decided to have a girls only weekend. It turned out to be just a girls only half day, but it was still tons of fun. And you have no idea how long it took us to come up with the awesome, alliterative name for our weekend. Anyways, what we decided to do was check out Pulau Ubin for the day. Pulau Ubin is an island off the east tip of Singapore that kind of shows you what Singapore was like 30 years ago. I was surprised that the government had left the land alone for all this time, but what I found out in some research was that the government actually did try to modernize the island, but nature lovers resisted to the point where they backed out. And then the government realized that the tiny island in all of its olden-day glory was still a pretty good tourist attraction, so I guess now they're happy since they're still making money.

On the day of our trip, Rachel and I left PGP at 6:30am. Our timing was impeccible, and we managed to get to the island and be on our bikes by 8:30. The only way to get to the island is by a bumboat, which was pretty much the most ghetto ferry ever. There's no clear boarding area, and no one there to hold your hand, so you just have to board and hope you don't slip and fall. And they're all different based on your driver, but our boat was pretty messy. Note the crappy toilet seat that Rachel was convinced our driver used in between ferrying people back and forth.

Once on the island, we were able to rent bikes for only $10 for the whole day. Luckily mine didn't have any problems, but Rachel's was stuck on the highest gear. I do not envy her at all since the island was pretty hilly. After looking at the map of the island, we vowed to make it as far as we could in one day since we didn't think we'd be able to do it all.

Our first goal was to reach the Babut Hut, which is all the way on the left. We got there in less than half an hour, and the view was quite disappointing, as it was just in the middle of nowhere. After that, we biked for awhile longer, and then came upon a path that was blocked off. It was a path on the map, and we thought maybe it was just blocked off to cars, so we took it anyways. Come to find out, the reason it was blocked off was because it was flooded. It started off as just a minor problem, and we had to ride through puddles on a thin path that was most likely home to many snakes and other creepy things.

It turned out to be a much bigger problem when we reached the bridge though. It was easily at least a foot deep in water and there was no way to go through it without getting our feet wet, and even then we couldn't see around the corner so we didn't know what to expect once we got to the next spot of dry land.

So we had to ride back through the snake infested path. After that, we managed to get all the way out to the Chek Jawa wetlands on the east coast without even realizing it. We got to walk along a boardwalk and through a mangrove forest in order to reach the ocean.

And somehow, the ocean at Pulau Ubin is ten times better than the ocean at Singapore. It's so much bluer and prettier and more inviting on a hot day than any water you'll find elsewhere. Probably because all of the oil tankers aren't sitting just off shore. The only problem was a slight defect in the boardwalk. And by slight I mean that it had actually collapsed into the water. But everything else aroudn it seemed safe so I guess it was ok.

We felt pretty lucky since we got to see wild boar on the island as well. I guess they're shy so not many people get to see them. And it reminded me of how, at the beginning of the semester, Kenny's one goal was to catch a boar and kill it with his bare hands. So I guess Pulau Ubin is the place to go if you want to do that.

The last thing we saw before leaving the island was an old quarry filled with water. The color was so bright that it didn't even look real. I could have sworn that somebody took buckets of food coloring and dumped it in the water.

And that's Pulau Ubin in a nutshell. One of the last undeveloped places in Singapore. So small that it's easily biked and walked in its entirety in under 4 hours. But still the perfect spot for Reb & Rach's Rad Rendezvous.

And now I feel accomplished for writing two posts in one day. As London Tipton would say, "Yay Me!"


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