Sunday, September 25, 2016

Ulu Pandan Park Connector

Looking at the National Parks map of Singapore, the first thing you may notice is the spider-web of colorful lines all over the island. A closer look will reveal that each color represents one of half a dozen routes called Park Connector Network trails (or PCNs) that are scattered across the island and offer bikers, skaters, and walkers safe, green connections between the island's major parks (and neighborhoods). Moving around Singapore, we've inadvertently come across many small portions of the park connectors. We've also made concerted efforts to ride long portions of the PCNs such as the Eastern Coastal Loop which has a long portion passing through East Coast Park, and the North Eastern Riverine Loop which follows the wonderful trails developed along Punggol's waterways and along the coast near Coney Island. The other 4 PCNs remain a bit of mystery to us, mostly because they are too long for the boys. Recently, however, I was lucky to discover a portion of the Ulu Pandan park connector so, today, we decided to try a much longer stretch of it. We headed out early just after a cool, morning rain, and avoided the afternoon heat that was to come. We began near Jurong East and followed the wonderful route along the canal for 6 kilometers before reaching Buona Vista where we stopped to reward the boys with some burritos and 30 minutes in the jumpy house. They may have gotten more sweaty in that jumpy house than during the entire ride!  From there, we took the train a few stations east and then hit the next park connector, the beautiful Dawson portion which later connected further with the Alexandra Canal development. These two and the morning portion we rode are all part of what is called the Southern Ridges PCN.  The entire route was beautiful, well developed and really smooth. By the time we reached Clarke Quay, we had ridden about 11 km and, ice cream, the second reward of the day was definitely well-earned! 

Rai is 89 Months Old!

Approaching 100 and still young at heart!  The boys love a good day spent at home doing just about anything from making art, to creating some imaginary game, to, of course, putting on a performance or two!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Back to the Lower Peirce Reservoir

Ever since we first walked the trail at the Lower Peirce Reservoir, Ash and I haven't been able to get it out of our minds. It's hard to feel like you're getting away from it all in Singapore. The city is incredibly green and lush and there are city parks everywhere, but the island lacks true wilderness and, often, that is what we really long for. Along the trail at the Lower Peirce Reservoir, we're able to get the sense of wilderness in a spot that combines forest and water -- a rarity in Singapore.