Aug. 29th, 2011

438

Aug. 29th, 2011 02:41 am
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Today I took a bumboat to Pulau Ubin, an Island in the strait between Singapore and Malaysia. It's part of Singapore, but so close that I got a text message welcoming me to Malaysia. I hired a bicycle - not one of the terrifying two dollar bicycles but something mid-range, and a helmet, and a bicycle basket (which the storeholder tied on with string).

The terrain varied from sealed roads to gravel paths and muddy tracks. I spent most of the time on the latter two. The photo shows one of the less extreme sections of muddy track. It was hot and humid, and consequently... I'm glad I took my water bottle. It was quite uncomfortable at times but the surroundings were stunning.

I cycled around the jungle a bit, up to a small beach and then to the wetlands area. Bicycles cannot go past a certain point here and there's a bicycle park. There were hundreds of bicycles there! It's not necessary to lock them up, just make sure you remember which is yours. Not all bikes are the same, but many are... I left a small carabiner on mine, and very glad I did too.

The wetlands were very interesting and like the rest of the island, teeming with life. There are dogs all around, semi-wild. Monkeys (macaques?), birds, insects, particularly mosquitos and apparently wild pigs, though I did not see any of those.

After walking around the coastal and mangrove tracks I intended on returning to the small town, but took someone else's wrong directions and ended up at a beach on the other side of the island instead. It was a nice ride, but when I was back at the jetty after about four hours I was well and truly ready to get going. Rather than take another two hours of public transport to get back to Chinatown I wussed out and got a taxi, which turned out to be cheaper than I expected.

After I had a much-needed shower I did a little market shopping for a few things I'd had my eye on during the last week or so. I had dinner too, street food here is fantastic.

I wanted to get one more geocache to round out my four for the month, that took me close to Marina Bay Sands where I had a decadent hot chocolate and a dessert with specks of gold leaf on it (!). I watched the free show, I'd seen it from other sides of the harbor so it was nice to see it properly, it's quite good, using light projected onto fountains of water set to music.

And last, but not least, I found a fish spa. Last time I was here I tried one of these - many tiny fish nibbling the dead skin from your feet and ankles and apparently promoting circulation and other wonderful things while they're at it. I enjoyed it last time, and this time was just as good, the first thirty seconds just as ticklish as I remembered!

A memorable day for sure, and tomorrow I'm off to spend my last full day here at the Zoo! Also, hopefully getting a good massage.

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