I chanced upon this place tucked away in an ulu corner of Yishun, a place I never knew despite not being a new comer to the town, online. Armed with a lousy map which I didn't print, off I went. It was raining cats and dogs and had half the morning wasted. Still I was pretty stubborn, not wanting to give up. In return for my stubborness, I found Yishun Fish Pond at the end of the route. Yishun Fish Pond is open 24 hours, every Sunday.
Evidence of an old abandoned kampung can be easily spotted as we saw discarded tables, televisions, toilet bowls, rubber tubings and tyres amidst all the greenery. Some construction seems to be going on. Soon, this place will belong to one of the town parks in Singapore. We had kampung dogs, big and small butterflies, crikets, weird beetles and what keng calls "stupid bird" for company. We were walking along the main road that was tarred. Many smaller trails branched off like the tributaries of a river.
Take a closer look and interesting flora and fauna could be spotted. In fact, my first sighting was a rare find to me. Animals are hard to find cos they run away long before you see them. To justify my point, this waterhen hiding under the shrubs was running away from me when I went too close to it to see something else.
Wild yam, tapioca, papaya and banana trees were common sight. There were majestic bird's nest ferns, huge job's tears, indian eggplants, "yihui's earring" and many more I don't recognise. I found the mimosa here to be seriously retarded. They were larger but took ages before it started to tell you "touch-me-not". At a juncture, one would notice pick-up lorries along the way. Our noses tell us that they must be here for the durians. A little further down, you would notice the start of the mangroves on both sides of the road.
Along the way, there were cars and bicycles passing by. We knew there was bound to be "something" inside. At the end of the walk, we came to a fish pond as the road came to an end. There were many anglers here and the fishes didn't seem hard to lure. A little girl nearly fell into the pond as she was attempting to net her dad's catch.
I saw how the fish breathed its last, bleeding. I saw how the hook was mercilessly ripped off its jaw, totally devoid of feelings. For the same reason, there's no way you'll ever catch me fishing, ever.
The long way in seemed much shorter as we were making our way out. It took us only about 30 minutes. This place is worth exploring. We'll be back again.
He: Where's your laptop? Me: At home. (of cos its at home when I have a desktop at work) He: You don't need it? Me: Use it at home to work. He: To surf internet Me: To work. He: If I take it back? Since you're not doing BD now. Me: (thinks) I only support BD (it's ECA), blame it on the one who's not using his resources well. Me: Then I have to get a new one. He: You're working, you can afford your own machine. Should get one. A desktop is very cheap. Me: (thinks) Buying my laptop so that I can work at home? I'm not mad yet. Me: The one at home is not stable and my brother is using it. He: ISO how? Me: (thinks) Damn, its barely a week. I have 1 month to clear the NCs and Oet, bs. Its not even July yet. He: You're supposed to get it done already. Me: Mostly done, some of the new documents yet to distribute. Need your signature.
Bukit Timah? Macritchie? Nah~ Those are normal and stale when you know exactly where to find what and you know exactly how to get from point A to point B.
I was inspired after my first attempt of 'Ramble In The Woods', especially when there were plenty of things to see. What fun is it to be following someone? You miss out on all the fun of discovering and exploring. Anyhow, 5 people braved themselves to come 'ho-lan' with me. My only bet was that, I had pocket tisu, who was with me on the previous ramble and ninja, who used to stay at Jalan Kayu before she married.
The sky was overcast. We were busy trying to escape from the huge water droplets as they descended from above, prata on one hand, bag in the other. We passed by the TPE, the army camp, the church and onto the cycling path we went.
The air was fresh, there were raindrops on leaves, giant snails, african tulip trees, durian trees, saw's 'sabun' trees, ninja's 'earring' trees and plantations. There were so many things here which I never noticed 3 weeks ago. I picked up a tip from photographer who told me never to take a picture against the direction of the light. He was right.
The cycling path became a deserted road led us to Seletar Airport and Seletar Country Club. We initially thought we were 'lost' and ended up taking a small detour into West Camp Road only to come back out to recognise that this was the place we were looking for. Eureka!
Seletar Airport marked the end of civilisation as we ventured into the woods. There were clearly had indications of construction work soon to commence.
It rained yesterday and again, this morning. The ground was terribly soft. The mud caught my shoe. SHIT. Out came my foot. In an attempt to step backwards to rescue my shoe, out came my other foot! ~!$#%^&*( I was still cursing and swearing when we found frog's eggs in the pool of water nearby. It was really quite cool and looked exactly like the ones you find in cheng tng, except that its bigger. Someone said (had a feeling it was pocket), lucky my shoe came out. Indeed! It was (still cursing and swearing).
We walked the entire stretch that was semi-wet, and missed our turn amidst all the excitement of finding sea snails and sea snail's eggs. It was quite a sight to behold as there were just so many of them. And so, we traced our way back to ready ourselves for the 'bashing' effort.
I was busy looking for a tree and its very distinctive bird's nest fern. It made me realise the difference between then and now, was that, then, there was an army of people walking in front of me. Now, there was no one walking in front of me to be creating the 'flat grass' trail. Suddenly pocket let out a scream. It was really quite funny, because HE sounded like a SHE.
We found the tree with bird's nest fern and spent the next 5 mins walking in grass taller than us and reached the 'wasteland' that was filled with treasures. This is where you'll see the banyan tree, more african tulips, indian eggplant, petai, many weaver bird nests, kingfishers (and several other species of birds), jacob's tears and so on. We saw the Yishun estate, Orchid Country Club and the mrt tracks from across the reservoir. We speculated on the possibility of camping at this place actually as there were so many things to see and do...like, tree climbing/abseiling.
This being a 'ho-lan' trip, I proudly declare I have reached my objective. Not that we really 'ho-lan-ed' but we have come to be able to recognise the place. The next time I'm back, we'll probably attempt to do it backwards. It sounds easy enough but if you've hiked enough, experience tells you the way back, somehow has a way of not resembling the way here.
I met a (new) diver with an obviously weaker diver for a girlfriend. I felt like telling him, if you're good, you're good. That is just so me. But I spared the ego bruise and kept quiet instead.
You don't need an anchor (steel rod he uses for an anchor while he gets his shot). Rods are a bad idea. They place the rods everywhere they will never place their fingers. His reason? Everyone is doing it. It brings me to wonder what these commercially driven schools are trying to do while earning their bucks. Getting wonderful pictures while causing marine life distress/damage is nothing to be very proud of, much less shout to the world. Its just plain selfish behaviour. Soon, there'll be nothing left to see because everything has been destroyed.
With lousy dive ethics, lousy skills & safety practises (they drank themselves so silly the night before they were still breathing alcohol during the dive), something is going to happen one day. Its not a matter of 'if', its a matter of 'when'. Just wait and see.
I have taken pictures myself and I know it is more difficult. My camera is limited yes, even when marine life is limited. I still managed to capture very good pictures.
Don't learn to run before you learn how to walk. If you cannot dive properly, forget the camera. If you cannot handle the surfs, waves, currents and the stress, forget the camera. If you cannot handle your own safety, forget the camera. Live for the next dive.