Friday, February 08, 2008
RATtling Good Time
Today has been a journey full of discoveries.
Today, for the first time, I was led by our Son to get a spot for our midday Friday Prayers at Al Gufran Mosque. Being a public holiday, the mosque was packed and overflowed with worshipers onto the open field in front of the building.
All these years, whenever a public holiday falls on a Friday, I would coaxed our Son to go to the mosque for prayers with me.
Now that he is a teen in secondary school, he goes for prayers with his classmates every Friday straight from school. A whole horde of students normally occupy the 2nd and mostly 3rd storey of mosque during prayers.
He tried to lead me to his prayer spot on the 3rd floor, but there were just too many people already there that led us to the centre of the field to hear the sermon and prayer.
The hot day was frying everyone out there, but the occasional winds were much welcomed.
Still not enough of sun-tanning for us, we set of on our bikes to explore more places within the vicinity of Tampines where we live.
The most exciting place that I have always passed-by but never get to go beyond the tall lalang grass was unveiled to me finally this afternoon.
Yes, led by our Son, we both ventured in, while Wifey stayed behind at the entrance under a cool shade of eucalyptus trees.
Beyond the small tarmac road was a gravel open space used for parking cars.
Across the car park was the actual entrance to what is now a reserved site by the National Parks as Mountain Biking Trail.
Nope. There is no mountain in Singapore, just hills where one can climb to the top within 20 minutes. And no, one does not have to be athletically fit to beat that time to climb either.
It gives you the perspective how flat this island is.
What is interesting about this place, is the fact that it started off as a forested area, full of eucalyptus trees and tall lalang grass, swampy in certain parts, with wild undergrowth.
Biking enthusiasts started going off track to explore the place, and before long, a nature trail was paved as more bikers got to know about it.
They would spend hours inside and even made themselves an obstacle course, taking advantage of the undulating natural terrain.
Soon, the place became famous with bikers.
The National Park saw that it was a suitable and much needed venue for such a sport, it made it official with some development to make the place safer, yet remained rustic and natural for a rugged sport for the general public.
Amazingly, in the centre of the biking trail is a large natural opening taken advantage by the model airplanes and helicopters enthusiasts to fly their toys at.
The National Parks made a simple runway and shelters for their added convenience.
I think the place has also potential to be bird watching site. I spotted egrets and local birds as we cycled along the trail.
Wifey cut our bicycle-rattling exploration short when she called me on my cell phone to turn back after she got bored alone at the entrance.
Continuing along our cycling route, there were just so many sights worth looking closer at. Things that when given time only then can we appreciate.
I kept snapping pictures as we cycled along until it was time to head back home for dinner.
Bathed, rested and refreshed, we headed... on a bus this time, out to Changi Beach Park for a night-picnic with the stars. Thank God it did not rain.
Just like Pasir Ris Beach Park, this beach was also packed with clusters and clusters of overnight campers.
One cluster of campers saw 9 tents pitched in a semi-circle, with a sweet-smelling barbecued fish smoking the night air. The Malay family of several generations must have had a blast of a time together.
Bought our Seafood Fried Noodles and snacks, we spread a mat on the street-lighted beach for our dinner while the MP3 player blasted my favourite songs. We took it slow in the evening and just chill-out.
Today, we stopped to smell the roses... the morning glories, the barbecued foods. Made many more stops and did many more things which I have not enough of a talent to describe them eloquently.
We simply were just loving it!
Saturday tomorrow... yes!