Sunday, June 22, 2008
Rugged And Beautiful
It has been a few weeks since I last rode on my bike. I missed the outdoors even though we have just returned from our vacation last week.
This afternoon was a perfect day to venture out. I chose to cycle at Tampines Mountain Biking Trail situated along Tampines Avenue 9, which is so near to my home.
Since Wifey is still "suspended" from cycling until the go-ahead sign is given, hopefully at her upcoming follow-up appointment this Monday, 23 June 2008 because of her asthma attacks a few months back.
So she stayed home alone doing her favorite past time... watching Korean love dramas on TV.
It would have been great if Sonny were to go biking with me, but he was out having a last ditch effort of carefree fun, hanging out with his cousins before school reopens next week.
So it was me alone again. Nope, no complaints here. I actually got to take my time to stop wherever I fancied along the tracks and all the time I needed to practice taking perfect shots of my subjects.
This time, I ventured farther to the ever-winding tracks I had not taken before and further inward into the jungle trails too.
Once inside the darker shades of the jungle. I realized that I had been urbanized so much that I was quite out of my element while in the wilderness... if one can call it that in modern Singapore!
I remember the last time I was in a true, primary jungle was when I hiked and climbed Mount Ophir in Segamat with my army friends. It was in Johor, Malaysia during my hay day while still serving my 2-year compulsory military stint... oh, some 20 years ago.
It was quite spooky at first, being in the Jungle Trail alone, but as long as I have my cellphone, water and insect repellent in that order with me, I forged-on confidently.
Though the sounds of leaves rattling in the wind and the beautiful sounds of singing birds served as a therapeutic background music to me while I snapped photos there, I could not help feeling a little freaked with the strange cracking noise the tree trunks made when they rubbed against each other whenever a gust of wind blew.
At one instance, as I was engrossed with my picture taking, I received a heart-jumping shock when a passing biker suddenly broke the natural sounds with rushing noise of broken twigs and dried leaves.
"Did I scare you?" he asked while zipping by and left as suddenly as he came before I could answer in embarrassment. Phew!
What came through my mind was a wild boar or... a big foot!
Well, maybe not big foot. It was more of my wild imagination than anything else.
Who could blame me? I watched big foot documentary the night before called "Destination: Truth" about big foot investigations in the primary Endau jungles of Malaysia.
Anyway... coming back to the trail.
There was a recently held Singapore Bike Asia 100 competition there which trail I followed. There were many challenging terrains requiring the use of protective gears and bike skills for such attempts.
I followed only up to a distance and stopped when the terrain started to become challenging and muddy. Being alone, old and clumsy... without a helmet on and my Lumix FZ10 dangling around my neck, I took the easy trail instead.
The easy Jungle Trail was not a let-down as far as I am concern. Once I was out from it, there were so many wild flowers blooming along the open tracks.
I guess being alone and making the least noise when I am off my bike taking photos, I got to spot many of the birds species I last saw when young, living in my village then. One or two were probably the first time I ever saw... but most probably I was mistaken because I was without my glasses.
I got to snap a few fauna subjects apart from the flora ones that were easy and accessible. The birds were the toughest as they were fast moving. Only to see and admire their beauty from this blurred vision of mine. If only I brought my binoculars along... next time for sure.
Flowers were perfect for this guy because those were still subjects to get close and creative with macro shots. It would be even better if I had brought my tripod stand along to get stable shots which should yield sharper images.
So, with so many things to see and so many equipment to bring along next time, mountain bikers would huff while plunging through the tracks of thick growth and rugged terrain, as for me, I will be packed with gadgets on my back taking my time to rediscover and savior the beautiful wilderness as it exposes itself to me.
An afternoon beautifully spent. Hope Wifey gets the green light to go green with me soon.