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Today, we visited the HSBC TreeTop Walk - a 250m suspension bridge within the 2,000 hectares MacRitchie Central Catchment Nature Reserve. This is our second attempt at a morning hike after our failed attempt (due to bad weather) which landed us at Bukit Chandu and Kent Ridge Park last month. A spray of light showers in the morning almost made us cancel a second time. Fortunately, the rain was short lived and warm sunshine soon followed. Guess Jo's prayers were heard! Wendy was however, still slothing in bed at our original meet up time, but the 1 hour delay turned out to be a good thing and Anne managed to join us.

We started our day with a hearty breakfast, filling us for a 10km walk from Venus Link, beginning at Venus Drive. This was Route 6 or the Orange Route on the map and it appeared to be the shortest distance to the bridge. The trail is graded "moderate to difficult" and would take approx. 3-4 hours to complete. I figured that if my parents could do the walk in 4 hours, it should be a relatively easy trail for us.

Walking trail and flowing stream at Venus Link

Monkeys spotted on bamboo plants

The Venus Link route lead us through an old village ground featuring fruit trees and a lovely trickling stream. It is (in our consensus opinion) the most pleasant part of the whole trail. We were fascinated with the mud skippers in the algae brown stream and Long-tailed Macaque baby monkeys upon bamboo plants. This is the most authentic portion of the trail which brought nature and wildlife close. Without the need to construct boardwalks or concrete walkways. With uneven terrain, Sharon's "TreeTop Talk" misadventure had to come up again as a talking point!

The tranquil sounds of mother nature were rudely disrupted by modern traffic as we walked towards Terentang Trail. There is a narrow earthen path on the left and Island Club Road on the right. Many cars have illegally parked their cars by the road side to shorten their walk into the nature reserve. So instead of feasting our eyes on lush greenery, we were looking at cars zooming pass.

Passing cars at Island Club Road

In sharp contrast, another "stream" of a different kind

Seriously... huh?!?!?

We were back on the "green" track towards the last hike up Perice Track onto the HSBC TreeTop Walk. The trail on the TreeTop Walk is a one-way traffic system with a maximum of 30 people allowed on the bridge at any one time. It took us about 45 mins to reach the bridge and fortunately because it was past noon, there wasn't much of a crowd. It allowed us enjoy the surroundings at a leisurely pace.

The walkway is a free-standing suspension bridge spanning Bukit Peirce and Bukit Kalang, the two highest points in MacRitchie. The metal finishing of the bridge is sturdy and reminded me of my experience when I visited the Valley of the Giants and TreeTop walk in South Perth.

At 25m above the ground, the walkway gives you a closer look at the canopy, where all the action takes place. Here, you also have a better view of some of the forest birds; Colugos (flying lemurs) and Long-tailed macaques (monkeys); view trees from an entirely different angle and enjoy a panoramic view of Upper Peirce Reservoir. Naturally, because of the hot afternoon sun, we failed to see any wildlife prancing around the treetops.

It was also here that I got Wendy to pose some really unlikely photos. All in good fun. Anne and I also did a hilarious one with a bottle baton while entering Peirce Track.

The last bit of the trail before heading back to Venus Drive was a stretch of downhill wooden steps and boardwalk. It took us about 2 hours for the whole walk. Perhaps, because the trail had been broken into so many different walking terrain; from dirt track to mud grounds, to boardwalk to cement walkways; the overall continuity felt missing. There were bits of the trail while walking pass the water treatment plant that felt too civilized. It broke the feel of being "one" with nature.

Downhill steps... thankfully we didn't need to climb these...

Boardwalk through the forest

The other trekking routes within MacRitchie Reservior range between a simple 3km walk to a grueling 11km hike. The trek would have been a rather different one if Sharon was around. I missed her gleeful attempt to explain her knowledge of the area's flora and fauna.

Lunch was back at Alexandra, where I ordered a stewed beef firepot. It was so sumptuously tempting that Anne and Wendy had to get themselves each a set. Resistance was futile. I was also introduced to Avocado juice. Which is a liquidfied version of the thick, rich Avocado drink I enjoy at Indonesian restaurants, topped with Glula Melaka (liquid brown sugar). The juice was to die for and if not for the high calories, I would have gone for a second. Haha... not really, I was already filled to the brim with the stew but I just had to ensure I wasted not even a single drop of juice!

We ended the afternoon with another round of Fight Club to burn out those calories!

More HSBC TreeTop Walk Pictures

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