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We are still in DORSCON Level Orange (that lingered since Feb 2020...) and this year we were slapped with the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) May 16 - June 13 2021 and Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) From Jun 14 2021. Simply amused by all the strange terminologies that the Singapore government have coined a "lockdown" for Covid-19, I decided to commemorate the Heightened Alerts by attempting the Coast-to-Coast Trail #C2Csg.

#C2Csg is the longest 36km Park Connector Network (PCN) trail that spans across Singapore, linking up nature areas, parks and park connectors from Jurong Lake Gardens in the west, the new Lornie Nature Corridor near the centre, and to Coney Island Park in the northeast. This trail will bring you to places you've actually never thought existed!

Besides exploring the trail and learning about local biodiversity, we kept our eyes opened for Phil, the leaf from the native Broad-leaved Sterculia (Sterculia macrophylla), who marked the 10 glorious checkpoints along the trail. The checkpoints are not always the easiest to locate, so finding Phil (just like in the Amazing Race Television Series) will be a delight.

We attempted the 10 checkpoints in 2 separate hikes to allow us to mix up the boring flat pavement with treks into nature reserve trails and cutting through heartlands of neighbourhoods. We applauded our decision as 36km at a go would be somewhat painful, extremely hot when the mid afternoon sun hits down in full force and honestly boring cause there will be kilometers after kilometers of walking on roadside pavements!

Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) May 16 - June 13 2021 had a restriction for 2 people social interaction and no dine-ins. However, we could do takeaways and eat in the park.

Starting from Bishan / Ang Mo Kio Park toward Punggol Waterfront. This was a pleasent 20km scenic route.

Cannot say no to Robots!

Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) From Jun 14 2021 allowed for 5 people social interaction. Dine-in was still not allowed. Starting from Bishan we walked the other direction, this time to Jurong.

Forest Bathing in Lornie Trail

Checkpoint #1 technically completes our Coast-To-Coast experience covering 9 checkpoints and a grand total of 41.34km

What I would recommend,
1. Split the #C2Csg into 2 different hikes
Cover 5 to 6 checkpoints in each hike on seperate days. With this arrangement, mix up the trails by cutting into nature trails and neighbourhood heartlands. This will increase the distance to around 20 - 25km per hike but trust me, it will be way more interesting! Part of the adventure is to take some time to breathe in the sights and sounds around the locations. But if a challenge is what you are looking for… then yes do the whole trail all at one go.

2. Start bright and early
Start your hike no later than 7 or 7.30am and complete the course by lunchtime. Pack breakfast to munch along the way (McDonalds' Sasuage McMuffin meal was actually perfect for me) and do a coffeeshop lunch takeaway to enjoy your reward at your last checkpoint in a park.

3. Wear comfortable and light clothing
Because you would have ended your hike before the dreaded afternoon sun hit hard, protective clothing in my opinion is not required. Sport shoes with good stability is good enough. However, I did slip on my Salomon X Ultra Hiking Boots cause I wanted to give my tired ankles more support.

4. Don't overload on water
A bottle of water (750ml to 1 litre) is more than sufficient. No point adding on weight to the walk as there will be ample petrol kiosks along the way to pick up an icy cold drink if required.

5. Wear your Protection
Wear your sunscreen, your cap and your sunglasses. Anticipate rain and throw in an umbrella or a weatherproof jacket to carry along.

6. Lastly, bring along a friend
You WILL have a lot of time on the journey.

And before we called it quits to close our chapter on the #C2Csg, we threw in a bonus hike to strike-off Checkpoint #10! This was the awkward checkpoint off the #C2Csg track at Rowers Bay Park. Davinia made it our own trail from Punggol to Seletar cutting through Pulau Barat and Pulau Timor islands. Both are reclaimed islands off Seletar, now used for construction stockpile of granite and sand.

Catching the last Phil!

A very industrialised landscape at the islands. Lots of construction and stockpiles of granite and sand.

The two islands of Pulau Barat and Pulau Timor islands are joined by this road through this thin body of water.

All in, we walked a grand total of 57.81km!

#C2Csg Checkpoints
#1 Jurong Lake Gardens
#2 Bukit Batok Nature Park
#3 Hindhede Drive
#4 Adam Road / Singapore Botanic Gardens
#5 Bishan / Ang Mo Kio
#6 Luxus Hills Park
#7 Sengkang Floating Wetland
#8 Punggol Waterway Park
#9 Coney Island Park
#10 Lower Seletar Reservoir Park (Rower's Bay)

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