Friday, May 06, 2011

Singapore Second

I'll try to pick up the pace a bit since in the last post I only managed to get through the concert, which was a mere day and a quarter of my six days in Singapura.

I spent the next two days (Sunday and Monday) seeking things that cannot be found in Jakarta: walkable green spaces with clean air.  Sunday I took a twelve person ferry fifteen minutes to Pulau Ubin, or Ubin Island.  It's a little island just off the southeastern corner of Singapore, near Sentosa I think.  There are no cars on the island, just bikes to be rented.  I spent four hours peddaling around on a clunker with squeaky brakes and the world's most uncomfortable seat.  I nearly hit a three foot long monitor lizard, followed a monkey down the street and caught a fleeting view of a wild boar. I was mosquito bitten and very tired when I left, but undeniably happier than when I'd arrived.
This is the farthest SE section of the island. The pink line is a boardwalk that does extend over the water and through mangrove wetlands.
A coastline view from the boardwalk.

View from the top of an observation tower in the mangrove wetlands.

On Monday I headed to the gigantic Singapore Botanical Gardens.  They cover 160 hectares (if you know what a hectare is without looking, you must have gotten a more complete education than I did). There is an orchid garden, an Evolution Garden which would never fly in The States, an herb garden,a ginger garden (I did not realize how many plants are part of the ginger family) a teaching garden, and probably a couple more I missed. I sat and read, found a university cafeteria for lunch, walked, wandered, moseyed and roamed through the park for six hours.  I was happy as a clam. . . .until my stomach started acting up.  If you missed that crisis, go back to the Amongst the living post.
Swan Lake.  I sat on a bench here and read for an hour.  Then made friends and had a moment with a turtle before sneaking around some swans.
Waterfall near the ginger garden and where I got some chocolate ice cream.
It was so nice to have large, smooth sidewalks to walk on or footpaths in the garden.  The air was very clean.  The cars drove according to the painted lines on the street. I got to a place I could enjoy nature didn't take a three hour car ride and crushing blow to my carbon footprint.  Why am I in Jakarta and not Singapore?  The final installment will be the next blog.  It's more city scene and my departure.

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