After spending two days shopping for furniture and forcing the kids through hours of us being indecisive about sofas and chairs it was time to do something fun.
I’ve been reading about the Tree Top Walk at the MacRitchie Reserve and though “this should suit us!” Jungle trails, exotic flora and fauna and away from the city. Just what the Dougbergs needed!
I deliberated a bit and checked the different routes you could do and decided that the shorter walk to the famous Tree Top Walk would probably suit newbies like us the best. That means starting from the entrance at Windsor Park on Venus Drive and following the signs. A 20 minute Grab (Singapore equivalent to Über) ride got us there and after dousing ourselves in mosquito repellant and putting repellant patches on our clothes we were set to go. The trails start straight away, it’s incredibly well organised and on a lot of the way you are walking on wooden walkways through the forest. We spotted some turtles and a big fish in a little creek and as the trails led us deeper into the reserve the sounds of crickets and birds were sometimes almost deafening. I don’t know what insect it is but there is something that can make a very high pitched noise that almost sounds like a car alarm!
I’m not gonna lie, there were a few “are we there yet” and “where is the Tree Top Walk” but I was prepared with a rucksack full of water, sweets, cookies, fruits and crisps. Parenthood is about bribery and threats in pretty much equal measurements…
Most of the time we were just amazed by the plants, the birds, the cute little squirrels and strange insects. Gigantic ants, colourful butterflies and dragonflies. Surprisingly NO mosquitos! We spotted two Skinks (a kind of lizard) but I was not quick enough with my camera to catch them. There are snakes in the reserve but thankfully we did not cross paths with them, I was quite glad to be walking on decking..
Throughout the trail there are numerous informative signs that were really interesting and explaining what we were looking at:
Looking at these pictures it doesn’t look very hot, it’s impossible to capture the humidity and the feeling of your clothes sticking to your body, the film of sweat covering you and making you feel all damp. When getting the camera out to take the first pictures I had to wait until the condensation had dried off the lens as the camera had come out of a cool apartment and cool car. You rarely see the sun when in the forest as the canopy of the trees is just too dense, it’s almost dark in some areas because of the heavy vegetation.
We finally reached the highlight of the trail, the actual tree top walk. A 250 m long bridge, suspended 25 metres up in the canopy of the trees, giving you a chance to experience the jungle from above and also some beautiful views of the MacRitchie Reservoir in the distance. Beatrix thought it was very scary and as you are not allowed to turn around and go back, she was very brave and went on despite her fear.
There are a lot of monkeys, Macaques, at the entrance to the tree top walk and they even climb around on the railings. The advice is to keep your bags zipped up and to not show any food items as these cheeky monkeys will definitely steal whatever they like. They are incredibly funny to watch with their humanlike mannerisms. We saw one finding a grape on the floor and he cleaned it with his hands before eating it. Another had stolen a pack of crackers and was casually munching on them sitting on a branch.
There are other animals in this forest, like Mousedeer, Pangolin, Snakes and Wild Boar but we didn’t spot any of them. Many of the animals are also nocturnal and will stay as far away as they can from us humans. It does make it very exciting though, the thought that maybe a big Python is watching you as you sweat your way through the jungle…
Here are some of the animals I did manage to capture with my camera:
Coming back to the beginning of the trail some hours later we realised we had walked over 9 km, I was so proud and impressed of the kids who had done this with us and enjoyed it too! We all looked forward to a cooling swim in the pool after our adventure!
The evening ended with a yummy meal at a Bar Bar Black Sheep on Robertson Quay, Red curry, garlic prawns, mango salad and prawn cakes for us, burger for Ben and Mac ‘n Cheese for Bea. Walking back home along the river Bea exclaimed “my legs hurt”. No wonder, little trooper!