Morning Walks

I’ve gone on long walks for two of the past three mornings, one to Bukit Timah and one to Bukit Batok (“bukit” means hill in Malay).  I just went up Bukit Timah a week or two ago, but it’s close to out apartment and it has monkeys, so I decided it would be worth going again.

It’s possible that I could spend all day watching the monkeys.  I saw four juveniles and a baby scrambling through the branches together.  And a couple of guys were having breakfast:

I took a side trip on this hike and found myself (after ignoring the “Danger: Steep Cliff” sign and climbing over a low fence) looking over the old Singapore quarry and across the island to the west:

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And it’s a park, so of course I found flowers:

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This one is fuzzy:

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And I liked this burl:

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Butik Batok Nature Park is about a twenty minute walk down the rail trail from our condo.  Once you walk up the steep road that leads into the park, you’re faced wth an imposing set of steps:

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These stairs used to lead to a Shinto shrine built in 1942 to honor the Japanese who were killed in this area during World War II.  Apparently, Butik Batok was the scene of some of the more significant ground fighting when the Japanese took Singapore from the British, and it’s also right next to the Old Ford Factory where the British signed the surrender.  The Japanese used the top of the hill as a worship site and burial ground throughout the war.  But they destroyed the shrine before they left the island in 1945, and the top of the hill is now crowned with a TV transmission tower instead.

If you walk further into Butik Batok, you get to this quarry view (we seem to live in quarry central):

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The park was filled with people, some walking, some performing tai chi, some doing group exercise, and some playing jianzi (a Chinese game that involves keeping a shuttlecock in the air by kicking it).

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