“Trekking” was never in my vocabulary until recently; MacRitchie Reservoir Park in Singapore became an instant fascination for me and my friends. Maybe it’s all part of our New Year’s resolution – that is to be more socially active or better yet, to be fit-and-outdoorsy this 2015.
Most of us, “MacRitchie trekking virgins,” had to physically and emotionally prepare ourselves before the 8 km
run walk. We started quite late (around 10 a.m.) and expected to finish the entire trail by mid-afternoon. With a few stops here and there, we managed to reach the Treetop Walk/Bridge (the highlight of our trip) at around noon and completed the whole trek by 2 p.m.
Lucky us, Mr. Sun wasn’t too glaring that day. Otherwise, we’ll end up sunburnt and nognogs. Afraid.
If you are interested to explore MacRitchie but are not yet sure if you can successfully complete the trek without passing out from the heat of the sun or from excessive sweating, here are five essential things you should never forget to bring with you especially for first-timers:
- A sturdy pair of rubber shoes – Expect to walk through mud, pebbles, sand, and—in most parts—rough roads. Make sure they are a comfy pair too.
- A light bag/back pack – Bring a bag to store all your trekking essentials such as extra clothes, cellphones, cameras, etc.
- A water bottle – It’ll be a long, tiring walk for sure! So keep yourself hydrated all the time.
- A cap – Trust me, it’ll be your best protection from rain or from the sun.
- Friends to accompany you – MacRitchie is way too huuuugggeee! Should you get lost or get injured along the way, it’s best to have a friend who can assist you. Plus, isn’t it good to have a buddy whom you can share a few stories and laughs with?
Warning: Beware of monkeys loitering around as they are quite a lot, hanging in trees and sometimes even blocking the walk paths. They are scary too! These hungry monkeys usually just grab plastic bags and water bottles from those trekking in search for food whenever they can.
Trekking MacRitchie is like entering the “Maze-Runner-meets-The-Hobbit-and-Hunger-Games” virtual reality realms. At some point, it’ll appear like you’ve just entered an ordinary rainforest but after an hour, the scenery changes to a dreamy garden-like golf course and even, a middle-earth-like trekking path.
Highlight: Searching for the Treetop Walk/the bridge was like finding a needle in a haystack, only here you have to look for it in a rainforest. Having Google maps on your phones and signages at various pitstops didn’t help either. It’s just confusing to use them at times. And there were even moments when we felt like backing out. But the joy of finding what you were initially looking for just pushed us to walk further. We eventually found it and crossing the treetop walk gave us a sense of fulfilment. Achievement unlocked!
By the time we finished the trek, we were all starving. Smelling like sweaty monkeys, we all headed down to Upper Thomson for a good carbo-loading lunch.
Will I come back for another full trek next time? Maybe not. Experiencing it once was already more than enough for me.
How to get to MacRitchie: Nearest MRT station – Marymount MRT.
Photos by: Yuyeth Tagama and JP Quitco.