|Arrival at Pulau Ubin|
|Wei Tuo Fa Gong Shrine|
|Bukit Puaka View|
A little way past the bridge and I took a right hand turn along an unmade track to a Chinese Temple. It didn't make for such easy cycling especially as I quickly realised that the gears didn't work! However it was worth the side trip for the ambience and colour of the place. When I got close I was greeted with the sound of clanging bells, the sight of colourful flags and streamers decorating the shrine and the smell of incense burning from within. There were a few worshippers around and so I gave them plenty of space and tried not to intrude. Surrounding the temple were vibrant pink bougainvillea providing another layer of colour and in the stream dividing the two parts of the temple were a number of turtles basking in the sun or lazily swimming about.
|German Girl Shrine|
|Chek Jawa Boardwalks|
|Ministry of Silly Walks|
Just before getting back to the information kiosk I came upon the Jejawi Tower, an observation point that is high above the trees that takes quite a bit of climbing. It was definitely worth it though - the view out across the wetlands was breathtaking. The importance of this small island can also be appreciated when you see the influence of humans in this area with industry and shipping all around. After a few minutes I climbed down and completed the loop to House Number 1. Located at the entrance of Chek Jawa, the visitor centre was converted from a Tudor-style house built in the 1930s. Fondly known as House No. 1 (its postal address in Ubin), the building was awarded conservation status by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in December 2003, and was carefully restored. The house now hosts a display about the development of the island and interpretation boards about the wildlife to be found here. There is also a concrete jetty here that can be accessed for another view of the seaside. I had decided that I had seen enough of it and didn't walk to the end.
|House No 1|
I rejoined my bike and headed back towards the jetty via the return loop which went via quite a stiff climb that I was forced to walk up. I was brave enough to go down the slope on the other side although there were warnings to consider walking downhill too. I felt in control enough not to worry about that for it was far from being a mountain bike trail. I paused briefly at the last quarry I was to see today, the rather lonelier Balai Quarry. I was the only person here but sadly there was no wildlife to see and so I pushed on going non-stop all the way to the bike hire place to drop off the bike.
I wasn't quite done with the island though - I wanted to take a look around the sensory garden just to the east of the main settlement. As I wandered around I walked past the police station, surely the easiest and most picturesque posting in this small nation. The sensory garden was an easy walk that took me through the backyard planting of the Pulau Ubin village home, where fruit trees such as papaya, banana, rambutan and breadfruit etc are planted. Sadly there wasn't a huge amount to see - I think I was in the wrong season for most of the crops and fruit. I wandered around for a short while before heading back to the jetty for the boat back to the mainland. It had been a great day of discovery and I was really pleased I had made the not inconsiderable effort to get here from the city centre. If you plan to spend a few days in Singapore and the bright lights of the city wear a bit thin I can highly recommend this place.