Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pulau Ubin

Today I broke a personal record. I wore closed toed shoes for six hours in Singapore.

Matt and I went to Pulau Ubin. Remember that Pulau means island? Ubin means granite. You haven't learned that yet. It's an island two km from the main island of Singapore, and it belongs to Singapore. All books say it's like stepping back in time in Singapore. Apparently this is what Singapore looked like 50 years ago. It has certainly come a long way. There was a little "downtown strip" with a few restaurants, and there were a few houses, but mostly it was just trees, quarries and a little garbage (which you DO NOT see in Singapore proper!).

We took a cab to the jetty, and it was about ten minutes from our house. Then we got on this "bumboat" (same as the one pictured here) with 10 other people and went to the island. It took us about $10 US to get there. That's cheap (I like cheap). Once there, we rented mountain bikes and explored.

The bikes hadn't been tuned up ever. The chains were rusty. The gears either didn't work or skipped. The seats hurt. My front and back wheels were not on right...BUT the brakes worked, and it was damn good enough. We biked on the main road and on off-road paths, and we walked for a while on this mangrove boardwalk. On that boardwalk we saw the coolest thing! It was fish with really strong fins - they swim in water, and then they scoot their way along the mud to the next watery area. They were called mud slickers or mud somethings. We also saw turtles, monitor lizards, and a bright green snake. After a while our asses hurt and we made it back to the mainland. I ate a homemade ice cream sandwich.

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