Monday, September 15, 2014

Exploring Singapore: Finding Henderson Waves

Getting lost seems to be  doing wonders for my attempt to discover more of Singapore.

I headed out for a run the other day, thinking I'd do a quick 30 minute jog through the part of Hort Park located just across the street from campus. I was only 5 minutes into my run when my way was blocked by a group of people doing work on the sky bridges. I didn't want to try and fumble past them, so I left the park and started to run along a road adjacent to the forest. I'd seen it before and knew it connected to Depot Rd, but I wasn't sure where I'd go from there. If I turned left, I'd get back to school, so I turned right and continued down the road. It wasn't very exciting... lots of housing projects and bus stops, and that was about it. Oh, and some construction workers. Eventually I saw another sign for Hort Park and thought it might lead back to someplace I was familiar with.

It didn't. It led me to a part of the park I didn't even know existed with a bunch of trails going in all directions. Seriously...

There were so many options! And I wasn't sure which of these paths might get me back to campus, so I just kept running up the hill I'd somehow gotten to...

Then I found this:

Parallel bars! Push-up benches! Leg lift stations and sit-up boards! In the middle of this jungly park there is an entire section devoted to working out! This is possibly one of the most exciting things I've discovered so far, as I've been struggling to stay as in-shape as I'm used to. I couldn't fit my 5lb dumbbells in my suitcase, and the school gym is too hot and cramped. To have this great outdoor, convenient workout circuit so close by is quite simply astonishing. Plus, for those who aren't sure how to use each piece of equipment, there are signs like these next to each activity station.

After excitedly trying out all the activities (and getting some curious looks from passerby while I tried to figure out how some of them worked), I thought I should probably get back to campus so I didn't make my run too much longer. I tried to stick to the road I'd been following, but kept going uphill... Then I found MORE workout equipment! This one is like a playground for fitness freaks like me.

Again, I tried everything, but moved on when a pair of grumpy looking old guys with sweat towels around their necks gave me the evil eye. Instead of managing to find a trail out of the park, or back to campus, I found only more trails going up. So I went up, not realizing I was following all the signs to Henderson Waves or remembering what that was... As I ran, I passed this neat little building.

Then I turned the corner and BAM.

I wish I could give this picture some better perspective... Here's what happened when I looked over the edge:

So basically I started freaking out and running around on the bridge, alternating between "wow this is SO COOL" and "where the F*** am I???" For a little while I simply stopped running and stared out over the edge of the bridge. And through the cracks in the walkway, which was really unnerving as I could see cars speeding by on the pavement hundreds of feet below. But the rest of the view was spectacular!

I suppose this is why it's called Henderson Waves...

The whole structure is somewhat dizzying. It's magnificent, though! What I still can't understand is how this is the only way I've been able to find this structure. I mean, it's a giant curvy bridge filling a big gap in the sky. WHY have I not seen this from anywhere on the ground??? I mean, it's pretty high up...

At any rate, when all this happened on my run it took me another hour to navigate my way back to campus, going down a bunch of sketchy side roads and asking lots of people how to get to Alexandra Rd. Eventually I made it back, but then when I went back to take pictures of all this stuff (didn't have my camera with me the first time) I found another way back to campus via a cool old stairway heading down the hill. Here are some bits and pieces of that and the surrounding area...

Dang. After all this, I think I need to find somewhere else to get lost next weekend.

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