It was a long weekend (though imo, this is how ALL weekends should be like) for the regular working adults with Hari Raya Puasa on Thursday and National Day on Friday – both public holidays. It would have been the perfect opportunity for an overseas vacation, but unfortunately, am low on annual leave and I didn’t have the company. I’m glad I didn’t travel though! Cos my weekend has been activity filled & totally AWESOME!
Kicked things off with a Meetup group event – a dinner buffet @ Penang Place, Fusionopolis. tbh I’ve never heard about the place till I saw the event posting… but since I didn’t have any other concrete plans for the long weekend at that point of time, I RSVP-ed. Was thinking, gonna leave my comfortable introvert shell for a bit, try some new food and possibly get to meet some new people, make a few acquaintances if not friends? Besides, what’s the worst that could happen? Dinner is just gonna be like 2hrs. If I couldn’t click with anyone, I would just sit there stuffing my face.
The food was great. Chicken curry, Sambal Petai Prawns, Steamed Otak Otak, Penang Char Kway Teow, Penang Assam Laksa, Jiu Hu Eng Chai… and the list goes on. There were about like 30+ items for diners to sample. My only regret was I didn’t quite eat enough! I made the acquaintance of 2 lovely China ladies and spent much time just chatting with them instead of shoveling food into my mouth like I generally do at buffets. There were 2 familiar faces there too – one from the same Meetup group, whom I went for the introductory sports climbing session with & one whom I met on a trip with a different Meetup group.
After dinner, I went to stay over @ a friend’s place, with the plan of trying out a baked fish recipe (shared by another friend on FB) on Thursday afternoon.
Doesn’t look too bad huh? Tasted great though! Definitely to my liking, that is! And it was simple. Just fish topped with cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, breadcrumbs & rosemary + olive oil for the crumbs to ‘stick’. Place stuff on baking tray lined with baking paper, shove into over and bake for 15min at 200C. Will probably replicate this sometime in the future, with using dried parsley instead of rosemary (friend only had rosemary & basil in the kitchen, and we were too lazy to head out to the supermarket just to buy herbs).
Went home in the night, played some WoW & FFXIII and finally went to sleep about 4am or so.
Woke up about noon on Friday, grabbed lunch, clicked around on FB quite a bit (recently got to playing Kitchen Scramble) and soon it was time to head out for a National Day Pioneer Tour @ Bukit Brown. Yep, back to Bt Brown for yet another volunteer guided tour. This time, different hills were covered, with emphasis of people who made an impact in Singapore’s development… people who even had roads named after them! We even got to visit the largest grave in the cemetery! Will post on that experience another time, when I upload the pix from my camera. It was a shame that I couldn’t stay for the food & mingling session after as I had a round-island cycling trip lined up that very night – the highlight of my weekend o(^_^)o
The ride was as epic as I had expected it to be. And oh so darn tiring! OMG. I am not sure if it was my cheapo bicycle or it was my age catching up with me, there were many parts of the trip that I felt my legs were just gonna give up on me. We got caught in the rain at the industrial area on the West side of Singapore. Sought refuge under a bus stop but it didn’t offer too much protection, and everyone got their legs pretty soaked. The cold wind that accompanied the thunderstorm didn’t help. It made pressing onward almost impossible (for me) cos of the drag, and it made my legs kinda cramp up a little. That being said, being stuck under the bus stop that way offered the chance to just take in the beautiful night sky and chatter a little.
Yep, that was when we were hiding from the rain, and the top pic pretty much depicted how the sky looked @ that time – taken with CM’s iphone5 (my iphone 4 couldn’t capture **** lol)
After some time… can’t remember whether it was an hour or more, as I didn’t bother to look at the time, we decided to press on to Lim Chu Kang cemetery area, then head upwards to Kranji. No one told me about the slopes that we encountered. My gear had trouble catching on, and my legs really paid the price. I pretty much slowed down the entire group’s progress and felt sooooOOooo bad ._. It was then I decided that I should just drop the group when we reached Woodlands and head back on my own – at the pace I was going, should everyone wait for me, they won’t get home till Sat evening. Oh, they said it was alright, but am sure they were just too polite to show their relief… and I don’t blame them for it! LOL
Anyway we parted ways at Woodlands Road. I was supposed to go down from there, to Upper Bt Timah Road, Dunearn Road towards the City then home. My Will took a huge beating that morning. I stopped at a bus stop along Woodlands Road & actually tried calling for a cab but the only one that would take a full sized mountain bike is a “Maxi Cab” that charges a flat rate of S$55.00 + S$10.00 for booking. Uhmm… my bicycle is only S$85.00, kinda not worth the cab cost. Hence I just sat around for a bit more and seriously contemplated just ditching my bicycle and taking a bus home. I couldn’t bear to though, so I didn’t. Slowly and painfully, with rest stops in between, I headed down the long road home.
Eventually arrived at about 10:20hrs – how I made it, I have absolutely no idea, but am glad I didn’t give in to temptation. Am sure I would be really sad now if I had abandoned my bicycle along Woodlands Road. Am feeling a tad disappointed that I couldn’t make the full distance, but I suppose, I did the best I could =) One thing for sure though, my mind’s made up. I’m gonna get a foldie! LOL
My red mountain bike, taken @ Bt Gombak in May 2013
To Be Continued… Part #2
PS. The rest of the group survived the round island and got home past 16:00hrs on Saturday afternoon. Based on the trip leader’s GPS, Google Maps and some calculations, I managed about 80km. The rest covered a guesstimate of 128km, and CM did 155km+ cos he still had to cycle home from the ending point. Everyone’s personal record broken! *\(^_^)/*