On the way to Singapore things get really interesting. I’m having a little nap when a lady calls for help. It turns out her husband may be having a heart attack Some guy starts having a heart attack on the plane on the way to Singapore, right at the moment we are over places you probably wouldn’t want to visit right now (namely Afghanistan).

It’s unlucky the situation but he couldn’t be better placed as just by pure coincidence there’s a Singaporean doctor sitting right next to them and a UK nurse sat right behind them. They couldn’t have sat in a better place if they tried. He get’s the best help they could have hoped for and I’m sure everyone’s relieved that we won’t be landing in a war zone. That wouldn’t be an ideal start to the trip now that’s for sure.

Because life is all about timing.

Anyway, after touching down in Singapore pretty jet-lagged with my folks we check into the pretty awesome Shangri-La hotel. And upon check in I ask one of the extremely helpful greeters at the front desk where I can go running (bearing in mind I’m currently in training for the Millennium Way Ultramarathon next year). And they provide me with a lovely short three mile loop map just for joggers. I ask them ‘is there any longer routes you can suggest? I’m looking to run at least a half marathon distance’. This is met by looks of confusion. I guess running long distances isn’t the norm around here.

I’ve had my mind set on running out and round to then exploring the Macritchie Reservoir as I’ve heard it’s got a pretty scary treetop walk which hangs (how high) over the park.

It’s definitely worth mentioning the Shangri La hotel more here. I mean factually at times I’ve slept on mountains, in literal gorse bushes and in haunted manor houses but the Shangri La does live up to its name. Outside my room and looking downwards the hotel effectively has a mini jungle in the middle of it, with ponds of Koi Carp. It really is a cool place to stay and with bottomless breakfast and prossecco I’m not complaining.

This is inside the hotel, my jet-lagged mind could not handle it

The Novel Coronavirus

It’s worth adding as a note in retrospect that our arrival coincides with some of the first cases in Singapore of Coronavirus. Sitting at dinner we all stare at the TV and briefly chat about this. I don’t think myself and the folks had any idea at the time that this was going to be the final result. Little do we know in less than three months this announcement is going to change the world as we know it. Forever. Later we will all talk about how we were all in a popular hotel for visitors from China, on Chinese New Year, during the beginning of the outbreak. And there was me worrying about maybe getting stuck in Afghanistan……..

The moment we are getting told our lives are going to be turned upside down…but we just don’t know it yet.

I get up at five in the morning because my body clocks haywire, load myself to the eyeballs with Nespresso coffee and head off on a quick recon to find out about the area. I end up in the Singapore Botanical Gardens at first, it’s really hot and humid still and the sun still hasn’t risen yet, in fact it won’t for hours. But that makes things more exciting, Singapore has an incredibly low crime rate, so at least nobody will try anything.

As I’m running through the rubber trees I get the sound of unusual wildlife in one ear and slipknot in the other (for motivation) mainly Cicadas which are the noisiest insect I’ve ever heard. It’s like they all have their own miniature drills going at the same time. Apparently some of the larger species can produce volumes of 120dB at close range (which isn’t far from the human ear pain threshold).

I end up heading back off to the hotel after this first trip to get my bearings but the botanical gardens are really fun to run round in the dark.

It is a bit hot in Sinagapore

There’s an interesting tour through the cemetery area/district on the way to the MacRitchie reserve where signs warn you to be careful of packs of wild dogs. Which is something I haven’t had the dubious pleasure of dealing with before.

Slightly worrying as a runner…..

A sign on the way to the MacRitchie reserve warns of a huge fine if you are caught smoking, littering, with pets, feeding the animals,releasing animals,fishing, poaching, picking plants, playing music, having fires, camping, and any vehicle, flying aircraft and a few more. I think this is great, people should have respect for nature, littering is is just lazy. The possibility of getting a huge fine or going to prison seems extreme but it almost definitely works! It has to be one of the cleanest outdoor areas I’ve ever seen. It does however sound like an almost possible thing to enforce. Then again….would you want to test it with a $50,000 fine? Or prison?

The Reservoir

Altogether now ‘Wicked, Wicked, Jungle is massive’

The Macritchie looks like a small paradise in the centre of Singapore. I’m impressed by the blue and green waters as I start running down and through what feels and essentially is a small jungle, but with decking paths.

Exciting new place to run….

“They Call It Monkey Management”

Step 1: Don’t breed monkeys (too late)

Just coming up ahead there’s some benches and a family of monkeys clearly a mum, dad and I think i glimpse probably a baby somewhere.

Step 2: Identify the Monkey

“Oh look it’s a family of Macaque, that’s awesome” I think as I’m slowing right down to a walk. They are really close and the dad monkey is sitting right on the bench to the left of me…I don’t want to either scare them off of piss them off. I didn’t come out looking for a monkey bite, after almost passing them all seems fine and I speed up to a run again.

Step 3: Don’t step on a monkey

Suddenly I hear the sound of angry monkey screaming. It takes me a second and realise why as I almost run over the baby Macaque I didn’t notice (so much for being careful). Luckily I don’t step on him on him, I’d feel pretty bad. Especially if daddy and mommy try and rip my nose off or something. Whoops.

Bar the monkey’s I’ve rarely seen as much wildlife as I did in Singapore at once there’s monitor lizards, skinks, weird looking butterflies but of all the sights and sounds I’m not really prepared for is the carpenter bee….I’m not able to take a photo but I see a few huge black bodies buzzing around in the tree tops after I ascend the Jelutong tower.

They are almost totally harmless to humans but they make a sound I can only describe as almost like an electric band saw. Which if you don’t know what they are would probably scare the hell out of you. Oh plus they are huge. https://www.nparks.gov.sg/juronglakegardens/explore-our-gardens/animals/bees-and-wasps/carpenter-bees

Climbing up the Jelutong tower to the sound of carpenter bee’s and cicadas.

The treetop bridge

Now this one is definitely not one for the faint-hearted. I would run across it but I think that would be a little mean to the other people on this very narrow, one way bridge over the reserve. The sign at the start reminds people they can’t turn back, not to attempt is if they have a heart condition or if they have a fear of heights.

Heights have always bothered me and for that reason is why I step onto the bridge with my usual logic of I’ll get a buzz off it and if I’m already doing it I might as well finish. I have to admit it is a bit freaky but I’m getting free extra adrenaline for the journey back and the view is really amazing. However, it is a really really long way down off the bridge, 82 feet off the floor approximately. It’s also pretty long too at 250 meters.

Don’t look down?

I only manage about ten miles before the heat and humidity start to grind me down, plus my only breakfast so far has been coffee and half of an Asian pear. So I head back off, feeling glad that I avoided being attacked by packs of wild dogs or macaque’s. Personally I’d put that down as a good run! It’s back the way I came to the hotel and as I’ve covered my training distance for the week I hit the Prosecco breakfast.

Visiting Singapore? Check out my running route from the link below https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4471886738?share_unique_id=8

Visited Singapore or the Macritchie Reservoir Park? Tell us about it in the comments below!


I hope you found my blog useful or entertaining, any donations given go towards more adventures and therefore more blogs and equipment reviews! Donation is voluntary, and you can donate as much or as little as you wish, or not at all.

Thanks for reading and your support!

I hope you found my blog useful or entertaining, any donations given go towards more adventures and therefore more blogs and equipment reviews! Donation is voluntary, and you can donate as much or as little as you wish, or not at all.

Thanks for reading and your support!

I hope you found my blog useful or entertaining, any donations given go towards more adventures and therefore more blogs and equipment reviews! Donation is voluntary, and you can donate as much or as little as you wish, or not at all.

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