Eagle’s Nest, Golden Orb, Overshot, Black Cobra. Seems like the codewords in an SAF Open Mobilisation Exercise. Rather, these are some of the names given to the mtb circuit at Ketam MTB Trail located at Pulau Ubin. I had the opportunity to traverse the ‘beginners’ routes of the Ketam MTB Park with much huffing and puffing two weekends ago.
^ Map of Ketam MTB Park.
But before embarking on such a strenous activity, it was time to tuck into some food at Changi Point hawker centre. One of the stalls I usually patronise at Changi Village hawker centre is Wing Kee Ipoh Hor Fun (since 1976).
^ Wing Kee Ipon Hor Fun located at Block 2, Changi Village.
^ The image already makes me hungry.
^ After a hearty breakfast, it was a short walk to Changi Point Ferry Terminal to board the bumboat to Pulau Ubin.
^ An old hand securing the mooring ropes before we embarked.
^ The best seats are those with the verandah view located at the back of the bumboat.
^ At $2.50/person and a 10-minute boat ride, another set of old hands seen at Pulau Ubin jetty putting their experience to work in ensuring a stable secure before the passengers disembark.
^ A picturesque view of the shores of Pulau Ubin seen from the jetty.
^ Welcome to Pulau Ubin.
^ Ubin Town. The buzz of activities at the heart of the island. Some of the two storey houses have been converted to bicycle rental kiosks, provision shops, coffeeshops. A way for the islanders to make a living.
^ Away from the bustling crowd. Heading in a westerly direction along Jalan Jelutong, one can see the urban and rural folks.
^ At the Y-fork where Jalan Jelutong ends and Jalan Wat Siam begins, you will see this signboard which marks the entrance to Ketam MTB Park. Don’t forget to take the left trail at the Y-fork junction.
^ Keep the environment clean so that others may have an enjoyable experience too.
^ The easy routes for beginners are relatively flat. But beware of the sandy gravel surface that may cause a loss of traction if you happen to brake suddenly.
^ On the shoreline situated southwest of Pulau Ubin along the Ketam trail, anglers were seen hoping for a good catch. In close proximity of Pulau Ubin are two smaller islands. Pulau Ketam in the background. The other is Pulau Sekudu located on the southeast of Pulau Ubin near Chek Jawa.
^ Water-ski. It was probably because this stretch of waterway is shielded from the main shipping channel where vessels do not ply due to its shallow depth.
^ One of the many signposts that provides the name, description and distance of the circuit. The degree of difficulty range from the Blue trail for beginners to Double Black Diamond for the expert mtb cyclist.
^ The easy route along Eagle Nest…though I did not spot any eagle’s nest around.
^ Meandering along Pine Ride route.
^ it was huff and puff on an upslope to the top of the knoll arriving at Pipit Hut. Time to take a break.
^ At Piput Hut, you have a panoramic view of the surroundings. In the photo is Ketam Quarry and the circuit of Ketam MTB Trail circumvents the Ketam Quarry. Be careful as you near the edge. One mis-step means all the way down. Judging from the land form and terrain, I’m not too sure how one gets out. Some skills in rock climbing may come in handy.
^ Lush greenery surrounding Ketam Quarry.
^ In the opposite direction, you can see the the cluster of kelongs and well as the shoreline of Singapore and the urban areas of HDB dwelling.
^ Colour codes denoting the degree of difficulty of the circuit.
Blue trails are for beginners.
Black (single Black Diamond) trails for the advance cyclists.
Black (Double Black Diamond) trails for the expert cyclists.
^ Some of the more treacherous trails that you should take caution if you are unfamiliar in riding on such terrain. Better to dismount and walk.
^ You may notice the beauty of nature around.
^ You don’t want to have any of these biting you. Keep a lookout.
^ Wonderful weaver of webs. But don’t walk/cycle right smack into it with the spider clinging onto your face.
^ I had only covered a small section of the blue trails for beginners. Perhaps I would take the more difficult ones. While on the way back along Jalan Jelutong, one can see the durian trees bearing fruit.
^ As the bumboat sailed back to Changi Point, you cannot help but experience the rustic charm of a bygone era on this little granite island called Pulau Ubin.