Downpour at Ubin!

I had a weekend holiday getaway during the weekend of World Environment Day (4-5 June) Went overseas to Pulau Ubin, because Ecolit was having a camp there from Fri to Mon (but I could only crash from Sat to Sun). It was a good break from the City, and I was very reluctant to leave for mainland.

Rushed straight down after a climbing competition I went for, was worried that I wouldn’t be able to catch a boat there with 11 other people and would have to pay $25. But thank God there were still many people going to Ubin in the evening, so I managed to reach campsite by 6pm.

Mr Goh and Mr Kuak rented this quaint little house from Vincent, who is an Ubin islander and owns a couple of shops and houses in Ubin (or something to that extent)

Not a very good shot, I forgot to shoot a proper one. We were staying on the compounds of house Number Eight, so set up tents on the grass and where ever there was space.

We had a good dinner at the restaurant which Vincent owns (or runs, I’m not too sure:/), while the juniors cooked their own fried rice.

After dinner, we (Ms Grace Leng from CreativeKids, Mr Kuak, Mr Goh, Sean and I) just sat around listening to Vincent tell stories about Ubin and his family. His family lived on Ubin, and their family heritage revolves around this little island. Ubin used to have thousand over inhabitants, back when granite extraction was at its peak in the 60s. Now, it has less than 100. There were very fascinating stories too, tales that made you wonder if what he said was really true. Ms Grace and Mr Kuak were very interested in capturing his stories and publishing them.

After dinner, we went to get ice cream and lepak-ed around more, chatting and relaxing while the ecolit kids were doing their Nature journal. After a while everyone started getting sleepy, so went back to the house. I didn’t feel like sleeping just yet (a rare chance to be out yet spend it sleeping is !!) so went out by the jetty. Just sat there and stoned. Wasn’t really thinking of anything, just enjoying the serenity.

Light pollution was really bad though. There were some oil refineries offshore or something along those lines, can’t quite remember the name now (definitely not Pulau Bukom).

After stoning for quite a while outside by the jetty, decided it was really getting quite late, so went back to sleep. My sleeping area was defined by this mosquito net that Mr Kuak got from the mama shop. Didn’t take a photo of it, but it was cooling and nice.

Next morning, I wanted to catch sunrise, but unfortunately from the jetty area you cannot see sunrise at all:( And while the kids were preparing breakfast, there was a downpour! We actually saw it coming, from this App that Ms Grace and Mr Goh had on their iPhone/iPad.

After the downpour, the teachers got the kids on a little assignment to talk to the villagers. It is really quite interesting, talking to them and getting a whole new perspective on Ubin.

We hopped down to Chek Jawa afterwards. After we were dropped off, the driver (I forgot his name :/) showed us how rubber tapping was done.

After that we actually went down to the little patch of rocky shore on the other side (where we previously found Halophila beccarii) and saw some stuff.

The huge boulders on the shore looked very climbable.

Wild boar prints?

Some kind of snapping shrimp. Notice that one claw is bigger than the other?

A poor harassed crab that dropped off his claw.

Where the missing claw was.

Purple climbing crab. Metopograpsus sp.

Afterwards we went into House Number 1 as it looked like it was about to storm again.

Pulau Sekudu (if I remember correctly :/)

Ms Grace Leng talking to the kids about some stuff, since we were stuck in the house.

We ended up not going on the boardwalk at all due to the weather and time. But as we walked back out to the pick up point, we saw a small family of wildboars, including a baby!

It’s a bad shot, cos my camera isn’t that great and the subjects were moving around, but they were really cute, especially the baby. They have stripes on their backs as a camouflage, and look a bit like walking black-and-white watermelons.

We went back to the restaurant for another awesome lunch, before taking a stroll through Ubin.

And I managed to spot a stick insect! First time in the wild.

Okay fine not much of spotting to do, since it was just lepaking on a leaf. But still (:

Hidden Oriental Pied Hornbill.

Some kinda slug. These slugs were found abundantly everywhere!

Green crested lizard that Mr Goh spotted. Bad photo :/

Well camouflaged caterpillar. More of a chrysalis actually.

Saw a couple of birds, like a long-tailed sharma (or something like that) as well, but I didn’t get pictures.

Before the walk ended, I had to go back to mainland already. Really miss being a student and all the opportunities that came with it. Though I am thankful that I have lots of other opportunities as well (:

It was a great weekend spent at Ubin, and I want to go back there again….

About Jocelyne Sze

I'm a Nature-lover, aspiring conservationist, and wannabe traveller in search of outdoor adventure.
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