Island-hopping

 

Good, no sins Friday 2016.

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The plans for Bintan or Batam didn’t materialise due to the exorbitant public holiday surcharges. Hence, we took a day-trip out to the two neighbouring islands of Singapore.

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New meets old – Rebecca and Chan

It was a 30-minute ferry ride from Marina South Pier, with the return tickets costing SGD$18. The boat was crowded with groups of friends and families, alive with loud chatters and occasional bursts of raucous laughter. The aroma of home-made nasi lemak wrapped in banana leaves was in the air, enveloping me in a warm, homely embrace.

St John’s Island

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We got super excited upon seeing the hazy view of the Singapore skyline from the island, strolling along the sandy shores turned a shade of dark brown because of the receding tides. I felt like I could breathe again and that all the work and problems I was entwined in were as far away as Singapore were to us, can’t touch us.

Here’s Rebecca demonstrating her repertoire of all her yoga poses against the backdrop of our little sunny island.

As the hours passed, the swimming lagoon began to fill up as the tide rose. We were pleasantly surprised by how warm the water was and proceed to spend a substantial amount of time waist deep in it, frolicking with a big, blue Nivea beach ball.

At 11.15AM, we missed our ferry ride to Kusu island and continued to spend another hour laying on the beach, swimming and collecting seashells. It was a good thing we did not leave the island because Rebecca’s camera had been forgotten in all our photo-taking ecstasy, laying upon the large grey rocks of the breakwater. We went back for it and returned with Rebecca’s deepening love for Singapore’s societal integrity.

1:15PM came and we finally boarded a full ferry. In the shade of the shelter, we felt the fatigue of sun exposure beat down heavily on us. We were all red-cheeked, sandy-haired but with satisfied smiles on our faces.

Kusu Island

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“This place looks like it has more civilisation,” were the first words uttered by Chan as we stepped off the ferry. Indeed, compared to St John’s Island, there seemed to be more concrete buildings and facilities at first glance, therefore drawing a greater crowd of people.

Wrapping ourselves up in towels for decency, we walked through the prominent temple only to make a beeline for the fridge dispensing cold drinks. We were severely dehydrated and gulped down the sweet, cold liquid greedily.

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“Kusu” means tortoises and there were probably as many tortoises as there were people on the island. It was interesting but not enough to captivate my attention for long. It was back to the beach for us.

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Bollywood star

Chan and I swam out to the breakwaters (pictured above) which was quite the workout. We only realised how far out it was when we were halfway through it, heaving and panting. However, once we made it up to the rocks, it was one of the most therapeutic feelings. Surrounded by water, being at a distance from people and land, it felt immensely peaceful. The fog in the sky helped create a magical atmosphere which really calmed my usually frazzled nerves.

Something stupid happened. I slipped into a crevice on the slippery rocks and I busted my toe. This has to be the 5th toenail which had rejected long-term residency on my left toe.

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Sunburnt and tired, we left on board the 4:15PM ferry back to mainland. It had been an amazing day-trip, far exceeding my expectations. I’ll definitely be doing this more frequently in the future.

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