One of my 2021 new year resolutions was to adopt a healthier lifestyle. But, the thought of doing static exercises and visiting the gym absolutely bores me. On the other hand, I enjoyed playing sports, especially in teams but the only issue I had with that was the venue. With more Singaporeans growing increasingly active, it is almost impossible for me to book a court just to enjoy a simple game of badminton. Fortunately, right before my new year resolution seemed like something I would bring forward to 2022, one of my friends suggested doing a Coast-To-Coast (C2C) Trail over the weekend. I hesitated at the thought because it seemed like an impossible task for me but after a while, I gave in and we soon started planning for our trek.
We met up at Jurong Lake Gardens at 9am, all lathered in sunscreen and with our water bottles full. We started walking through the park feeling energetic and hopeful about completing the trail before the sun sets. The park itself had several amenities such as the Forest Ramble playground and even a number of photogenic spots that could easily trick people into thinking you're overseas.
Moving past that, we finally arrived at MacRitchie (CP4) by noon and by then, everyone had grown increasingly tired due to the overbearing heat and our legs giving way. Upon reaching CP4, you would have walked an estimated 18km (which got me surprised that my legs could carry me that far). However, CP4 would also be the mark of your smooth-sailing journey as from CP5 onwards, you would only be greeted with numerous construction sites (which meant rerouting) and countless traffic light junctions.
Finally, the remaining journey would mostly require you to walk through Singapore's concrete jungle which again meant, traffic light junctions over traffic light junctions. The last stretch was quite exhausting because we spent most of our time just waiting for the green man to show up but it was worth it. To finally reach Coney Island before 7pm felt like an accomplishment but I definitely felt that we could have reached our goal a lot better if we had known of some tips that would make our first C2C walk better.
Plan your route
I had confidence in my fellow NSF friends when they said that they will guide us through the trail but yet, we got lost multiple times. Just like every other outing, it is important to plan your route and especially when you decide to embark on your first C2C trail. NParks has even provided hikers with a map to guide us through the routes we should take and those we should avoid. You can even download the map here. Alternatively, hikers could download their app to accurately track their location and enjoy other amazing features that could make your trail more interesting!
Arrange for pit stops
You have no idea how excited I was when we made a pitstop but unfortunately for us, we only made one and that was for lunch. I tried to savour every moment I had sitting on a plastic stool and enjoying the warm flavourful goodness. When break time was finally over, I was devastated that I had to get up but it definitely did leave me feeling recharged.
Pit stops can include meals and even toilet breaks. As much as you’d want to complete your C2C trail before nightfall, it is still very important for you to take ample breaks. Luckily, along the trail there would be plenty of gas stations nearby to help you refill your energy and empty your bladder. With that said, do not embark on the trail with an empty stomach and always get a proper meal while trekking. If you have no idea on where to get brunch, here are some places that you can visit!
Sometimes all you need is simplicity - so try to keep your belongings to a minimal. The trial has a number of highs and lows and the last thing you would want is something heavy sitting on your shoulder through this bumpy road. The one thing my friends and I got right for our first C2C trail was that our bodies felt light. We only had our water bottle and phones on us which made our walk easier. If you have the privilege to leave your phone at home and substitute it with your smartwatch, all the better!
Ultimately, coming from a non-sporty and rather-stay-indoors person, the C2C walk was something challenging for my unfit self but it was definitely something I enjoyed doing. My friends and I played games, spotted some adorable woodland creatures and we even hung around the playgrounds. Personally, I would do it again as I felt that we rushed by some places when we could have explored its potential. So, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly and wholesome activity, try out a C2C trail today!