On a dreary rainy afternoon, notabilia and I merrily went splishing-splashing to take a look at Punggol Waterway. Or rather, as how they named it, 'My Waterway @ Punggol'. (Read all the stats and information here, here and here.)
Both of us have not taken the MRT Northeast line end to end prior. Neither did I know what to expect at Punggol train station. Hey, being the Singaporean here doesn't mean I know squat. notabilia is in the know for many things that I'm not even aware of! BUT. Nothing's difficult to navigate in this country. We took the LRT for a loop and eventually hopped off at Damai where we faced the waterway directly.
For a number of strange reasons, I misread Heartwave Wall as Mall. o_O To think I actually went up to Punggol MRT station's staff to ask about this new mall that's not Punggol Plaza, and worse, thought we could take shelter at the mall if it became a bad storm. Anyway, it's located at the central section and we didn't go there. The steady drizzle turned heavy after 15 minutes and the winds rose. It was time for us to make our way home.
Upon alighting, we didn't rush down and head out of the LRT station. We stopped and took in the view. I'm not used to seeing greenery right outside a train station. Green. Lots of green stared right back at us. The area was magnificently empty. People must be wondering who were these 2 crazy women who would come to Punggol and walk in the rain, with umbrellas of course. Getting wet wasn't a huge deterrence in this short urban jaunt. This isn't the TreeTop Walk.
We thought that somehow, the air literally tasted crisp and smelt good. It could be due to the lovely rains, but it was nice to see a vista of lush landscaping and the belt of trees to the yonder. Just don't turn backwards to the MRT line and rows and rows of fairly cute HDB flats. Though these lucky residents in certain blocks facing the Waterway would get an unobstructed view for at least 3 more years. No excuse not to head out for a jog or a walk. Plenty of space for children and dogs, cyclists and pedestrians.
Although I tried really hard to stretch my imagination, I'm not sure why they would, however nicely, arrived at the conclusion to term it "Venice of Punggol". Yes, this 4.2km Waterway is by no means a trivia project created out of barren land to link Punggol Reservoir and Serangoon Reservoir. (No jokes about bodies in reservoirs please.) It's been plugged full of eco-features to collect rainwater, enhance filtration through the aquatic plants, introduce aquatic life into it to promote diversity, pretty pebbled storm drains, etc. The saplings were standing tall against the rains and winds. They would grow, and provide much needed respite for urban dwellers who thirst for sights like this.
The old bus stop that they preserved is rather random, along with a 160-metre stretch of road. It isn't that uncommon a sight yet, but the orange and white bus shelters will soon be replaced by snazzier designs with better protection from the weather island-wide. Embarrassingly, I kept looking out for buses while crossing the road. I had thought it was in operation till the trusty iPad told me otherwise.
Promise me you'll not laugh:- There's a naming exercise going on for the Waterway Footbridges till 22 November 2011. If you can decipher the point to this ummm...exercise, please participate and suggest a less-generic name for these bridges. I quite like Jewel Bridge as Jewel Bridge for the now.