April 29, 2012

Batam Waterfront City - Cable Skiing, Non-Existence Running Tracks

This weekend, we ventured to Batam Waterfront and tried out the Cable Ski Park! Since our weekly run in Singapore had been cancelled due to the Batam trip, I decided to take a bit of initiative to do an exploratory run around Harris Resort, where we decided to stay for a night.

The very nice pool at Harris. Swimming is friendlier than Running!
 A short introduction to our Cable Ski activities since it involves Unfit Runners doing some upper body workout. I guess the videos will give the readers a good idea how well we fared during our first tryouts at cable skiing.

We were splashing around in the waters till 6pm when the cable ski park closed. We vowed to return another day to master the trade! We got our workout we wanted and all of us went back with aching arms, shoulders, abdominal muscles. A great activity for toning the muscles and getting a nice suntan.

I was planning a run the next morning but I could not get the rest of the guys to join. Other than complains that "We are on a vacation" and "We are tired and aching from cable ski", I believed the main culprit is this:

Late Night Supper and Drinks.....

Despite getting a bad cut on my foot due to the sharp rocks in the waters of cable pool park, I still strapped on my shoes and went jogging/exploring.

I had another objective in mind while doing the run: To test out the iPhone running software to see if it will work in the absence of a 3G network. Leaving my snoring friends behind, I took off at the start point near a small beach at Harris. 

Start point. Harris Beach. Small stretch of dirty beach!
Running out of the resort, I have the choice to turn left or right. I remembered from the taxi ride we took last night that there is nothing but wilderness to the left and since there are no pavements, runners working out on the road will risk getting their asses kicked by reckless Batam drivers and motorists. I turned right towards the Waterfront harbor hoping to find some eateries or place of interest along the way.

The run is extremely unpleasant as the pavement is overgrown with grass and it is full of small pits and crannies. I had to watch where I was running in order to avoid spraining my foot and send my run to a premature end.

The main road at the Waterfront City
A short distance away, there is a welcome sign in Malay and it says "camping". Unwilling to risk my ankles on this treacherous ground, I decided to turn into this minor road and explore the camping facilities offered there.

Welcome to Camping? Let me see if can find some food??
A hot and sleepy security guard slouched in a makeshift tentage halted me and asked for my reasons for intruding into the campground. I pointed to my shoes and said,"Running?" and he let me passed. 

The campground is generally deserted with neither stores nor shops in business. There were neither tents nor campers in sight either! The only people I saw was a family having some fun at the beach splashing around and this was a weekend morning! East Coast Park in Singapore will be full of families and youngsters having a blast on beach while the "Waterfront City" of Batam was deserted...  Why did they bothered to post a security guard at the camp ground guarding almost nothing of value was beyond my efficient, cost cutting Singapore mind.

The campground is not too big, with a small stretch of beach and a small forest which my guess was for families to pitch their tents. A barrier separated the campground from the ferry terminal and I had to turn back on hitting the edge of the camp ground. 

A Chicken Chef? Or is that a turkey??
Rusty boat, rotting shelter and a deserted beach
The forested area of the camp ground.
Our Singaporeans ECP camping friends will probably go wild
seeing such unoccupied camping grounds
The small stretch of beach at the camping ground
By now, the cut on my foot is starting to bother me, the weather getting hotter and the ache I developed during my forefoot training is starting to haunt me again. The air-con room and soft bed suddenly felt like a good idea and I made my way back to Harris resort thinking to finish the run around the perimeter, while at the same time, exploring the resort.

All these in SGD! Not cheap!
The other stretch of beach near the paintball court
Saw this scrawny kitten at the resort. I had nothing to feed it with :(
Nope, not possible to do a perimeter run around the resort as the place has a "restricted staff area". I ended up running around the pool area and gave up shortly afterwards.

My verdict: Stick to cable skiing and swimming in the very nice Harris resort pool. Running is not recommended around the area unless you want to risk either your ankles running on uneven ground or your life running along the road.   

Location: Indonesia


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