April 2, 2012

Punggol Promenade - Still Raw and Undeveloped

After the successful run at Bishan Park, we decided to continue our healthy routine and venture back to Punggol Waterfront which I am somewhat familiar. Our planned Sat morning run was disrupted by a heavy morning storm which made us decide to creep back into our cozy beds. The run was postponed to a Sunday evening which most of the guys could make it. So only Big Bone guy and yours truly survived the keep fit resolution.

Red dirt track marks the start of the Punggol Promenade Nature Walk
This time round, I was determined to explore the Punggol Promenade. For those who are confused between Punggol Park, Punggol Waterway and Punggol Promenade, here is a brief guide:

Punggol Park is not in Punggol. In fact it is a small park in Hougang. However, it is connected to the Riverside walk at Punggol which connects to the waterway and promenade via a 4km park connector. Details

Punggol Waterway is a small stretch of water body alongPpunggol drive. Walking along the Riverside walk without crossing any bridges will get you there.

Punngol Promenade describes the whole coastal area facing Corney island or the Johor straits. You can get there by crossing a bridge across the Punggol Waterway.

I do wish our authorities get more creative when they think of names of places. This is getting confusing.

The GPS system on my iPhone screwed up a bit so my pace is actually 8 min plus
 and not the 6 min indicated on the system
To prevent the problem of parking, we decided to start our run earlier. I was pleasantly surprised that there was ample parking this time. Looks like the hype died down quite a bit. However, by the time we left the place at 630pm, the whole carpark was fully occupied and the $5 valor service was busy with business. Although the crush of the crowd was less, but the sun was killing at that timing. I regretted not bringing my sunglasses along as I had to run with my head down to avoid the strong glare of the sun.
Trees on the left, Water on the right... for the next 2 km....

There was nothing much to see on this stretch of the path, which I felt was much worse than the slightly more scenic waterway. On my left are just a bunch of trees and whole lot of barren reclaimed grassland. The waterfront scenery was not fantastic either, with a boring stretch of features water surrounded by tall railings to prevent joggers from accidentally falling into the sea. The sun was so hot that day that I did contemplate jumping into the sea for a short cool down, but I couldn't find any spot for me to climb back up to shore as the high railings practically makes it a challenge to climb up from the water. Be prepare to get very wet if it starts to pour in the middle of the run. The shelters along the track are very creatively shaped but I doubt it can keep the rain out...

Taken from a shelter. As you can see, the shelter don't really block
the sun, neither I think is effective against the rain.

The sky was very blue that day so I was able to take some nice pictures along the way. However, a combination of the heat, sun glare and malfunctioning iPhone GPS system left me with little mood to enjoy the scenery better.
Love the Blue Blue Sky!
By the time I reached the end point, I was a bit dizzy from excessive heat and the stars that refused to disappears in front of my eyes. I had to douse my head in water in the toilet sink (not toilet bowl!) just to get the heat down! I only felt more sane after a few liters of water and icy coke afterwards.

At 6pm, we noticed the crowd started to thicken and killer kids on wheels were out in force. Coming earlier helped to beat the crowd but not the sun. The running route is a westward run which means a runner will be running into the setting sun which was definitely not a pleasant experience. A pair of sun glasses is essential if you want to run along the promenade before 630. The crowd thinned as I hit the red dirt track as that area is not friendly for kids on wheels and the path is very wide without the need to avoid other runners. With a total length of 5km along the entire stretch of the promenade, it is an ideal route for a longer distance runner. 

We were quite tanned by the end of the run....
Accessibility :  Riviera LRT or Bus 3, 85, 83, 569

Parking: 2 small paid carparks. More parking at HDB estates nearby

Type of tracks: Asphalt, red dirt track

Elevation: Flat with slight elevation. Need to cross bridges which are slightly sloped
Location: 639 Punggol Dr, Singapore 820639


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