All posts by Mallee Stanley

I grew up in Australia, but like many Ausies, I wanted to explore the world. After two years travelling around my birth country, I bought a one-way ticket in India and since those early travel days, have never lost the bug. I'm the author two published short stories (in New Beginnings) and several unpublished manuscripts set in various places I've lived. Two are set in East Africa going through the editing process, another I've picked up again after a long absence, and like the fourth set in New Zealand and Australia, I'm currently sharing with my writing group. I now call Canada home. This blog is about my travel experiences. If you visit readandwrite.blog/author/malleestanley , you'll find short book reviews of my 5 out of 5 reads and what I've learned about writing.

Dinner by a Victoria point creek

A line of restaurants lined one side of Eprapah Creek where I ate lunch. On the opposite side, the stream that branched out into a mini lake was lined with gum trees. My eyes were fixed on the water while I chewed on something, though I don’t remember what.  Below, Eprapah Creek that flowed from Mt Cotton into Moreton Bay was about twelve kilometres long.

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Karragarra island

We caught the ferry over to Karragarra Island, a small island across from Russell Island in Moreton Bay that we intended to walk around. On one side was a narrow strip of sandy beach and on the opposite side, mangroves.

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Walking over family ground

In my family, our grandfather was a mystery. He has been talked of, speculated about, but no one could pin down his elusive past. One period we were certain of, was when he owned a large stretch of land.

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singapore’s orchard road

I hadn’t visited this area in decades, but as I walked along its busy street I realized why. The famous road was lined with highend brand name stores and other shops that could be found in any other part of the world. Even Tangs, one of Singapore’s first department stores with a hint of Chinese architecture on the outside, looked like every other department store once I stepped inside.

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Singapore’s emerald hill road

Just off Orchard Road was a quiet street where tall trees shaded part of the road and old style houses lined both sides. This was one of Singapore’s most beautiful areas where I could gain a glimpse of its past.

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a taste bud for singapore

At the end of 2018 I entered Singapore for the eighth time. One of the reasons I’d been back so many times was food. My mouth had watered at the thought of venturing into Komala Vilas again. I ate breakfast there every morning, but there was more to taste than just South Indian vegetarian food.

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Bukit Batok nature park

Set close to the centre of Singapore Island, I hiked towards an abandoned quarry site in Bukit Batok Nature Park. Not only the sound of birds hovered in the air, but a distant wooden flute breezed a relaxing melody through the park that was established in 1988. When I reached the old quarry, now filled with water, a man faced the lake, his flute notes echoing off the cliff face opposite. His melodies rang through most of the park which was in the process of eliminating all plants that weren’t native to Singapore so that it would truly be a nature park.

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changi parks

Returning on the bumboat from Pulau Ubin Island, Changi Village and the nearby parks beckoned. At the ferry terminal I headed to Changi Point Coastal Walk first. A trail wrapped its way over the shoreline where I was one of only a handful of other hikers. 

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Pulau ubin’s sensory trail

The afternoon reached thirty degrees. The humidity was 80%. I walked the three plus kilometres back to the Main Village for an oyster omelette and a much needed coconut water. With shaded paths and a slight breeze, the island may have been a degree cooler than mainland Singapore, but it was still steamy.

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Pulau ubin island’s chek jawa wetlands’ mangrove boardwalk

From the lushness of the sea grass around the mangrove roots, the walk changed into a quagmire of mud and what appeared to be anthills. I soon discovered that these muddy mounds which could sometimes be as high as three metres, were the work of mud lobsters that burrowed through the slush to extract rich organic matter. They acted like earthworms by mixing up and aerating the soil. Additionally, the mounds provided habitats for other animals such as crabs, spiders and snakes. 

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