Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Train trip through the Rain Forest

Danny Chen
Before proceeding to describe the fantastic day I
had, I’d like to first thank the Women’s group for
organising the event and for it being well planned.
I’d like to make a personal thank you to Gillian
and Bruce Young, and also Elsie Wong for their
touching hospitality and making me feel like I was
part of their group, not judging me and accepting
a wandering child in their midst.
I had no idea what the day would be like when I
signed up, and really wasn’t expecting much
except to see the two attractions that I had
wanted, but never got, to see in the last year. Later
on the morning 12th November, I hopped on to the
bus, and we proceeded westward towards the
Watercare rain forest express tour.
Having been welcomed onto the bus and casually
assigned a seat next to Elsie on the back of bus, I
began to relax and just ease in the tour. I had
woken up only an hour before, after a late night
and had rushed to the Meadowlands shopping
centre to purchase my snacks for the day and a
small contribution to the Annual Women’s Group
As the bus ride progressed, among the chatter of
over 30 enthusiastic girls (and a couple of guys),
there were some announcements made by Gillian
about the organisation of the group and that this
was her last trip she would be organising. Some
printed newsletters were handed out and some
requests were made for volunteers to step up at
some stage in the near future to help ensure the
survival of the group by helping out with the
organisation and planning of future events. I was
amazed at how energetic the people were on the
bus and the positive energy was brimming on my
scales at 9/10. Even as the bus got stuck going up
a narrow and tightly curved incline, there were
jokes galore and people continuing with their
happy conversations. Needless to say, the bus
wasn’t stuck for very long and continued
unscathed along our merry way.
Arriving at the site after a required turn around at
the Arataki visitor’s centre, everyone got off the
bus, headed to the entrance and patiently waited
for the guides to get arranged. (The bus couldn’t
make the sharp left turn required and used the
space at the visitors centre to come back in the
opposite direction for a much easier right turn.
The short drive down from the main road to the
tour train area was quite a journey in itself, with
the road being so narrow and the bus being so
large, on the edge of rolling sideways into the
bushes. Lucky there wasn’t any cars to contend
with or they would definitely be the ones reversing
out the way!)
After the tour guides finishing their safety and
briefing speeches, the less able with canes and
physical requirements were seated first and
everyone else then got on board for the lovely
scenic ride ahead. The tour announcements were
well done with lots of facts and interaction for the
passengers on board. The views were beautiful,
helped by the fact that the 2 guides were very
friendly and mingled quite casually with the entire
group. This was some of the more great views:


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