Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chek Jawa Walk

A contribution from Kai, 9 years old:

We started our walk from the Chek Jawa Visitor Centre, a charming Tudor-style cottage also known as “House No. 1”. Uncle Joe was our guide and he shared with us many interesting things about Chek Jawa. One of the important things I learn is that the waters of Chek Jawa is a mix of freshwater and seawater. The freshwater comes from the Johor River. This affects the types of living things found here.

We walked on the Coastal Boardwalk which is built along Chek Jawa’s coastline. Chek Jawa has a rocky shore and we could see lots of barnacles on the rocks. It was high tide so we did not see as much of the habitats that could be found at low tide. As we walked past the Floating Pontoon, we could see more seaweed and seagrass in the waters. The Coastal Boardwalk was about 600 metres long.

On entering the Mangrove Boardwalk, we could see mangroves on both sides of the boardwalk. We saw lots of pencil-like roots sticking out of the water. These aerial roots help the mangrove trees to breathe. There are also Nipah palms and Bakau trees. The Bakau trees have long green seedlings hanging from the branches. Many of these long green seedlings can also be found on the mud and floating on the water. Uncle Joe showed us how these seedlings take root in the mud.

There are many mud lobster holes in the mud but we didn’t see any of their inhabitants. We saw several groups of little fishes swimming in the water. We could see many mudskippers including Giant Mudskippers. It was so cool because I have never seen Giant Mudskippers before. They seem to be about 15 cm long. They are ginormous! Uncle Joe said these Giant Mudskippers eat their babies. We were disgustingly horrified!!

We climbed up the Jejawi Tower which is near the end of the Mangrove Boardwalk. The tower is about 20 metres tall and has 8 flights of steps. At the top of the tower, we can see a beautiful panoramic view of Chek Jawa. The Oriental Pied Hornbill made a special guest appearance for our group. It is a big, black and white bird. It’s my first time seeing a hornbill in its natural surroundings. It was an extremely rare treat and I was very fortunate to be there.

I enjoyed myself very much and plan to go back to Chek Jawa again and again.

No comments: