Trip Start Dec 29, 2007
82Trip End Dec 12, 2008
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Where I stayed
I felt pretty rough today so I wasn't up for doing much, but I had expected that. I felt the start of a cold a few days ago, which I guess was my body telling me it would like some rest, not to be hauled up a 4,000 metre mountain. Still, it was totally worth it so no complaints from me!
Sunday 3rd August
My cold has gone so I woke up feeling back to normal. We spent today at 1Borneo, a huge shopping and entertainment complex outside Kota Kinabalu. A girly day was just what we needed, and we topped it off with a trip to the cinema to see Sex and the City. Perfect.
Monday 4th August
Today we took a short speedboat ride out to Pulau Mamutik, the smallest of the five islands in the TAR (Tunku Abdul Rahman) National Park, just off the coast near Kota Kinabalu. We spent a blissful day relaxing on the white sand beach and swimming in crystal clear water. When we went back to the hostel we met up with our fellow Pinnacles travellers, Stephen, Marcus and Martina.
Tuesday 5th August
We sunbathed and swam today away on another of TAR's beautiful little island paradises, Pulau Sapi. We walked the track that runs through the jungle around the outside of the island, which was really nice, but as it's such a small island it didn't take long. Still, it was good to do some exercise and work up a sweat before plunging into the sea to cool off.
Wednesday 6th August
Today we went back to Pulau Mamutik, and this time we rented snorkels for the day
It was a beautiful sunny day and at one point in the afternoon I was snorkelling a little way out from the shore, as I had spent much of the day. Lost in my own little turquoise underwater world, I decided it would soon be time to get out and put on some sunscreen. I looked up and couldn't believe that in such a short space of time the sky had turned black and I could see forks of lightning on the other side of Kota Kinabalu. Watching a tropical storm from in the sea is an experience I would recommend and will not forget any time soon.
By the time we had got our things together and made our way to the jetty, along with every other tourist on Pulau Mamutik, the storm was getting closer to us. The speedboat ride back to Kota Kinabalu was exhilerating to say the least. We chatted a bit to two American guys who told us that earlier in the day they had seen a four-foot monitor lizard crawl right past Rikke and I as we sunbathed on the beach, completely oblivious to its presence. Sadly they didn't take a photo, I would have loved a snapshot of the three of us basking in the sun together!
Thursday 7th August
We had planned on spending today on Pulau Sulug, as it is the least-visited of TAR's islands and we thought it might be nice to escape the crowds (not that the islands are really crowded...). The boat men were thoroughly unimpressed with this idea and informed us that actually, we really wanted to go to Pulau Manukan. I'm sure the fact that they would receive the same fare for taking us to Sulug (the furthest island) or Manukan (the closest island) was no coincidence. However they pulled out various photos of both islands and actually Manukan did look really nice, so we decided to give it a go. If it turned out we had been taken there under false pretences we could always stay on the boat and demand to be taken to Sulug!
Manukan was indeed beautiful, and although there were a lot of people there the beach was very long, so it was easy to find a nice empty area. We spent another long, lazy day swimming, reading and relaxing, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Friday 8th August
Today was sadly my last day travelling with Rikke, as she leaves for Thailand tomorrow morning
We did our best to maintain the relaxation theme that has dominated this week, which wasn't difficult! We wandered the shops, drank coffee, ate cake, had massages, drank G&Ts as we watched the sunset from the waterfront, and had a lovely dinner. It was a perfect end to our month together in Borneo.
Saturday 9th August
I got up early to say goodbye to Rikke when she left for Bangkok. I had a nice day in Kota Kinabalu, just walking and visiting the museums which were quite interesting. In the evening I went out for dinner and a few beers with Andrea (from our Pinnacles group) and her American friend Kellie. That was a really nice evening.
Sunday 10th August
There isn't much to write about today as I'm writing this in the morning so that my blog is up-to-date when I go to Thailand
I'm not sure how often I'll have internet access, so my blog and regular contact with friends and family (who I presume are the only people reading this) may suffer for a while. It'll all get updated in the end though, and if you really love me, here is my postal address for the next six weeks:
c/o WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre
108 moo 6, Tambon Thamairuak