Monkeying around

Trip Start Feb 06, 2005
Trip End Jul 2005

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Tuesday, August 30, 2005

After yet another night of drinking, and yet another night of only 4 hours sleep, it was no surprise that Atef, Bessma and I were late for the bus. My kidneys were hurting at the thought of another night in KK, and I was very relieved when a bit of luck and a few tactful smiles by the twins found us a private 4WD owner who was prepared to drive us for only a couple of dollars each more. In our personal taxi we crossed through the jungles of Sabah, riding in comfort and space and stopping when we wanted.
Sabah is truly beautiful and it was painful to have to cross it without detouring. It won't be long before it is as crassly touristed as the rest of Malaysia, and it would have been great to see it before that happened. Oh well, i'm sure there'll be a doco I can watch instead on Discovery channel.
Our day of driving delivered us to the Singporna Jungle Resort, a maze of high walkways built over massive gardens and small lakes. It serves the tourists who come to see the nearby Orangutan rehabilitation centre, and the little Chinese woman who runs it is a small force of nature, ensuring that everyone gets what they want, or at least what they deserve.
Our two nights here were largely alcoholic, inspired as we were by the sight of a loner expat who sank 27 beers on our first night and 16 on the second. Our day was dominated by the Orangutans. Entry was outrageously expensive (amazing how often you get outraged at prices when you're getting to the end of your budget, even when they're Asian prices: "you want 50 cents for a bed?!! i'd rather sleep in the street!"), but the huge family of orangutans who showed up and came within a metre of us made it worthwhile.
Afterwards the three of us headed into the jungle for a quick walk. I was thoroughly entertained watching two very 'girly' girls battle through the muddy paths in heeled thongs (flip flops for cretins), and freak out at monkeys following us from above.
Despite having had an awesome time, I was sad leaving the next morning. I had to say goodbye to the twins, wasn't able to stop and enjoy the rest of Sabah and was in for a rough few days in my race to Bali. I was also psyching myself up for the fact that the end of my trip was very close. Sigh. A few more hours sleep would have helped too.
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