I received an email from Matt this morning. He went up to the summit of Kinabalu with his father, and share his story with me. I just would like to share with you his story, which he wrote on his Livejournal.
I met dad on Tuesday morning in Heathrow, and we arrived Wednesday morning (7 hour time difference). It was warm, and humid, being that the island is/was mainly rain forest. we checked into our nice hotel room, and spent 2 days chilling in the town of Kota Kinabalu. a bit of shopping and eating and laying by the pool was very nice. We only went to the state of Sabah, which is part of Malaysia, which was until 50 years ago part of the British colonies, so oddly enough they have the same electrical sockets on the wall! And they have a good grasp of English, which meant we did not learn much Malaysian, though I did a little, not that I will remember it for long I’m sure!
Friday morning we made our way to the bus station to catch a rusty old bus for 10 ringgit each, which works out at Â£1.50, half way across the island, and to the head quarters on Mount Kinabalu, famed for being a World Heritage Site, and the highest peak between the Himalayas and New Guinea. I felt i may have over packed, but I’m useless at traveling light. We stayed one night in the lodge there, and then Saturday morning we picked up our guide, which was not at all necessary, but we guess they insist we have them for insurance reasons, and to boost the local economy. Clarence was he, and he spoke a small amount of English.
It was awesome walking up though the rainforest, not too wet, not too hot, but not much wildlife. We stayed at the base camp, Laban Rata over night, and at 2am Sunday we headed up to the summit to catch the sunrise. It was well funny all 170 people walking in a line up the mountain with head torches in the dark! The sunrise was excellent! We didn’t stay long, and headed back down to grab our stuff and make the descent to the bottom. It was ok, we took our time as dad’s knees aren’t great these days. The last Km was a killer, and now 4 days later I still can’t walk all that well, my muscles are on a drive to grow, and still recovering from the massive exhaustion.
After that we checked into our hotel, and Monday morning got us a rental car. We drove inland, saw a waterfall. The road were between excellent, and partly falling down the mountains, with pot holes that we could barely get through. we made it to sandakan in the evening, this is the second major town. It used to be where they exported all of the logs from when they removed half of the rainforest. They now export palm oil, which we saw 100’s of kms of palm trees on our way. It was a bit of a dull town.
Tuesday morning we headed to sepilok to see the orangutans at the rescue center. They were fun and cute. And after we had a relax being pretty tired.
Yesterday we had to drive back across the island (500km) stopping at some hot springs, and a tea plantation. I drank tea for the 1st time in my life this week!!! I have no plans to make it a habit. Then we had a lovely 20 hours on planes and waiting in airports, the flight from kuala lumpur is 12 hours! I’m knackered, but have until monday before I have work, which I damn need! mmmm, my own bed for the first time in 3 weeks :D, and no need to wear ear plugs!!!!!!!!!!! YAY