A Travellerspoint blog


Back at 'KK'

16/10/10 - 19/10/10

sunny 28 °C
View RTW Part 2 (Aus/New Z/Cook Islands ... home time) on RosiePony's travel map.

Back home at the beachouse :-)

Sunday - spent day doing nothing and it was great! Last day of taking medication. Went to supermarket briefly and had food, watched tv, relaxed. Slept.

Monday - Liz's birthday (happy birthday Lizzeeee). I slept in, ate, went on Internet, read, ate, called Liz, ate then went out for dinner. Went for a walk along the beach and then went to bed.

Tuesday - had stomach cramps again last night so this morning went to see the kk docs. Got a 11.30 appointment, was seen at 12. Now waiting for medication. Had an injection to stall my stomach (it's in overdrive at the mo aparantly). Gonna get some immodium, charcoal
tablets and was told to eat porridge (yuk!) and soup... Then when feelin better I'm allowed my favoite drink that I discovered out here (after iced Milo) 100plus (electrolyte drink) :D silver lining and all...

Now I have meds, and have been to the supermarket n got porridge drink (quite nice actually, thanks nestle) so have had dinner (peanut butter sandwich followed by porridge drink) and am now sat at airport waiting to see what gate I am boarding at - although there are only 4 to choose from so it seems a tad irrelevant really...I'm sleeepy tired. Plane is meant to land at 11.10 Jakarta time then have to get baggage
etc and meet Whiteley! So I will no longer be a solo traveller :-) for 3 weeks at least ;) it'll be a nice change. I just need to sleep n get over this bug then I'll be on my way to traveldom again... I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by RosiePony 04:39 Archived in Malaysia Tagged malaysia borneo backpacking Comments (0)

Uncle Tans - Sepilok

14/10/10 - 16/10/10

all seasons in one day 26 °C

Thursday - Had dinner, watched tv, read and prepared bag for trip into the jungle the following afternoon.

Friday - However, the next morning I awoke with stomach cramps, another ear infection and diarrhoea :( I was taken into sandakan to the docs where I got a zillion pills after registering and waiting. Back at the base camp in sepilok, I got medicated up and went to see the ourangutans in the afternoon. I got a refund for the jungle trip since it was looking very unlikely I'd be well enough to go and the jungle camps facilities would be very basic (no showers) so I took the sensible option, despite the dissappointment.

At the ourangutan sanctuary you go down a walkway to the feeding platform. On the way we (I was with an English couple from Uncle Tans) saw a male juvenile playing in the trees. Then on the feeding platform there were two mums with infants feeding on the fruit left there. After ten mins some males came to eat, their presence being made clear by the tussling bushes and treetop movements causing one of the mums left via a rope. I took photos and videos to try n capture the moment I am so inadequatley trying to describe!

It started to rain (downpour) so I got a taxi back to the camp with a Japanese lady staying there too. I felt pants so went back to bed. I spent the evening chatting to a British couple I met at the ourangutan sanctuary, who were wry nice.

Saturday - I got up and booked my bus ticket back to kk, then spent the morning packing my bag ready for the afternoon. The bus came at 2pm and cost 30 ringgit, taking about 6 hrs. As the bus rounded yet another corner (trying to go to the toilet was near impossible so quickly gave that idea up) we stopped off for a break in a small town on the way to Mt Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in SE Asia. The sun was setting as we drove past the mountain, beautiful! Joe from the hostel met me in a pickup van since the bus stop was 8k away from kk city. Priorities back at the hostel after dinner: put my washing on, had a shower n went to bed!

Posted by RosiePony 05:37 Archived in Malaysia Tagged backpacking sepilok Comments (1)

Pulau Mabul

10/10/10 - 14/10/10

all seasons in one day 26 °C

Sunday - flight to Tawau at 7.20, so check in at 6.20, no probs there. Arrived in Tawau at 8.10, got bags then gatecrashed a tour bus heading into Semporna, the port town where all transport to 'The Islands' (Mabul, Kapali and Sipidan) is arranged from. The coach driver charged me 30 ringgit (£6) for an hr journey (it costs this for 6 hrs on the mainland!) but did drop me off outside Uncle Changs at around half 9, who I will be diving with on Mabul Island...

I was chauffeur driven to the bank in an Uncle Chang minibus. I'm still not sure if it was because:
A) they think westerners are too lazy to walk (it's prob a 10 min walk there n back)
B) the driver had nothing better to do
C) i was likely I'd be mugged on route and they'd not see my money in the dive shop or
D) all of the above!

Semporna is not a pretty little seaside port. It's tiny yes, but not pretty. And I only literlly spent 1-2 hrs there, most of which entailed the bank journey and then looking out from the pier next to Uncle Changs. There isn't even a map in my Rough Guide, it's that small a town. I will prob have to stay there for a night before catching my onward travel elsewhere, so will provide more Semporna delights later...

At 10.30 I was put on a speedboat with water n toilet roll supplies heading to Mabul. It really was a big boat so felt like a VIP, despite the bumpy ride (everyone bombs along the water here)...I was offloaded onto a stilted platform that Is Uncle Changs resort. It has stilted bungalows off to one side in lines away from the main communal area, a deck consisting of sun loungers and the main deck area for eating or hiding from the rain. My dorm room has 4 beds and some rats that I haven't seen but know they are there - they nibbled my cheese biscuits. Felt a bit like Wallace (think Wallace n Gromit) when the wererabbirt ate his cheese. I didn't even get to eat one :'(
The bathroom is en suite but is v basic and has no sink (circular small hole in the floor, my aim is quite good now). All food is included in the price (60 ringgit. £12) and is buffet style (so far rice rice rice) with unlimited tea, coffee N water. Not too bad really.Beer is to be found down the planked walkway if you take a right at the end, a 5 ringgit (£1) can will be yours. The planks are rickety and there are gaps so it takes me a good ten mins to do a beer run- I don't wanna fall in the water! The first night here the weather was crap- the high tide sent waves of water through the planks making it a cat n mouse game each time anyone walked across them, wondering If they'd get wet. I was lucky n remained dry.

Monday - The next day was a cool overcast day with spots of rain. Dive day in Mabul n Kapali. I've never done a dive without a gorgeous day
behind me so was bot really feeling the vibe, til I got onthe water an saw all new fish n frog fish, crocodile fish and lion fish! All pretty
cool. 3 dives, 2 at Mabul, 1 at Kapali. That eve I spent playing cards in the cool calm evening with my dive buddy Scott. He's American and
easy to relax with. Preparing for Sipidan tomo so didn't really know what to expect- just heard amazing things about it, that I'd see
sharks, turtles, baracuda schools etc... Well, here we go...
DSC08067.jpgDSC08064.jpgDSC08048.jpgDSC08037.jpgDSC08007.jpg </p><p>[bTuesday[/b] - Sipidan Dive day. Woke up to stunningly amazing sunny weather, it couldn't be more of a perfect day to make me feel optimistic to go diving somewhere new. I did 3 dives, South Point, Baracuda Bay and Coral Gardens. Coral Gardens ended up being a drift dive too and the current was very strong, we were moving in some part at a metre per second?! Well, that was quick for me! So all new experiences and I survived. To be honest it all went by in a bit of an adrenaline blur, so I can't rememer too much but I hired a camera so got piccies to remember things by. I did see lots of White tip reef sharks- they're cool, very relaxed n have the coldest stare you an imagine, as any shark does! Turtles! Lots n lots n lots of turtles :)

Wednesday - Uncle Chang (the owner) offered me a discount dive at Sipidan for today which I accepted last night, however have woken up to rain this morning. I'm not sure how much of an impact this will have underwater, presumably visibility will be affected?! So not sure whether to do local muck dives in Mabul to see the Macros life?! No new people have come here for the past 2 days. There are only 5 ppl staying last night and 4 of us leave today on the 4.30 boat! I'm heading back to Semporna to spent the night in preparation for catching the bus to Sepilok to see the ourangutans! Then I've provisionally booked to go on the kinabtangan river trip which includes treks too... But since it's rain rain rain I'm not so sure I'm keen to do this. However being British, I should be used to it right?! Sigh... Just different when you've been used to hot hot hot for the past 4 months. As it turns out the rain didn't have any affect n by the time we were at sipidan, it was another beautiful day... Saw lots more sharks but fewer turtles cos of the storm last night. Saw baracuda and jack fish which were cool cos if u swim into their centre, the school end up circling round you- v cool sensation!

Semporna - After the dives it was straight on the boat to semporna where I checked in at scubajunkies for the eve. I went to an Internet cafe and had my first western dinner in days- which was dissapointing garlic bread (forgot they use sweet bread) and chicken cheese sandwich.. Then to bed for an early start tomo.

Thursday - woke up at 6, walked to bus ticket office n got bus ticket for 8am, walked back to hotel for disappointing breakfast then got bags n returned to bus. It took 5 hrs to sepilok, the penultimate destination before sandakan. I arrived at Uncle Tans at about 1pm in time for Lunch but since we'd had a lunch stop off on the bus I wasn't so bothered. Checked in, dumped stuff in dorm room then I chilled out in a hammock n read. Not many ppl about n not feeling 100%.

Posted by RosiePony 07:21 Archived in Malaysia Tagged diving backpacking mabul Comments (1)

Kota Kinabalu

04-10-10 to 10-10-10

all seasons in one day 28 °C

I arrived very late last night (midnight) at the airport. My hostel is a stones throw away from terminal 2 airport so i walked to it (taxi was like £20 for a 5 min walk!). I had booked ahead although there was really no need. I was put in an 8 bed girls dorm in which there were two girls so despite the late hour, we had a brief chat. I was so looking forward to a long lay in but annoyingly my body has gotten used to waking up early n going to bed early :s when I woke up, the girls had checked out so I got ready and set off into town. This consisted of walking ten mins up the road to the local bus stop, and waiting for the local minibus (clapped out banger) to arrive and take me to one of the main bus terminals for 1 ringgit (20p). No complaints, I quite enjoy community transport vehicles, they're not the worst I've been in! I then got on the city bus to the main town strip (0.50 ringgit -10p) and began my KK exploration...

Today (Monday) I have had a range of random experiences from being given a business card by a 50+ yr old man (in case he comes to the UK- his words, not mine) to being asked out in the supermarket (after asking where the small toothpaste is- i declined the offer then made a quick getaway! to chatting to several tour agencies, all who are very friendly and one in particular sharing her Spanish question revision sheet with me (for when I got to S America). My head is now spinning with tour options but my main priority now is to book diving or failing that, just turn up in Semporna, fingers crossed. Having walked around KK today, I am left with the impression there is nothing to do here in KK itself, people use it more as a place to sleep when they return from their daily activities. no one is trying to shove tours down my throat despite me craving it. So I will have to make my own adventure!

Tue - I went to a local island (Mamukan) for the day to sunbathe, it's a beautiful island and the weather was great! Topping up my tan ;) After a refreshing shower at the hostel I ate dinner locally with Joe, from the hostel (he is becoming a divemaster) then went a walk on the beach front where a live band was playing in a local bar. I had a beer n relaxed with the sound of the sea behind me - beautiful!

Wed - It's the first time since leaving the UK I have goosebumps! I went to the beach this morning (nothing to shout about) and it started to rain, so hung around in the hostel til it stopped. Then went for dinner locally at a food court that plays music n is outside so nice breeze etc...

Thurs - I went White water rafting on a grade 3/4 river, Pedas River, which was fantastic! I had lotsa fun but ache now :s the boat fits 9-10 ppl on it, and capsized actually going through a rapid- this is when I drank most of the (brown mud) river water so rafting was easy after that!!

Fri - today I was supposed to go to Mt Kinabalu to do the bottom trails and then maybe go to some hot springs nearby. However I was so tired from rafting I overslept! So spent the morning catching up on sleep and now I am about to go out and explore the city areas I've missed out (not many!). I got the local bus into town then another a bit further into town n walked to see Atkinson Tower, a clocktower established to represent KK as a city.

KK used to be all sea and a harbour that had stilt houses, but land reclaimation processes enabled all the harbour front to be built and today looks like a normal strip of land. Also KK used to be called Jessleton Town. After the clocktower I climber the hill to checkout the city viewpoint, which was ... Ok.

Whilst i was out exploring, it was reminiscent of England- rain, rain and more rain :( but warm rain so it wasn't too bad when I walked to the viewpoint. However, when it was still(!) raining after an hr or two I decided to go for a massage. I found a reflexology one nearby so thought I'd give it a try. Possibly a bad idea since I ached 3 days later! My back was clicked into place, the lady pressed so hard I thought her hand was going to go through me... There is a spot on my foot that stlll aches today :( I thought at the time 'no pain no gain' but i'm not going to have another reflexology massage anytime soon! I hope java/Bali massages are better :s

Sat - slept in, had lunch (peanut butter sandwiches) then went to supermarket, then went down to the beach front for snack, had an afternoon nap (v important!) then packed ready from my flight over to Tawau for diving. All in all a great lazy day.

Posted by RosiePony 06:50 Archived in Malaysia Tagged borneo backpacking Comments (0)

Tioman (still)

30/09/10 - 03/10/10

sunny 31 °C

Fitst things first- sorry to all of you for sparse Internet lately, it's 10RM in the island for an hr which is one nights accommodation on the mainland! So despite my promise, I failed miserably at keeping it. This also means I still haven't booked flights yet. Tioman is just so nice, it's easy to spend longer here than planned!

Monday night I went for dinner with Andy and his friend Villa (pronounced 'Villae'), over to Tekek, the main strip of civilization here on Tioman (meaning it's a construction site with a small airport). We ate at a Chinese restaurant, had the most amazing butter battered king prawns (melt in your mouth style) along with chili squid and mutton pot. Mmm it was so tasty! Then we went to a bar which was v cool. It had a climbing wall on the outside (but I passed the chance to climb since there was no rope...) and hammocks on the inside with chilled out music playing. A few cocktails later and I'm on the beach watching fire dancing!! Andy, who I should prob also mention is my dive instructor, starts joining in with two other guys from the bar wafting these flaming balls on chains around. I say wafting, actually it was more spinning, doing tricks, very hard moves that left all the crowd in awe. And I didn't take my camera cos it had been raining :( gutted!

Tuesday was dive day, Andy took Villa n me through a 12m sink hole leading to a swim through (tunnel). This basically means you swim down head first into a vertical tunnel of coral, which then horizontal out into a triangular tunnel which was actually quite tight. I went last and came out alive. It was fun. Once we did that, there was more swimming through coral undercrops and tunnels, so much fun!! And the fish that are here are amazing, you get to see all their hideouts. I saw blue spotted stingrays and at least 3 turtles on that day :D mega!

Wednesday was spent on the beach tanning and teaching Andy how to play sudoku (it was his day off and the season is winding down so not many new ppl turning up to hang out with), playing cards and having a few beers before a BBQ dinner.

Then today (Thursday) I cycled across to Tekek, I mentioned earlier it's the main commercial strip, to visit the duty free shop (everything is cheaper there) n the doctors since I have an ear infection - this happened in Thailand too, I think it's a dive thing. Anyway this means no more diving for me :( until it clears- I have 5 days worth of tablets, ear drops, antihistamine tablets and insect bite cream (this was a handy add on, not something for my ear!) Then I pushed the bike uphill and rode it down the otherwise (weee!) to get to this resort with a lovely golden sandy beach. The main gate had security so I went round the back of a restaurant to get onto the beach, spread out my stuff and enjoyed the scenery. No one seemed to mind. After about an hour and a half it suddenly turned to thunderclouds and started spitting so off I went pushing the bike up the hill and cycling down again (weee!) back into Tekek. A visit to the cash point, then back to duty free then home to ABC to have some afternoon lunch and a beer, as well as some more beach time. Now I've got to go home to freshen up, and decide when im leaving and book my flights outta here :s sigh...

Friday was spent sun tanning on the beach, I am turning a slight golden brown now :) or at least the white bits seem very white compared to the rest of me! It was a hot hot day so went in the sea a fair few times. It's gorgeous turquoise blue getting a deeper shade of blue the further out you go. Sigh... And listening to the surf is just mesmerizing. I am actually beginning to wonder if I need someone to come rescue me from this island since I don't seem to want to leave! Ha ha

Today (Saturday) I have down as my admin day. This means I WILL book my flight, Internet and book hostels and diving in Sipidan etc...then I will sun tan in the afternoon. Perfect. Then I need to pack and pay bills etc...ugh! And tomo will be a travel day for sure, arriving in my next destination (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo) at midnight :s

Until then...

Posted by RosiePony 05:23 Archived in Malaysia Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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