7th May 2019 – Sepilok to Kota Kinabalu

One of the few ‘travelling’ days today and, for a change, we had a lazy start this morning and didn’t have to meet until 10.30am. sheet a light breakfast we met to get a bus to the airport, stopping at the Sandakan war memorial on the way.

The war memorial commemorates the POW camp that was based in Sandakan, run by the Japanese and the was a really interesting, and somewhat graphic, display of the atrocities that went on in the camp and also the stoic attitudes of the prisoners, most of whom would die before the end of the war.

After spending around 45 minutes at the sure we got back on the bus for the short journey to the airport.

Our flight left on time at 2.15pm and it was only 45 minutes later that we were landing back at Kota Kinabalu. On the right hand side of the aircraft you could see mount Kinabalu!

Mount Kinabalu from the air!

We had a minibus to the Dreamtel hotel, where we’d started from 11 days ago.

Ed and I agreed stone washing then met Peter, Zoe and Hala to walk to the waterfront. We stopped at Edna’s to drop off a small amount of washing ( less than £4 for a bag to be washed and returned to our hotel by 9pm!) and then walked on. We looked around the fruit and fish market taking place at the waterfront and also the handicraft stalls before heading for a refreshing Tiger and to watch the sun go down.

Last Bornean sunset

From here we caught a taxi to meet everyone for a farewell dinner at which a cake was produced for Ed’s birthday on the next day!

To finish the night we walked back to the waterfront for some Tigers and ended up in an Irish bar where there was live music.

As we need to leave at 8am, we called it a night at 12.30 and walked back to the hotel with Hala leaving just a handful of the group to it!

27th April 2019 – Kota Kinabalu

We had a lazy start with breakfast at 9.30. Lots of our fellow travellers have already left but Cat is still here and of course Peter who travels on with us on the next trip. We also met Nizam at breakfast and had a chance to day some final farewells to a great guide.

Between us we decided that we’d stay around KK today and so at 11am we meet again and got a taxi up the hill to the observatory which gave views over the city.

The temperature is again very warm but definitely not quite as humid as in Sarawak. Next we walked down the hill, through a park and along to the clock tower.

We walked back to the hotel, which wasn’t far, and caught another taxi to the Sabah museum. We spent a pleasant hour looking some the history of Sabah and some of the exhibits, including from the headhunters trail!

As we were staying to get hungry, we caught yet another taxi back to near our hotel and had a light lunch in a trendy backpackers coffee shop. (the distances in the city are not far, but as it’s so hot, and the taxis so cheap, it’s worth doing!)

We then walked along toward the port and to one of the hotels which has a sky bar overlooking the bay.

View from the sky bar

We each had a couple of drinks before walking back to our hotel. We said our farewells to Cat as she is doing it this evening before having a rest and as I’m writing this, were just about to go to our second group briefing.

We met up with our new group at 6pm and, surprisingly, there is only one non European on this trip. The one Australian was arriving late so didn’t make the briefing. Our group this time is therefore 3 Swiss, 1 French, 1 German, 5 British (albeit that one is currently living in Australia) and an Australian. Our leader, Hasif, have is the usual introduction and then we headed out for food at a Malaysian restaurant.

We’d finished eating by 9 and some of its went for a couple of drinks at the BB bar before turning in just before midnight.

26th April 2019 – Labuan to Kota Kinabalu

We had a later start this morning and didn’t have to be ready until 11am so after a late breakfast we repacked our bags and checked out.

We boarded the minibus to take the 25 minute journey into Victoria. Here we had an hour to kill as we waited for our bags to be brought and so we stopped in a cafe for a cold drink and to pass the time.

At 12.30 we were able to board the ferry which would take us the 3.5 hour journey to Kota Kinabalu. The ferry was very crowded and whilst we all had a seat, it was pretty cramped.

We arrived at the terminal in Kota Kinabalu (KK) at 4.30 and once through immigration, had a bus to our hotel.

The journey to our hotel only took a few minutes. We’ll be staying at the Dreamtel for the next two nights, for the last night of the first tour and the first night of the second tour. We’ll also end or adventure here.  We’re on the 10th floor so have quite a view over the city.

Not exactly an exciting view!

After a quick shower, we meet everyone again at 6pm to go for our final group meal. We stopped on the way to drop washing off.. It’ll be delivered back to the hotel by 10am tomorrow, and we walked on down to the waterfront for food.

As we were walking the sun started to set but the sky also got much darker. There was some thunder and lightening, but no rain.

We carried on and ended up in a Thai restaurant for food. Meanwhile, outside, the heaven’s had opened!

It was pretty good, with I could have done with the crab having been or prepared!

After food and a couple of group photos, we walked back to the hotel and said some goodbyes to those leaving.

Chuck, Mel, Nizam, Peter, Jake, Yvonne, Leanne, Connor, Amy, Cat, me, Kim, Ed

Then Ed, Peter and I, among with Mel and Kim, walked to a bar in Chinatown for a few beers. There was some ‘live’ entertainment and after a few beers we walked back to the hotel for another good night’s sleep!

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