Published: January 25th 2007January 10th 2007
"Day 47 in the Big Brother world and Christophinoz is still alive but still nowhere near Oz...this week, apart from causing trouble, he has done the following..."
Eventually flew to Kota Kinabalu ("KK"), the capital of the Sabah region of Malaysian in Borneo, from Bangkok with Air Asia after a 9 hour delay, 1 hour of which involved the pilot testing the engines just before we were initially due to take off!! Got off that plane faster than Ben Johnson after a visit to his 'chemist'. Oh, yeh...they found bits of the missing Adam Air plane flying internally in Indonesia on the 12th day...
Arrived at KK at 3am so decided to sleep in the terminal, well, until some guy decided to fumigate it! Slept outside whilst trying to kill the kamikaze mossies with the sounds of the local chavs racing their modded 'cars' around the car park. Was not in a good mood.
Managed to fly to Tawau and then caught a bus to Semporna where I went SCUBA diving. Did a day of fun diving first then undertook my Advanced Divers course over two days.
The island of Sipidan is, apparently, one of the top
5 dve sites in the world and it didn't disappoint. The island has a 600m sheer drop 20m from the beach and I spent the first dive doing Superman impressions into the abyss - it was a1mazing!!!! All in all, I saw:
Sharks - white and black tip
Found Nemo (and Dora)
Scorpion fish - you can't eat these Smarty!
Didn't see the Hammerheads
2 empty packets of Cheeseums
Shed loads of other things that I can't remember
Two of the tasks I needed to complete to gain the Advanced certification were:
Deep diving to 35m - the instructor said that he would ask me a question when we reached this point. He gave me a pad of paper with 333 x 103 = ? on it which I had to answer. Of all the things to ask an accountant without a calculator...if I could've punched him I would've!
Night dive - this was my 4th dive of the day and as I was decending my hamstring decided to cramp up...queue an attempt to stretch my leg out whilst trying to grab my flipper and trying to signal that I was
Yes, I am very very sad...
ok, to the instructor, but that I needed him to stretch my leg...it's quite hard to do in diving sign language!
NB - Sipidan has a Malaysian army base on the island due to the kidnapping of divers there in 2000 by Phillipino pirates who, apparently, actually use the phrases "Ohhhhh ahhhhhhh" and "Shiver me timbers" as part of their vocab. Apparently Captain Jack Sparrow now rules the South China Seas. T'was a bit of a Dali-esque scenario - soldiers walking around with M-16s whilst we were were eating chicken and rice in diving gear on a stunningly beautiful tropical island.
I then, eventually, took the local bus to Sepilok on which I had to listen to the Modern Times album at least 5 times and at a volume I can only descirbe as ear shattering. Whilst here I:
Visited the orangutang sanctuary
Adopted / sponsored an orangutang - apparently they visit you once a year as long as you take them to the local park.
Went on a 2 day river cruise in the jungle in Sukau where I saw:
Hornbill inc. the rhinocerous hornbill
Loads of different monkeys including the probiscus monkey
other animals and greenery
NB - the orangutang shares 96.4% of our genes although this is actually 98.2% for the Scots due to their fondness for Tennants Super, haggis and the similarities in hair colourings.
The large hill known as Mount Kinabalu, standing at 4,095m, was my next destination. After arriving at 9pm in the dark whilst getting a touch damp I stayed the night at the park HQ. The next morning I was adopted by a Kiwi family, they fed me crackers and chocolate all the way up, for the 2 day trek to the top. Following the first day's hike we had to awaken at 2:30pm, it was a touch cold, to reach the top by sunrise. The view was, well, actually breathtaking and well worth the effort although we were extremely lucky with the weather as we only saw drops of sweat. I only fell over once whilst going down a little too fast as I was trying to catch an earlier bus - kinda hurt my coxic and elbow so didn't walk straight for a couple of days...
NB - the course record for the 21km ascent and descent (it's a c.2.5km climb)
is 2 hours 50 mins!!!!!!!
Whilst descending I was able to get a mobile signal (???? beat that O2!! ;) so called home at 11:30pm UK time. Big diss to Smarty and Cudgey who were obviously catching up on their beauty sleep at this point!!! Our guide had climbed the mountain at least 300 times but the people who I bow down to are the mountain porters who carry 30-40kgs of supplies to the base camp on a regular basis.
After a day of chilling out in KK I decided to fly to Singapore so stay tuned for the next chapter kids.
p.s. our last day in Bangkok was spent pretending to be American cowboys ("Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh mutha f#*=er...") which included getting this mental Tuk-tuk driver to do 4 wheelies whilst racing some random French dudes whose excuse for losing was "Ohhhhh, but we are French!". To which Smarty replied "It's not my fault!" :)
There are more photos below