I'll point out the first 6 turtles, after that, I won't do it any more...


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Asia » Malaysia » Sabah » Semporna
January 27th 2009
Published: January 29th 2009
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We have arrived to our last destination... after this, it will be back to Singapore to catch the plane back to Europe...

Sabah is humid; we arrived in Sandakan during the rainy season... and it rains; and when it doesn't, the humidity is so high that it feels as if it's raining.

But people here are very friendly and seem really interested in you as a person and not a wallet. We didn't want to get a taxi from the airport to town, so we started walking: many people were greeting us on the road and the bus driver charged us a local fare and not a "tourist" one... I like Sabah...

During our stay in Sandakan, Dax was ill with fever, so we spent 4 days, pretty much watching tv and only going out to eat dinner and, on our last day there, to see the Orangutans.

We only saw 4, well, 5 if you count the baby one of them had "attached" to her, and only while they were feeding them. It was a bit disappointing as the jungle walks were closed due to the platforms being damaged in a storm, so we could only wait for feeding time and see them there.

After a 5 hour bus ride, we arrive in Semporna... what can I say about this town that it hasn't been said before?... it's a horrible place. We met 2 different people in Indonesia who have been here and used the same term: shit hole; there's absolutely nothing to do (well, there's karaoke) other than diving... so that's what we did...

As ugly as Semporna is on land, as beautiful is under water, or better, the islands outside the bay; we went to Sibuan, Sipadan, Mabul (3 days) and Mantabuan... and, it was the BEST DIVING EVER!!!!...

To go to Sipadan you have to book in advanced as they only allow a small number of people on the island everyday... we didn't book, but were luck that Mr. and Mrs. S. didn't show up, so we took their place and names...

I saw my first shark ever after 30 seconds in the water, and then more and more... I have overcome the stupid fear that I had thanks to movies and tv... sharks are graceful and beautiful and they should be more scared of us that the other way around, as we're are literally killing them all...

The island is surrounded by a coral reef... that drops, suddenly, to 600 mts deep, so it's an incredible place full of coral, fish, turtles and "the big boys". The title sentence is a reals one aid by one of the instructors... we thought it was a good joke... until we got in the water... I lost count of how many turtles and sharks we saw there...

We loved every single dive we did there (and there have been a few) but Sipadan an Mabul were the best.

We went to Mabul on our last day and Tino (Dax's friend who owns Scuba Junkie ) came with us...

The dives were on sandy bits, with no much coral and where a "normal person" wouldn't find anything... but with him, we saw species that, not only we never saw before, but they looked more alien than terrestrial: frog fish, stone fish, lion fish, many, many different species of shrimp, nudibranches... they are too many to name here...

While we were sitting at the bottom, looking at some morey eels, a turtle came swimming to us... well, to ME!!, it came to about 10 cms from my face and then turned and swam away... it was surreal and really cool... I was tempted to outstretch my arms and hug it, but I remembered we are not supposed to touch anything... it was as close as I have ever been to a turtle...

and then we became Scuba Junkies!!!!



PS: thanks to Tino for the wonderful time and pictures!!!





Os senhalare las primeras 6 tortugas, despues, dejare de hacerlo





Hemos llegado al ultimo destino... despues de esto, otra vez a Singapore para coger el avion de vuelta a casa...

Sabah es humeda; llegamos a Sandakan en la estacion lluviosa... y llueve: y cuando no llueve, la humedad te hace sentir como si estuviera lloviendo...

Pero la gente es muy amigable y parecen interesados en ti y no tu cartera. No queriamos coger un taxi desde el aeropuerto, asi que empezamos a caminar: mucha gente nos saludaba en la carretera y el conductor del bus nos cobro precio local y no de turista.

Los dias que estuvimos en Sandakan, Dax estuvo enfermo con fiebre, asi que pasamos los 4 dias haciendo poco mas que ver la tele y solo saliendo para cenar y, en el ultimo dia, para ver los orangutanes.

Solo vimos 4, bueno, 5 si cuentas el bebe que una de ellas tenia en los brazos (o en el colo, como decimos en Galicia!!), y solo mientras les daban de comer. Fue un poco decepcionante ya que los paseos por la jungla estaban cerrados debido a que una tormenta habia roto las plataformas, y tuvimos que esperar a la hora de comer y verlos alli.

Despues de un paseo en bus ed 5 horas, llegamos a Semporna... que puedo decir que no se haya dicho ya?... es un sitio horrible. Conocimos a 2 personas diferentes en Indonesia que usaron las mismas palabras: agujero de mierda; no hay absolutamente nada que hacer (bueno, hay un karaoke, que Dax visito en 2 ocasiones!!!) a parte de bucear... asi que eso es lo que hicimos...

Tan fea como Semporna es en tierra, tan bonita como es bajo el agua, o mejor dicho, las islas fuera de la bahia; fuimos a Sibuan, Sipadan, Mabul (3 dias) y Mantabuan... y fue el mejor buceo que hemos hecho JAMAS!!!...

Para ir a Sipadan tienes que reservar con bastante antelacion, ya que solo permiten un numero pequenho de gente cada dia... nosotros no reservamos, pero tuvimos suerte que los Senhores S. no aparecieron y cogimos, no solo su lugar en el barco, sino su nombre y estuvimos todo el camino memorizando como deletrear nuestros "nuevos nombres" para firmar en la lista... jeje

Vi mi primer tiburon a los 30 segundos de estar bajo el agua, y luego vinieron mas y mas... me he deshecho (mas o menos!!) de el miedo estupido que tenia, inducido por las peliculas y la tele... los tiburones son preciosos y graciosos y deberian tenernos mas miedo a nosotros que al reves ya que nos los estamos cargando... literalmente...

La isla esta rodeada por una barrera de coral, que acaba, de repente, en una caida de 600 mts (si es que te puedes caer en el agua... jaja), asi que es un lugar increible lleno de coral, peces, tortugas y los "chicos grandes". La frase que he usado de titulo es verdadera, dicha por uno de los instructores; todos pensamos que era una broma... hasta que nos metimos en el agua...perdi la cuenta de cuantas tortugas y tiburones vimos...

Nos encantaron todas las immersiones (y han sido unas cuantas), pero Sipadan y Mabul fueron las mejores.

Fuimos a Mabul (por tercera vez) en nuestro ultimo dia, y Tino (el amigo de Dax, duenho de Scuba Junkie ) vino con nosotros...

Las immersiones las hicimos en parches de arena, sin apenas coral y donde una "persona normal" no hubiera encontrado mucho... pero con el vimos especies que, no solo no habiamos visto antes, sino que parecian mas alienigenas que terrestres: pez rana, pez piedra, pez leon, muchas, muchas especies diferentes de gambas, nudibranches...demasiados para nombrarlos todos; pido perdon si los nombres no son correctos, es que me los aprendi en ingles y no tengo NI IDEA de como se llaman en espanhol, asi que los traduzco literalmente!!

Mientras estabamos sentados en el fondo, mirando a una morena, una tortuga vino hacia nosotros... o mejor dicho, hacia MI!!, llego a unos 10 cms de mi cara y luego se alejo nadando... fue surrealista y totalmente genial!!!!... estuve tentada a estirar los brazos y abrazarla... pero me acorde que no debemos tocar nada... ha sido lo mas cerca que nunca he estado de una tortuga...

Y asi nos convertimos en Scuba Junkies!!!


PD: gracias a Tino por las fotos y los maravillosos momentos!!!


Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


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harlequin gosth pipefishharlequin gosth pipefish
harlequin gosth pipefish

these dudes are very rare... and we saw 4 on the same dive!!! / estos tipos son muy escasos... y vimos 4 en la misma immersion!!
sea star  /  estrella de marsea star  /  estrella de mar
sea star / estrella de mar

the water was so clear / el agua estaba clarisima
sipadan drop offsipadan drop off
sipadan drop off

you can see how the island ends in a 600 mts drop off / se puede ver como la isla termina en una caida de 600 mts


29th January 2009

me gusta
jo como me gustaria a mi estar viendo todos esos animales y esas playas...pero para eso hay que echarle valor y yo creo que tanto no tengo bueno besitps y feliz regreso
29th January 2009

Que envidia....scuba....
Hi guys, i'm dying of envy. It's one of my favourites sports, and amazing place. When are you back? i can' wait to see you and hear all stories. Take care, and have a nice time.
29th January 2009

Os esperamos
Como siempre nos dejais sin palabras con lo que estais viviendo, aunque lo que os queda en la retina seguro que es más impresionante todavia, os estamos esperando ansiosos, primero para abrazaros y luego (y prepararos) para escuchar con vuestra voz la aventura, a pesar de que con tu literatura casi estamos con vosotros. Como siempre cuidaros mucho y un beso de Family. ¡¡¡¡ WELLCOME TO HOUSE ¡¡¡¡
29th January 2009

Que bonito!
Hola chicos! Que bonitas las ultimas fotos! Deni, estas guapisima. Bueno, tenemos todos unas ganas de veros, ya no nos queda nada!!! Un beso y buen viaje de vuelta. Meri
29th January 2009

Another fine piece of blogging. What a great trip im going to miss you guys on the road. Once you start its hard not to be a scuba junkie, i cant wait to do that again. My fav piccy is Happy face just marked it 5/5 just love it. Wishing you both a safe onward journey home....X
10th February 2009

Thanks and Congratutations
I started reading your blog when you were in Thailand because my son was there and not entering anything on his (still hasn't), I have loved your trip. Due to the economic crisis, it doesn't look as though I'll ever travel, I did through your entries! It was great! I actually looked forward to your entries. Congratulations on your marriage.

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