First glimpse of the mountain
Kota Kinabalu Travel Blog› entry 7 of 15 › view all entries
First up, Debbie's parents took us out to an "old school" Chinese coffee shop for breakfast. They were very worried about me, and made sure I didn't order any drink with ice or get anything too spicy. Myself, Deb and her sister Lorraine then headed off to pick up some snack supplies for our mountain walk to the summit of Mt. Kinabalu. We ended up back at Deb's parents house with almost more food than we could carry, and slightly shaken nerves (Lorraine had been driving the car - her first time in about 18 months).
Once again, getting on our next flight (to Kota Kinabalu KK- the main city near the mountain) didn't go without a few problems. A big screen above the check in counters said "Common Check In", but once you got near enough to the counters to see the tiny white signs on the desks you realised that they weren't common at all. The door to the departures area was also blocked, and we were directed down a walkway with no plane attached! We're starting to really dislike AirAsia.
Lorraine had organised a shuttle bus from the KK (Kota Kinabalu) airport to the Pines Resort (a place in the mountains about 1800m above sea level, around where we'd start our climb). It was a long but pleasant drive. The driver was cool (though his music choice left something to be desired), and a look out the window revealed serene beaches, forested islands, huts on stilts in the water, and as we got higher up the track started looking very jungle-y and the view across the neighbouring mountains just got better and better.
But the most memorable moment from that trip was right near the start. We'd picked up a newlywed Malay couple who were going to the same resort, and they'd wanted to stop at a busy street-market to grab some snacks. The bus double-parked to let them out (something pretty common here) and as they were getting their food, a cop on a motorbike came up the wrong way along the street until he slowly bumped his front wheel into the front of the bus. The guy had absolutely no expression, and seemed to have no intention to do anything but stare into the bus. He didn't even ask anyone to get out, or give us a ticket. This bizzare stand-off lasted for atleast five minutes until the Malay man (who'd come back from getting his snacks) jumped out to find out what was going on. The cop simply said that he wouldn't talk to tourists, and we eventually just reversed back a bit and drove off. Weird!
Pines Resort itself was very nice, and all the staff were really really friendly. We grabbed some food at the attached restaurant, visited the rabbit house, and after Debbie had recovered from hyperactivity (she'd been snacking on some glucose