Kinabalu Day 1

Kinabalu Park Travel Blog

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Flowers

We had booked to travel to Mount Kinabalu with Amazing Borneo.  Normally, we don’t use middle men, but the process of going up Mount Kinabalu seemed incredibly complicated and we just gave in and used a company.  They picked us up on time, and we met up with two Americans, Gabe and Jamie, who were to end up with us for more or less the rest of our time in Kinabalu.

The van was comfortable, although I was amused by the no spitting sign, and we headed inland.  Our driver was very nice, and quite knowledgeable about things on the way up.  Quickly, the landscape became more mountainous – absolutely none of my photos show anything other than bushes, so I deleted them all, but it was a great road.

Manchester United Fans


We stopped about two thirds of the way up, at a little village which I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the name of.    Of course, this is the compulsory tourist trap you always get on these journeys, and it was lined with shops selling souvenirs.  But there was no unpleasant pressure or aggressive hawkers, and the village was beautiful – decked with the trees with the upside down trumpet flowers and other lovely plants, and with a nice little park overlooking our first clear view of the mountain we were to climb the next day.

Whilst we were admiring the view, a whole coach load of Malaysian students arrived.  They were in university (they looked very young to me, a sure sign that my thirties are well underway), and keen to practice their English.
Iain and me


“Where are you from?”
“Manchester, in England”

And then the entire coach load except for one poor Liverpool fan burst into a rousing chorus of “Glory, glory Man United” at the top of their lungs.  Of the many things I had hoped about Borneo, I don’t think I had ever dreamed that we would be singing football chants with the future doctors and lawyers of Malaysia.  Then we all took the mickey out of the pool lost Liverpool fan for a while and took roughly a squillion photos of us all together.  What Gabe and Jamie made of this, I don’t know.  I have never seen an entire bus load of, say, Romanians burst into loud and vocal support for, say, the New England Patriots.  Whatever you think of Manchester United, you can’t fault their international marketing strategy!

After we had said goodbye to the students, and I’d apologised sheepishly to the Liverpool Fan, we climbed a watch tower and the cloud finally revealed Mount Kinabalu in all its glory.
Boys again
  I felt a first pang of concern.  It is big.  Really, really big.  How on earth was I going to climb that?  I had limped for a couple of days after climbing Ben Nevis, which is loosely speaking a third of the size.  What on earth had I agreed to?

Well, soon it was time to head back to the van and up to Kinabalu park.

We thought we had booked a private room, but it turned out that we had booked a shared one for the first night and a private one for when we got back down the mountain.  Or something.  This meant that a dorm room sharing with two others costs roughly the same as a three star hotel room in the UK.  Seriously.  The rooms were alright, and of course we were very lucky with our roomies, but certainly massively overpriced.
Mount Kinabalu
  The shower block was down the hall, and had two settings – blisteringly hot or icy cold.  There was a lass in one of the showers for a full 25 minutes, who I can only assume had thicker skin than me.

Dinner was luke warm.  I know there are problems keeping food hot at that altitude (2000 odd metres at base camp), but it didn’t seem like any real effort was made with it.  That said, the food was very nice, and I am usually happy to see Roti.

We also took a brief trip to the onsite visitor’s centre, where there was a nice display about the local ecosystem.

We got an early night – it was yet another dawn start in the morning.

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Flowers
Flowers
Manchester United Fans
Manchester United Fans
Iain and me
Iain and me
Boys again
Boys again
Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu
Pineapple on a roundabout
Pineapple on a roundabout
Upside down trumpet flowers
Upside down trumpet flowers
Trumpet flowers
Trumpet flowers
View over the mountains
View over the mountains
Boys in a tree
Boys in a tree
Views
Views
Gabe
Gabe
Iain and me
Iain and me
Iain and me
Iain and me
Banana flower
Banana flower
No idea about this one but it was …
No idea about this one but it was…
possibly a triffid
possibly a triffid
View from the tower - first glimps…
View from the tower - first glimp…
View from the tower
View from the tower
Kinabalu
Kinabalu
Kinabalu from the tower
Kinabalu from the tower
It emerges - at the park visitors…
It emerges - at the park visitor'…
Mount Kinabalu - bloody hell
Mount Kinabalu - bloody hell
Pitcher plant art
Pitcher plant art
Little museum
Little museum
Little Museum
Little Museum
Lighting up in the sunset
Lighting up in the sunset
Sunset with streetlamp
Sunset with streetlamp
Sunset
Sunset
cafe
cafe
Kinabalu Park
photo by: Enigmaa