Sunday, 2 October 2011

Nature, here I come!

Day #43 and 44
(Sept 25 - 26)

My tour of Sabah starts with a homestay in a local village, just one hour outside of kota kinabalu. We have twelve people in our group, with one your guide and two in-training tour guides, totalling fifteen. A larger group than my previous two toursbut fun nonetheless.

For those that dont know, Intrepid, the tour company im with, is an austrailian company and therefore attrqct many aussies. Im not sure why, but every single aussie feels the need to call me by "tareeeze" rather than teresa, or "ty", the name and nickname that i prefer. I just find it funny that most of the aussies ive met just call me tareeeze, without first asking mef what i prefer. Ahh well., all good.

Anyway, our first duty is to pound rice when we get to the homestay. Individual grains of nice are actualky wrapped in husk, so to remove this husk, you have to pound the rice with a stick. Like this:

After we've made sure all the husk is off, and picking out the un-husked ones by hand, the rice is ready to be cooked. We all tried extra ahrd, since this rice was the rice we were eating for dinner that night.

The owner of the homestay mr. Robert, owns a lot of dogs, one of which is this fluffy creature with a bum leg (got hit by a car poor thing)

After a nice home cooked meal, girls and boys from the local village came to show us a traditional malay dance. After their performamce, we were forced to particpate in the dancing as well. Since i was dancing, i couldnt take photos....too bad.

The homestay was ok, we managed to get one of the rooms with a "washroom". It was very basic, but the hospitality more than made up for it. They were very friendly and kind. Rough night tho, since i discovered that my roomate snores so loud that she could actually wake me from a deep sleep. Sigh.

The next morning, we checked out mr. Roberts rubber plantation and attempted to extract the rubber from the trees

Its pretty tough. Each tree only produces one small cup every two days.

The cost of this raw rubber is around $5 to 7 ringet per kg depnding on market price.

Nearby scenery was quite nice, with the mountain in the distnce,


And small ponds to wade in..
After a nice lunch, we said goodbye to our dear hosts and his grqndchild moses (see below)

And s we were off to our long drive from mr. Roberts homestay to the base of mount kinabalu. On the way, we did a quick lunch stop and found some massive bugs. MASSIVE.

We finally make it to the base camp of mount kinabalu. We were pleasently surprised by a room upgrade. The nicest place we'll stay...

After settling down in our rooms, we headed out for a small hike around kinabalu national park.

Theres not that many flowers at the moment but when we did see some, they were beautiful.

Heres one of my tour-guide-in-training on my trip...named Arthur. Not exactly the most ethnic names lol, but hes the funniest guy ever. Not sure whats up with his hat though.

That night, we head to the park restaurant for dinner. Easily the most expensive restaurant Ive visited in malaysia thus far.

Feeling a bit asian-fooded-out, i opt for the chicken burger to fill up on carbs and protein for the crazy trek ahead.

At the store at the camp, they sold some hiking gear that people may have forgotten like head lamps, scarves, gloves...and bottled oxygen. I dont know if you can read it, but the user manual says people who are allergic to oxygen shouldnt inhale this. I pity those who are allergic to oxygen :s

Annnnd that concludes my preparations before the big climb the next day...scary! Mount i come!!

Location:Sabah area, Malaysia

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