Today is our last day in Borneo! Our flight leaves at 10pm so we’ve got some time front of us. Stephane wants to visit another National park which is close to Miri. Personally I don’t want to walk anymore and will stay in the city. I’ve got little things I want to buy. This is better to do it here, in Miri, than the huge city of Kuala Lumpur. So we split for the day and will meet later this afternoon at the airport.
Today we are going to visit the Niah cave. We had to come back first to the “long distance” bus station. Now we know there is a public bus going there. The trip to Niah junction (where the bus stops on the highway) cost 15 Ringgit. Then we had lunch had to catch a local taxi (15 Ringgit each for one way). Finally there is a 4km walk in Niah national park to get to the cave.
The next and last big step of our trip is to go to Miri from where we will fly back to Kuala Lumpur later. We also want to visit the Niah cave which is about one hour and a half from the same city. Today is a real mission. When we woke up this morning, we could barely walk. Our legs are all cramped from Kinabalu. We feel like we are 80 years old guys who struggle to go down a single step haha. This is so hard. First we walked to the bus station which was a painful start. The thing we did not realised yet is that to go from Kota Kinabalu to Miri there is 9 borders to cross. Yes, nine borders! Why? The first one is the one from the state of Sabah to Sarawak, in Borneo. The others are from Sarawak to Brunei to Sarawak again, to Brunei and finally Sarawak again. If you look at the map you will realise that Brunei is in two parts. As Singapore, this is an independant state. So every time we cross a border we have to get a stamp on our passport. Make sure you have minimum two pages free. Now that’s okay, but the worse is coming. Every single time we had to go down the bus and line up front of the immigration office. Every single time we had to come back in the bus. They forgot something… We are 80 years old today! we cannot walk! This is pain in the a**! Naturally we had some other stops along the road to have lunch or buy some snacks… Here we suffered again, life is so hard! haha. The positive thing is that our free Malaysian visa is 90 days again :-)
This is the highest summit I’ve never been onto :-) We are the first two guys to get there with a Spanish guy. We did it without any torch which was even better (actually, my battery run out after 30 minutes this morning). Without any light we could enjoy the stars and feel all the atmosphere. The moon’s brightness was enough to see where we were going. We left this morning around 3am and arrived 2 hours and 15 minutes later. We now can see all the other guys walking slowly down there. The temperature up there is, I guess, between 0 and 5 degrees and it’s slightly windy. I won’t be able to stay too long up there because I will get cold if I don’t move.
This is the first thing we saw this morning when we woke up. Mount Kinabalu! The weather is fantastic today. We only expect that we can climb this mountain! If I’m not mistaken, we are going at the further peak on the left hand side. Its name is Low’s peak. Let’s start the day!
As planned, well… not really, we stayed another night. I did not want to spend money on diving or snorkeling at first. The thing is there is no much else to do here. I’ve hesitated and finally paid a snorkeling session for 50Ringgit. Too bad I did not bring the GoPro with me because there is so much different fish here with amazing shape and colors.
We woke up this morning and figure out that we will stay another night. This island is beautiful and really controversial. A part of Mabul island has been bought by Sipadan Mabul Resort in the early 90’s to develop tourism and since that time, many other resort has been developed around the tiny island. The Mabul backpacker is situated at the “border” between this luxurious resort and the authentic village. There is a community of people here (mainly from philippines) who live on their boats. This place is a community where rich and poor people lives next to each other, not really together. The landscape is wonderful but it doesn’t feel right.