We had to drive through palm oil plantations to get to Uncle Tan's.
Heading back was just as muddy as when we came in...only this time there were some obstacles.
A huge rig of palm oil pickins stuck in the mud...luckily we didn't have to wait long...it actually just had to back out.
A flood...that turned out to be...not so deep.
L to R: the Australian matching couple (always wore the same colored t-shirts), the London couple (Gary the softie and Holly one of the cooler girls I have ever met), the Swiss couple (Sonja and Patrick) and the South African (Surita aka my co-worker).
This was the group we ended up with for the last few days. I have to say I really loved the Swiss couple b/c we were always laughing at the same things. We had actually told them about Uncle Tan's and they came with us.
In Sukau, Jonas and Lois from Sweden. They were filming some stuff for American schools. You can check out some of his work: thewildclassroom.com. It's like Bill Nye the Science Guy stuff. Pretty cool.
All this for a pic of a tiny praying mantus.
We were on the NE side of Sabah, Malaysia and were heading South. Ah the taxi ride...I couldn't help but breath in that fresh air...
you know...that air. I was dying and laughing to myself at the same time...all that cig smoke flying in my face...but believe me that was better than the rotten fish smell all 3 hours in our mini bus ride to Semporna.
The bus stop to Semporna. There is no set time for the bus to leave.
You know which bus to take by the sign on the bus or in its front window. I don't know how we made it around, but we survived b/w our little known Malay/Chinese and their English. ha ha. The most commonly known word was...Ringgit (their currency)
This is a mini bus (boss meanie) (we say it backwards and without a cool accent). This is so luxury compared to some of the other buses and means of transportation...truly.
and when the bus fills up...then you go. You could be waiting for hours...which we did. The bus even took a few rounds around the town beeping at everyone on the street to see if they wanted to hitch a ride to Semporna.
While waiting for the Semporna bus to fill up we began to feel hungry...so we ate and these lovely Muslim girls were the cooks. They actually asked us to take their picture...not a usual case.
After a good nights rest in Semporna we found the Mabul Cafe to be a great place to eat and figure out where to dive.
Figuring out when and who we were going to dive with. I was the scribe while Surita read off prices and accommodations. We dove with Uncle Chang. And lived on Mabul island for a few days.
A view from Mabul. I dove to see the Hawksbill Turtle and I saw. I could have just watched them forever...magical.
Mabul itself...is not poor in beauty, but poor in the way of life. Poverty and tourists...don't make a good mix. It's not a new thought for me, but seeing what I saw motivates me to be more urgent to do something about it...I'm working on that.
Pick a spot to sit down.
Make sure you have some tooth fresheners.
And brush away to the rising tide and sun.
Dive with the locals
...and somehow notice a set of homemade drums in front of the scuba hut.
Watch the clouds at sea...and think of the things you wish everyone could experience with you...It'll happen someday.
When we got to the airport our flight was cancelled so they put us up in a Hyatt (4 star) hotel. A nice way to end the trip after a long stream of...not so clean hostels and random street food that you were unsure of. The next day we arrived at the airport LATE and had to through the airport just in time to hear them announce...it was boarding time! I was laughing inside about how the ENTIRE trip was not without some kind of pure adventure.
Terima Kasih (Tur-ee-muh Kah-see) (roll the r) means Thank you. I love you Borneo. I wouldn't have seen it any other way...you should try it sometime.