We woke up early and checked out. We walked to the bus station to catch a bus to Mount Kinabalu. Once we got there, a few taxi drivers came up to us and tried to convince us that the bus wasn’t for a long time. We knew exactly when the bus was coming so we didn’t budge. However, these two young guys from Singapore came up to us and we all got a taxi driver to give us a pretty good price for the four of us. We took the taxi for an hour and a half to the mountain. Matt and I went to the information center and our new friends began their two day hike. Most people hike Mount Kinabalu in two days. They hike up most of it on the first day, spend the night on the mountain, then finish the hike at sunrise before coming back down. It is the best way to do it, but it is $300. We decided to do a one day hike for $60. The hard thing for us is that it is currently rainy season and we need good weather to climb the final 1 km to the summit. Because of this, Matt and I decided to stay here an extra 5 days to miss most of the bad weather. It was the longest five days ever. There is absolutely nothing to do here. We checked in to our hotel, which is a cute little guesthouse with like 6 guests a night. The people all got to know us as the kids who are still here as the days went on. We were there long enough for workers to know what we wanted for breakfast (eggs flipped, a sausage link, and no beans). We saw renovations of a sidewalk start and finish. The workers laughed when they kept seeing us because they were all shocked that we were still here. Most people spend one night then start their trek up the mountain. Also, the workers knew nothing about getting around or tourist attractions. It was so strange. They didn’t know how to get a taxi or how much they would cost. They recommended hitch hiking because that is how all the locals get around if they don’t have a car. We went to the local village our first night to eat and to chill at a little cafe. We watched WWE with locals and I enjoyed some Teh Terik. The second day, we went to the park to confirm details about the one day hike and that was it. The third day, we went to the Poring Hot Springs, which is a really touristy attraction where hot water comes to the surface and it smells like sulfur. There is also the biggest flower species in the world here, and it blooms one week a year, which was this week, but we didn’t care enough to spend $20 to see it, so we stuck with the national park stuff. We did a pretty cool canopy walk that was high above the jungle. It was a good taste for what the Gibbons Experience was going to be like. We ate dinner at the town of Ranau, which was a little bit bigger than the town that we saw two days ago, but we were still the only tourists. Our last day before our hike, we switched hotels to one a little bit closer to the park gate, so we could walk in the morning. We also did this to mix things up a little bit from the past three days. Each night, after dinner, we chilled in our room and played cards or watched a movie. There was nothing else to do. It rained gradually less and less each day. We are hoping that tomorrow, the weather for our hike is the best yet. The forecast is in our favor so we will see.
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia