Tom and Monica's Malaysia Adventure travel blog

Mount Kinabalu

Summit

Summit

Sunrise

Brrr

Mt.Kinabalu

Mt.K

Via Ferreta

VF

VF


Hi All, Well, it's Friday May 1st and this is our first entry. Internet cafes are not as abundant as Thailand or even Cambodia for that matter. There are two computers here at our hotel, but hard to get access. So I will bring you all up to date: Traveling here was quite uneventful. We had a longer stopover in Hong Kong than expected. We were there about 8 hours. The airline put us up at the airport hotel...it was really nice. Actually the nice thing was to get some sleep( a few hours). The entire trip took us about 17 hours. It was a long time to be on a plane. We arrived in Kota Kinabalu to beautiful hot weather. Our hotel here is really nice. The best thing so far are the people. Everyone is so friendly and go out of there way to make your stay very comfortable. The staff always ask what you do for a living. For some reason they keep asking Tom if he is a Doctor or an Engineer. We are definitely a minority here ( white skin). It's kind of nice. All of the staff here call us Mr. Tom and Mrs. Monica. As some of you may know the one big thing we wanted to do here was climb Mount Kinabalu. We were unable to book in Canada as we were told everything was fully booked. We found wonderful travel agent here. She spent the entire day Monday trying to find us space....and she did. We were picked up at 7:00am Tuesday morning to begin our two hour drive to Kinabula Park. We were then met by our mountain guide.( you can't climb the mountain without one) Our guide didn't speak much English, but we were able to communicate pretty well. Our journey began. Mount Kinabalu is 13,500ft. Our first leg took us up half way to our lodge ( hostel ). The climb up was brutal. Extremely hot and steep elevation gain. It was like climbing 1million steps. Thank god for Tricia and her training. I(we) don't think I have ever sweat so much in my life. Of course it is now dry season, so there was not a great deal of water....so no hot water.....so no showers ( for two days YUCK). The lodge was run by 5 young Mountain Torq guides. We all had to do a brief practice run to learn how to put on our harnesses and tie our ropes, and what to do with our carabeeners (sp). We had a light supper and then to bed at around 6:30pm. Early to bed early to rise...We had to depart for our ascent to the summit at 2:30am. We took about 2hr45 to summit. A lot faster than most. We witnessed a nice sunrise and then quickly off the summit ( not very big space ). Our journey down was very interesting as we did the Via Ferrata. We descend via harness/cables down the sheer mountain face. I almost chickened out in the beginning. My legs were shaking so much. Tom was selected to be a leader for our group. Good choice he's so calm with this type of adventure. We made it back down to our lodge in what our Mountain Torq guide says was record time... 2hr 30. He said some people took up to 4-5 hrs. We made a few friends with our Mountain Torq guides. A few want to come to Canada and do some climbing in the Rockies....and to meet young Canadian girls. They were so cute. This was a very intense physical exercise. We were so amazed at some of the people that thought it was a "walk in the park". Lots getting sick (vomiting etc. ) There was one young fellow that broke his ankle coming down and had to be carried on a make shift stretcher by porters. These guys are amazing to carry this guy down a step mountain ( for 3 hours). We also saw a porter carrying a girl on his back down ( she wasn't small). Our guide took us back down the mountain. He was such a nice man. We tipped him about $35 (100ringgit). He couldn't stop thanking us. We don't think that many of the locals receive tips very much. Lots of Asian tourists. We arrived back to our hotel late Wed eve. So thankful for a shower ( twelve layers of sweat). Yesterday was a lazy day by the pool. We have met a nice couple from Perth Australia. We hope to hook up with next year in Australia. Today ( Friday) is raining. The first sign of rain since we arrived. So maybe today is a shopping day. Tomorrow we are heading out of the city to an Organatang sanctuary. That should be fun. The food here is really good. Expensive at the hotel, but not so bad in KK city. Well, I will attach a few pictures and will attempt to write more tomorrow. Hope everyone is well. We are having a great time. Malaysia is beautiful. Talk soon. Monica & Tom ( I sure do miss my Gizzie)



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