Yup, this is my 4th Kinabalu climb. Now, now, don't assume that I'm really into climbing mountains (although my blog postings seems to suggest so). The main thing that attracted me to climb mountains are the people, the climbers. Okay, let's get this straight. I'm an introvert and I usually find it hard to talk to people... especially ones whom I've just met for the first time. Going for these climbs enables me to open up.. you know, in the jungle when you are all alone with a fellow climber, you just TALK, and I noticed that people tend to share their personal struggles more in the mountain rather than during a dinner or yam char session.
Let's see, was I excited about this trip? I guess I was more stressed than the previous 3 Kinabalu climbs. Little little things bugged me, like there were some who still didn't paid me fully for the trip, the climb T-shirts were only coming today, whether I have sufficient cash for all expenses that will be incurred during the climb, plane delays and a few other worries.
We had a group of 47 climbers this time, but early this morning Sirdar called to say that 2 pulled out from the team and he asked if I could make arrangements for the refund of rooms booked at the various hotels. I was like "Whaaaat???!! How come??? Whyyyy so last minute?". Another stress to attend to. :(
So, anyway, my group of 5 were the first to leave for KK. We met at the LCCT airport to have our breakfast. We were about to enter McDonald's when Douglas suggested to have breakfast Coffee Beans.
I must say, it's definitely a big change to our standard McDonald's meal. :)
Our flight was at 9.30am and we reached KK at about 12pm, took a taxi (RM30 per sedan car or RM42 per MPV) to Daya Hotel in KK town, checked in and met up with Danny and Jyrki.
Oh by the way, this trip was kinda special because Jyrki from Finland whom I "met" via my blog 2 years ago took time off to climb with us. I issued him an invitation to climb with us and was shocked (and excited) that he actually said yes. :) (Note to self : Never issue a DARE to a Finnish. He will take on the DARE before you can even blink).
We met at the hotel and then went out for lunch at a famous Italian restaurant. I somehow cannot remember the name of the restaurant... was it "Little Italy"? Hmmm..
Here is where we learn the difference with eating in Malaysia and eating in Finland. Each of us were given a menu and we started looking through. Jyrki had his order in mind when someone suggested we order a few pizzas and share. Jyrki was surprised. He said, "In Finland, we don't share." We told him over here, we share because in this way we get to taste a little of everything.
After lunch, we went to look for the famous observatory tower which is located just outside KK town centre.
3.15PM - We a map in hand, we started walking. We asked around for directions... and we walked... and we look at the map and we continued walking..
Then we saw a signboard "the Manikar, Signal Hill, Kota Kinabalu, with an arrow pointing to the right. We were more interested in "Signal Hill" than the Manikar, so we followed the signboard. We walked... and walked... and finally decided to ask a resident there. It seems that we should just follow the main road instead of veering to the right.!!
From the Observatory Tower, you can see most of KK town and the South China Sea. We spent about 10 minutes there and then walked back to KK town. I think it took us less than 15 minutes to reach town centre. We consoled ourselves saying that this was good exercise for our coming climb.
Ah... coconut drink. It was indeed refreshing to drink cold coconut on a hot and humid day. There was nothing much to do/see in KK town. If you want, you can visit the Filipino Market. We decided not to, because of the heat and also the guys were not interested in shopping. We parted ways with the guys at a shopping complex, bought our food/water stuff and headed back to the hotel.
The guys room. They were given a room at the old wing. Not as spacious but comfortable I guess.
7.05PM - We went to the guys room to discuss where to eat for dinner. Danny suggested a place behind the Centre Point Shopping Complex.
7.30PM- So, here we are at the restaurant. It's more like a food court kind of layout. We just simply choose a shop and I must say, we chose the right one because the food was very good. :)
We had soft-shelled crabs, Salted eggs crabs, steamed fish (most expensive), a local veggie, chicken, fried rice and noodles. The bill came up to about RM350 for 7 of us!!! It was pretty costly but really worth it. I guessed for Jyrki, it's considered cheap.. imagine EUR10 for a Chinese meal... dirt cheap for him I think.
We went back to our hotels feeling satisfied. Later, we met up with Messner Sirdar and some other climbers who were on the 6.45pm flight.