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Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Location: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

The First Encounter

pier on Manukan Island
pier on Manukan Island

We arrived on the island of Borneo yesterday and we got in close contact with the equatorial climate right on our first day here. (The Equator runs right through the centre of Borneo.) When we got off the plane we saw plenty of huge suspicious puddles, even though it wasn't raining then. It was like in a greenhouse, fog and warmth.

There are a handful of tropical islets lying out at the sea not far from Kota Kinabalu, and we have visited one of them today. The weather was once cloudy then sunny but it was warm so we decided to go. The ticket seller asked us if we wanted to return at 2 or 3 pm but we weren't suspicous at all at that time.

a monitor lizard
a monitor lizard

The islet was like a tiny Borneo, surrounded by sandy beaches and palm trees (where we were once surprised by one-metre-long lizards) and with a small rainforest in the middle. The day was devoted to acclimatization, so we took the tiny "jungle trail" there. When we left the well paved path, Adri asked me if the real Borneo "won't be like this but like that one" pointing at the muddy bushes next to the path. Yes of course, there won't be any path at all... The forest was like the birds' house in the zoo. We could hear twittering birds from everywhere, and the humidity remained constant.

Anyway, we liked the tour, so we took it easy and we missed the 3 pm boat back, but it didn't bother us then, we could go later as well. Actually, the rain started dripping... By the time we got in the boat, we could hardly wait for the departure as it was heavily pouring. In the speedboat the rain was like small needles in our faces. By the time we got home we were completely soaked but at least it was still warm. It's been pouring ever since and it's almost 9pm now. I wonder if this will be the schedule for the next 20 days.

Anyway, we are fine and still enjoy it :) My remaining cold disappeared in an instant today.

Kota Kinabalu at sunset
Kota Kinabalu at sunset

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