26.04.2006 - 26.04.2006 26 °C
Was picked up from my hotel (the Hyatt in KK) and taken to Kinabalu Park by two really nice people, one called wilbur and one called veronica. Veronica is from Hong Kong and used to live in Caversham! It's a small world!
Stopped off at a small town on the way where the local dusian people (one of the native bornean indiginous groups) were having their weekly market. Absolutely fascinating - selling everything from spices to fruit, tobacco to dusian uniforms (black suits with gold sparkly bits sown onto them). There was even a witch doctor there!
After the market we stopped in a small café for some traditional malaysian noodles - they were delicious. The specific type of noodles served were special to the town - you won't find them anywhere else.
Next stop was at a place called Pekan Nabalu. They sell all kinds of local handicrafts here - I bought a really nice photo album and some beads for a little over £3.
Finally arrived at Kinabalu Park at about midday. Booked in and was shown to my accommodation, a dorm style hostel called Grace Hostel. Seems fine, I've put my net up already tho as I reckon I'll need it later!
Took a walk down the Silau Silau trail - not far, but still reasonably arduous. Saw tonnes of orchids even at this low level - slipper orchids included. Apparently there are countless more along the summit trail.
Also went to the Kinabalu Mountain Garden. Here they have planted quite a percentage of the mountain's native species so you can see them in a small area. Saw Nepenthes Kinabaluensis, the mountain's native pitcher plant, found nowhere else in the world. It's a natural cross between Rajah and Villosa - pretty big traps with a ribbed edge.
Pretty tired after that, long day already, so got some supplies and am now back at the hostel. Just started absolutely hammering it down - sheets of rain but as with most tropical storms, doubt it'll last long! Quite a lot cooler here actually because of the altitude - upper twenties at a guess.
Looking forward to the climb tomorrow (even though my body may not be!!!)