Monday, February 12, 2007

KK, Kandusang, Kinabalu Pines Resort, Feb 25, 2005

I went down to Api Api Centre with the idea of finding and buying something for breakfast but as I was walking the quiet early morning area I saw few banks there and decided to find Maybank and nothing nearby. I knew there was one at the Centre Points but I thought it would be closed. As I was walking I met one of the guards there and I asked and was told the one at the Centre Points was opened. On the way back I stopped to have quick breakfast at the 24 hours mamak joint and bought loads of roti canais and nasi lemaks for my family. As I was reaching the apartment Tona my new friend called to say he had arrived to deliver the van.

Since I had done my initial research we did not need the three hours allocated for the Filipino Market. We left KK f or Kundasang at around 1030 hours. Of course we stopped along the way and the first one was the Likas floating mosque. For the journey as usual I assigned Baqir as my chief navigator and as always as well as soon as we left the Shell station to fill up the van he dozed off. A very reliable navigator he was indeed. The roads in Sabah although properly signed were not really using the route numbering system as yet as it would be easy for me to navigate like I am used to. So, I was really careful not to miss the right turns. When we entered Tamparuli Baqir woke up. Of course I loudly complaint to him for his failure but instead he said he was so confident with the instructions given earlier. After Tamparuli the climb started and there I said loudly that I wished we were on our Ranger and the climb would be brilliant. Although the KIA Pregio was new the climb was still too much for it to handle. The scenery started to change as we climbed and getting better each kilometer. At Nabalu we stopped, for me it was for the photography and the others sight seeing and shopping at the handicraft centre. Prices up there were different compared to KK. White t-shirts are cheaper at RM10 each and the colored a bit expensive at RM20. I managed to get the Sabah straw hat that I wanted at only RM10 compared to RM25 at KK. After about half an hour we started our climb again and only stopped for scenic photography. By now everyone in the van were fully awake and enjoyed the scenic journey. Being a first timer I was really impressed with the surrounding and more than once I envied the locals for living there having a picture perfect environment as their backyard. We rolled down slowly into Kundasang at around 1300 hours. As I was really hungry I drove the van around the one small round Kundasang town. We saw at least two Muslim eateries but both were fully occupied. We decided to check in first.

Can you beat this! Listening to BB King’s ‘The Thrill Is Gone’ sitting on the balcony in the evening looking at the Mount Kinabalu. The only problem is the Mount Kinabalu is covered with clouds. Also, with the magnificent thing in front of me my view is spoilt by power lines crisscrossing. Earlier on I was fast asleep resting my tired brain and body. In the end we had our lunch at the Kundasang town after we checked in. After lunch I decided to drive around to explore the area going towards The Mount Kinabalu Golf Resort and ended up climbing the steepest climb that I had ever had and I may have pushed the van to the limit as when we climbed down we can smell the brake plates burning and that worried everyone including myself, the driver. Maghrib slowly crept upon me as I sat there waiting for the scenery to change but Alllah knows best. I did not wish to drive out for dinner so we opted for steamboat at the Pines (the Kinabalu Pines’s restaurant). The steamboat was just so so and if you must have dinner at this place and you are not constraint to explore other possibilities I encourage you to do so. After dinner we went down to the karaoke room and blasted the place with our not so coordinated sound. Since we had the room to ourselves after one another we belted our favorites.

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