February 16th 1984

posted in: The way back | 0
Receiving my regular promotion to saviour

We were awoken – Val was awoken – at some incredibly early hour by a tiny girl in school uniform wandering into the Church Hall.  It apparently serves as an overflow classroom for the youngest children of the Catholic school.  We diplomatically cleared our bedding away, donned clothes, + made ourselves scarce.  Caught the bus the short distance into the city, but immediately managed to get ourselves lost.  KK is so box-like, it’s difficult sometimes even to determine the direction you’re facing, let alone your location.  And there are very few street names posted.  An ugly + dire city – much money spent to such little purpose.  Our main task was to book up to visit Kinabalu National Park, then buy our provisions.  Val took care of that, eventually returning with 2 or 3 hefty bags.  We make up for the money we save on accommodation in the Park by violently increasing our nutritional, + calorific, intake.

The bus ride was reasonably comfortable, being on good roads.  There was one other whitey on the bus, a Californian lady, off to do the same as us.  Just as well – one is supposed to hire a guide for the trek up Kinabalu mountain itself, + that makes at least one other person with whom one can share the cost.  In other respects, however, she seemed on first impression to be an uninspiring companion. 

The hostel at the Park was up to the usual high standard, or even better in one respect, in that there was a large open fireplace + a plentiful supply of firewood.  However, neither Joan, Val, I, or an Australian guy staying here, was able to get the thing to come to life, + everybody was annoyed with Val when she pulled our pitiful effort apart to put in a couple of potatoes to bake.  It was an abortive attempt in any case, for they burned to a cinder.  Or 2 cinders really.  It was annoying later when a local fellow came along, rearranged a few sticks, + soon had a roaring blaze.

An easy enough journey, successfully landing us at an affordable place to stay, so very much a good result.

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