Well, today has been another adventure! Alarm went off at 0520, got out of bed at 0540. Mad panic pack before having the quickest breakfast in history before catching the 0700 van bus to Kudat. Left KK at 0720, hmm. Driver was obviously running late because we were going for it. Mental note: check to see if life insurance is up to date. Arrived in Kudat, immediately approached by taxi driver who offered us a ride to anywhere. This was to be a blessing as our original ride was going to be two hours late. The taxi driver ( Peter) was actually very pleasant and drove us to our destination…….40km an hour. So going from 120-140km/h speed rush from KK to Kudat to 40km/h scenic ride from Kudat to Tampat Do Aman certainly made for an interesting start to the morning. On arrival at Tampat do Aman we were greeted by a lovely person called Howard (from England) who fell in love with this part of east Malaysia and it’s people (one in particular – he married her), and culture, and thus decided to do something for the local community and it’s small village by buying up a bit of land, communicating with the government, following all the correct procedures and building an accommodation complex in the form of a local style village (including a long house) as well as a cafe/bar near one of the many lovely beaches here so as to bring in the tourism dollar and help the local people who are in a poverty rut. Needless to say, Howard has put in the hard yards and now it’s slowly starting to pay off! But reading this can not give you the sensation of our experience here. Truly, truly, truly come and experience this place for yourself. Find the time, bring a friend and give yourself a month to enjoy a small piece of paradise on a budget. After sorting our room in the longhouse and heading back to the cafe, Sara went for a swim while I played with the football lol. After that we decided to have a beer then walked back to the longhouse to have a shower (open outdoor) and chill out for a bit before we went back to the cafe for dinner. We got to sit on the back of the ute and laugh at OSH (no such thing here) on the way. Returning to the longhouse while on the back of the ute laughing at OSH again, Sara went in for a night cap (reading a book) while I went to the outdoor lounge area to do what I do best and socialize with the other tourists then went out to the main road to view the stars. 24/03/2014 Had a great night’s sleep and was good to go for the day! Got up at 0700 to look at the cell phone to see what the time is. Saw what the time was and went back to sleep until 0730. Woke up at 0730 going ‘woohoo I feel like going for a jog to the cafe for breakfast’ Woke Sara up and she was eventually into it as well (the getting up – not the jog)! However, time zipped past and the temperature was already at 28ºC at nearly 0830 which was the time the first shuttle was due to take anyone from the accommodation lodge to the cafe. We caught the shuttle. Hello cafe and breakfast and lovely warm ocean! Had a (man size) breakfast and a home made fruit juice then did some reading before going in for a well deserved swim! The ocean is clean, warm, with great surf and all the facilities you can hire to enjoy the day better. And beer. And yes people, I have surprised Sara and myself by jumping into the ocean without fear…….ok perhaps a bit of fear. But it soon diminished the more I was enjoying the waves! After our swim we decided to head back to the cafe for dinner and met an English/Australian chap called Roger and typically hit it of straight away, as with our Canadian and German and Austrian and Belgium and Norwegian and Rungus and Spanish and other Australian friends. NO Kiwis though…hmmm.
So, it was a nice night spent chatting before we headed back to the long house for more talking! 25/03/14: Tuesday: Was very much the same as yesterday with the exception of feeding two longhouse cats and discovering titten #1, and catching up on our laundry. That pretty much took most of the morning and when we finally got to the cafe after walking 2.3km there in the blistering heat (Temp was 35ºc) everyone we met from last night said a big hello and was wondering where we were which was very very nice! Lunch polished and ready for another swim – we decided to hire some body boards for an hour which was cool! Good waves for it! Eventually we put the boards away and thought it more fun to turn Sara into a surfboard and give her a good push in timing with the waves which worked bloody well I must say! Beach fun over and cafe fun beginning again, we eventually went back to the longhouse for some quiet chatting and to view the stars which are also most impressive as the skies are very clear here. 26/03/2014: Wednesday. Woke up nice and early to find titten #2. Today’s morning agenda: Cats fed, tittens fed, Fred the duck fed, off to the beach cafe again and James fed, and it’s another relaxing day in the sun, sand and surf! Our Canadian friends gave us the heads up on an available bungalow from tomorrow onwards (they took a bungalow the night before and they told us about the other one next door to them) so we made some enquiries and got the bungalow for the next three nights after today. Just 15 meters from the ocean, whoop whoop! So it was off for another swim and then for a walk to the tip of Borneo before heading back to the cafe for dinner prior to getting caught out in the rain. Was a bit of a quiet one that night (we thought) until we heard the kittens sneak in under the door and started miaowing at 11.30ish. Eventually they settled on my backpack, making for a nice relaxing sleep for all. 27/03/2014 Moving day! Was time to say goodbye to the long house and hello to the beach bungalow! Fantastic! What a great way to spent the last three nights at the tip of Borneo. Hot sand and cool surf during the day and warm clear night with the bonus of cooking your own food for breakfast and lunch. We still went out to the cafe for dinner to catch up with everyone from the longhouse and meet new arrivals as well. Spent the remainder of our time there snorkeling, swimming, lighting bonfires, walking, sightseeing, drinking and eating. Spent one night near the cafe with 12 others talking about the universe and it’s mysteries and about life and once again created another United Nations Positive meeting! Towards the end it was just Sara and I with a young British couple drinking the night away on cheap whisky and continuing the united nations party, I mean meeting. That was when our new British friend (also called James) decided he wanted to strip naked and swim with the glowing phosphorescent plankton. So we decided to join him…..but with our clothes on, first time round. Second time round I went in naked, but only James and I as Sara went to bed not long after the first round! Overall Tampat Do Aman longhouse (and as I have just been corrected by Sara) Tip Top Restaurant and bar, is a blood awesome place to visit for a nice recovering break after battling with the rat race of the cities. It’s very much worth coming to see. Regretfully leaving the tip of Borneo, we headed back to Kota Kinabalu in a shared taxi with a Australian lady we meet on our last night at the cafe called Eva, alias little dove. Then it was back to our ‘Stayin Lodge’ then a quick bite to eat before heading to soccer again hahahaha! Two nights in KK then a bus to the airport to head back to KL and make our way to Ipoh! Will blog again soon good people!