Mount Kinabalu: The Day Before The Climb (Part 4 of 7)

After the most relaxing stay at The Little Hut (read Part 3 of 7), it was time for some adventure and fun before the climb.  After taking a few last shots of The Little Hut, we said our goodbyes with a heavy heart, hoping that we would one day step foot on this most tranquil ground.

We continued deeper into Kundasan, which eventually brought us to the bustling district of Ranau, where our next destination lies: Poring Hot Springs.  Like the name suggests, Poring is known for its popular hot springs that provides therapeutic properties.

But before plunge straight into the tempting waters, we made a detour to the park’s canopy walk, supposedly one of the highest in the world.  It was quite a leisure walk to the entrance of the canopy, with only a few muddy paths here and there.  I was hiking with only slippers!

Simply refreshing
The view from the top was absolutely breathtaking; the air, simply refreshing.
Acrophobia anyone?
Not sure if you have acrophobia (fear of heights)? At 41 meters high, it is enough to distinguish those who dare and those who don’t!
Group picture up atop
Group picture taken almost at the end of the canopy trail. From the picture, can you tell who has the fear of height?

The walk on the canopy did not take very long.  Before we knew it, we were already at the end of the path.  Since we had more than enough time to spare, we decided to check out the butterfly farm as well.

As we followed the path into the butterfly farm, we were lead into a small air-conditioned house which contained specimens of what could be hundreds, close to a thousand maybe, of butterflies and moths.  Upon exiting the house, it leads directly into the ‘farm’ itself.  We were greeted with lust green plants with over-hanging leaves and man-made streams and ponds around the farm.

Brown Butterfly
She lifted it wings as I was about to snap the picture, as if she was posing a strike for me.
Up Close and Personal
This injured butterfly resting on the floor allowed me a chance to snap her picture up close and personal.
Gigantic Butterfly
This was the biggest butterfly among the others. Have a look at it’s size compared to the red flowers and the leaves. It’s almost as big as my hand!
Mr. Butterfly
For some unknown reasons, butterflies tend to be attracted to Johnson. Maybe it’s his dashingly good looks?

It was a sunny day, and we perspired heavily under the morning sun.  It was time to take a dip in the spring waters.  We started in the cold water section, where there was the fun water slide and the multi-storey pools.

You jump I jump
Wang and Johnson diving into the pool in synchronized fashion. Just look at the curves on their bodies… so balanced… so perfectly identical.

The fun area has a multi-storey pool that is large enough to accommodate groups after groups of people.  The water strikes a shade of green from the reflection of the forest trees that surrounds it.

Reliving Childhood Days
We just had to thicken our skins to go down the slide as we were the only ‘older’ group playing it together with the other kids half our age!

After getting used to the chilling waters of the pool, the group then proceeded to the top of the water slide where there was already a queue of people waiting for their turn on the slide, most of them were young kids.  Our somewhat older appearance compared to all the little ones around us did not deter us from reliving our childhood days!

On the count of three...
Let’s see how high we can throw Hung!

After countless rounds of the slide, in whatever kinds of positions and poses we could think of  including styles such as the superman head first style, lying down style, train style and many more, we finally went back into the pool.  The adrenalin from the water slide was still in our system, so we decided to take turn throwing each other into the air!

Time always seem to pass us by like a breeze; before we knew it, it was already way past our lunch time.  After a delicious BUT EXPENSIVE lunch at the restaurant in the park, we departed Poring with our bodies feeling anything but tense.  The waters of the spring really does wonders!

Our next destination would be to Kinabalu Park where we will spend the night to have the well deserved rest before the main agenda the next morning; the climb that we have been preparing for almost half a year.

Our original accommodation arrangement for Kinabalu Park is a night stay at the hostel, the cheapest accommodation there.  However, for reasons unknown which I can only link to divine intervention, we were upgraded to the Peak Lodge, which was considered to be almost a posh accommodation to be staying in!

The Peak Lodge
The Peak Lodge comes complete with a 2 bedrooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen and a nice fireplace!

One unit of the Peak Lodge accommodates 4 person.  The picture above shows two units of the Peak Lodge, which we were miraculously upgraded to.  Each unit has its own living room, kitchen, dining area, two bedrooms with bed suitable for dignitaries, and best of all, it has a fireplace!

Peak Lodge No 3
Peak Lodge No 3 was where me and 3 others were in. The others were right next door.
Extremely classy and comfy
One of the bedrooms had bunker beds, ready with extra large mattresses and extremely cozy duvets. I fell asleep within seconds!

After settling into our accommodation for the night, we proceeded to have our dinner at the restaurant nearby.  It was near still weeks away from Christmas, and the place was already heavily decorated with many Christmas ornaments which really brings the festive joy to the  guests.

Merry Christmas!
Custom designed Christmas Tree made out from stacks and stacks of pine tree cones.
After dinner, we headed back to our lodge where we started a fire at the fireplace. It was a blessing as the night was getting pretty cold.
Keeping warm
Thank God for the fireplace in our lodge, we could warm in the cold night.

We sat there around the fireplace, talking and joking with each other, enjoying each other’s company and keeping ourselves warm.  I couldn’t help but feel a sense of gratefulness to the friends around me which I have travelled with for the past few days; and praying for each one of us that we have a safe journey up the mountain the next day.

Company of friends
Nothing like the company of friends to pass the night, sitting in front of the warm fireplace just chatting the cold night away.

Click here for the next part of the story: Part 5 of 7 The Climb


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