Another delayed flight from Sandakan to Kota Kinabalu, but this time as the result of an aborted takeoff as we raced down the runway at several hundred kmph.
It was a hair-raising experience when the pilot broke hard on the tarmac. I braced hard against the seat in front whilst the 0.5 turned a whiter shade of pale than even Procol Harum could have imagined. The Boy didn’t even notice.
Anyway, we all made it back to the terminal in one piece and after a two hour delay, were glad not only to get away that day, but to note that Air Asia had flown in a relief aircraft for our transfer.
The original craft we were seated upon was clearly a new addition to their fleet so I can’t but think that it was anything but a precautionary measure.
Anyway, kudos to Air Asia. Rather delayed than dead.
Our last 3 days in Borneo were spent toward the tip of the island at a remote beach shack resort near Kota Belud.
Arriving after dark we waded out to a RIB and took a slow, serene ride across the bay under the light of a full and silvery moon.
Upon arrival the “resort” appeared to be exactly what we were looking for. A beach of aproximately 100m sandwiched between to forested headlands, a series of beach chalets fronting onto the moonlit sand, and a stylish yet rustic bar area with plenty of scope for lounging about doing very little.
My agenda at Mañana was to be predominantly dedicated to chillaxing with perhaps a little kayaking or snorkelling thrown in if I could wangle the time. As it turned out, I did little veering from the script apart from sink a few beers more than planned and scoff some complexly spiced curries on a far too frequent basis.
Well, the 0.5 is worried that I am wasting away (I’m still fat, just not as fat as I was. I would suggest I am on schedule for a shirt-off beach shot in Bali with love handles on still on display but exhibiting a general absence of moobs), so I had to at least make an attempt to arrest the late state of atrophy she mistakenly thinks I’ve reached.
The protected bay offered great swimming (a mild jellyfish stinging incident excepted) and The Boy was truly in his element, especially when one afternoon we got to bathe in a torrential downpour. The suprisingly cold droplets of rain contrasted to the warmth of the shallow sea, splashing off the milpond surface and causing him to squeal with excitement.
With a complete absence of t’internet, no phone reception and no TV, we were incommunicado for a few days. Not even the owners at Mañana have a phone connection. In order to get bars on their phones, they need to clamber over rocks, strike out through the jungle for a short while and then climb a low hill.
As it happens, this isolation was a good thing given the Swans lost at Arsenal and Wales made a valiant if ultimately fruuitless start to their rugby world cup adventure.
This pair of results would have sullied what was otherwise a perfect few days.
Next stop, Jakarta, Indonesia.