Hello and Merry Christmas!!!
We are in Sandakan now, and the 6 hours on the bus to get here weren't too painful this morning! Sandakan is a hip town on the NE coast of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. http://maps.google.com.my/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=sandakan&sll=5.420404,116.796785&sspn=3.44468,7.064209&gl=my&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Sandakan,+Sabah&t=h&z=9
We're hoping to do a little rainforest exploration tomorrow before our jungle adventure along the Kinabatagan river begins on the 27th.
We really enjoyed the diving in Sipidan/Mabul - despite having terrible luck with visibility - a big storm the night before we went out dropped visibility from 20m+ down to around 5m in places. So sadly the only Rays I have seen have been cut up on for sale in the wet market. The diving in Mabul was absolutely amazing though - so many rare and beautfiul fish - the life underwater is so colourful and spectacular, especially here. Glad to see the orangutan crabs we'd just looked at in a book - they're tiny. Hope we are lucky enough to see the mammal version too.
The people are also tremendously friendly and welcoming, despite living in challenging conditions on islands like Mabul - tightly packed stilt houses and no amenities to speak of.
We have been reflecting on the first half of our trip, missing our family and friends, and generally thinking how lucky we are.
Krismas gembira semua orang - Happy Christmas everyone!
PS do comment when we post so we know we are being read!! xx