Yesterday Honza and I took a speed boat (yes I was singing "I'm on a boat, everyone look at me cos I'm sailing on a boat ;-) ) to an island about 15 minutes from Kota Kinabalu. For about $10 we got a return boat ride, island entrance fees and snorkel and mask. We found an area uninhabited with people and took to the water. WOW! It was heaven: not too cold,not to warm. And beautifully coloured:turquoise-green-blue. I managed to see some awesomely colourful fish. Since the water was so calm, I could float with my head under water for ages without going too far out. I was definitely a mermaid in a past life, as whenever I'm water I can play forever! ;-) In the back of my mind was always the stupid-lame-o thought "what if a shark comes?". At times I would scare myself when I saw a shadow... too much time spent in South African waters can have this effect on you.
It was great to sit under huge coconut trees eating juicy fruit: pineapple, papaya and some banana's with a cool breeze giving us some relief from the heat and humidity.
While we were chilling on a secluded beach, a friendly jungle animal came and checked us out: varanus salvator (water monitor lizard).He (or she) was about 1.3m in length with a long tongue. He saw that we were ok, then he (or she) went for a swim (he probably had to go "monitor" something in the water). Thank goodness I wasn't in the water at this time, I would've shat my pants (or costume in this instance) if I saw him (or her) coming towards me.
We did some jungle trekking in the afternoon. The island is really small, so in one hour we covered most of it. It's like any usual island jungle- tall trees, lush plantation, birds, loads of moisture in the air. It was a tinsy winsy bit of training for the HUGE mountain I am going to try tackle on Sunday-Monday:Mount Kinabalu. Which stands at a mighty 4095m! Yes, I am already sh**ting in my pants....so please wish me luck, hold thumbs, do good-luck dances;anything you can think of that will help me achieve this incredible task! :-)