Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tetbury, Gloustershire, England

A very different town. Tetbury is close by High Grove, Prince Charle's pad.

The Snooty Fox Hotel. Oh and the market. Very oldie worldie.

Darwen, Lancashire, England.

The Circus at the centre of Darwen, my home town.

And view up the road to Bolton. On the right the small white building used to be a Chinese restaruant. I wonder if that is where Hiew used to work???

Darwen library.

And the entrance hall. The place is exactly as I remember from 40 odd years ago!!!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Borneo Steam

This restored steamer was built in Leeds, UK, in 1913.

The railway in Sabah is pretty short and at the moment is undergoing a complete refurbish. So no tracks. All dug up. I really hope this lovely old timer can run again soon. Meanwhile she is confined to the KK museum yard.

Sea Sun Set

What can you say? Absolutely unbelievably beautiful.

Mount Kinabalu from KK

Back on the coast at sunset, the mountain looked as if it was erupting. Mount Kinabalu has never been volcanic but is growing at a rate of 5mm each year. A huge granite mass is being pushed up by pressure under the earths mantle.. The granite is so hard it resists the constant weathering.

Same view on full zoom

and about 20 mins later. We were so lucky to get such a clear day.

Mount Kinabalu

The mountain. A tad over 4000 mtrs. From the Park's Reception area you can take a guided trek to the top. The deal is, on the first day you get to half way, have an early night and on the second morning set off at 2:00am, in the dark , to get to the top for sunrise. I understand the sunrise is worth the effort.

but from down here the mountain is no less impressive.
changing as it does every couple of minutes.
This photo was taken are dusk with a pink cloud floating past the bald granite mass.

Kinabalu National Park

The National Park has a large reception area set aside for eateries, accommodation and museums etc. We stayed in a rather nice lodge. The night was cold enough for us to light the log fire!!! And we were only at about 1700 mtrs.

Three Singaporeans dressed for an evening in the tropics.....we are on Borneo Island!!!
The restaurant at the bottom of the hill is very nicely furnished.

Inside and out.

Slowing down and relaxing is real easy in this place.

Poring Hot Springs

Poring is close to the National Park and the mountains. Mount Kilabalu has never been volcanic but there are hot springs associated with the mountain range. Very popular with Sabahians and visitors alike. Come have a free hot bath!!!
Other delights are this canopy walk. Two warnings. One, it is a very steep 350m climb up the side of the valley to get to the start of the high level walk.
And two, although the blurb says that 70% of the natural action is up in the canopy, you are so focused on overcoming your height phobia, you completely miss it!!! I would not have been distracted even if a monkey had thrown a banana at me. The walk way is so narrow. Very scary!!!

On the ground is this smelly flower, the Rafflesia. It is the flower of an underground, parasitic plant, or is it fungus. A bud develops above ground to the size of a cabbage over a 9 to 12 month period. When the time is right the flower opens up for only 5 to 7 days and then dies back. Smells of rotting meat to attract flies. Thing is, it can be a big as a meter across. This one was only about 50 cm across.

Tun Mustapha Tower

This extraordinary 30 storey glass tower was constructed over thirty years ago. It is the tallest building on Borneo island. The construction is very unusual in that the floors are suspended by steel cables from the top of the central core pillar and I think, half way down. This has a strange effect when you are standing in the building. You get a what I can only describe as a "wobbling" sensation through your feet. Very odd!!!

There is a revolving restaurant at level 18 with this view towards the newer government building constructed to house the original occupants of the tower. I don't blame them for moving out!!! The funny feeling in your feet is very distracting!!!

House on the Rock

Gek, Sock Hoon and me spent week with Yvonne and Hiew at their lovely house on the rock in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah..

Hiew designed the house himself and he is a fan of palms. A very impressive front door!!!!