Woke up to a bright sunny morning and decided to head off towards Koto Kinabalu (capital). We left at 9.30am and within 15 minutes spotted a sign saying Sea Food Restaurant. Somewhere to eat that night!. Down quite a long single track road, past prawn beds with their little water wheels whiling round, we eventually came to the restaurant set on stilts jutting out into a very pretty lagoon surrounded by mangroves. After checking that they were open that night and having a look at the live sea food in tanks all around the entrance we spotted that just outside were some monkeys in cages (Maccacs). We wandered over to have a look, we were soon joined by a Malay who spoke good English, and who we later found out worked there looking after the live sea food. After feeding the monkeys with bananas we went with him to see some ostich, deer, snakes and a very lonely crocodile. Promising to come back later, we set off further down the coast.
Another 20 minutes or so saw us stopped outside a Naval Base watching the a large amount of traffic pass through the gates. I drove up to the security guards and asked if we could go in, they asked if we wanted to see the boats and waved us through. It must have been open day for the Malaysian navy as buses were provided to take you to the where some very large ships were moored, rather than wait, Sue and I walked the relatively short distance instead of standing in a bus queue in the scorching sun. There must have been several thousand people there and it soon became evident we were the only europeans present. We went on board some of the boats and had a look around, though standing on a metal deck in exposed sun was sweltering and even the locals were wilting. We had some ice creams, had a wander around the many stalls and watched cars skid around in a circle making a lot of smoke, Jamie would have loved it. Later we watched a mini-motorbike race (silly). Everyone was very friendly and wanted to talk to us. After a couple of hours we walked back to the car stopping at the base canteen for some drinks.
Around half an hour late we found a lane that looked like it was heading towards the sea and after following it for a few kilometres we cam to gorgeous lagoon with a restaurant. After burger and chips, then two lots of ice-cream and several drinks we had a wander around. After a walk through the mangrove we got chatting to some Malayan teenagers that were building sandcastles of the Great Wall of China. There were three groups and we judged who we thought was the best, they thought it was a hoot, most of them could speak very good English.
As it was getting late we set off back to the hotel. There was thunder in the air and we could see that it was coming from Mount Kinabalu. We stopped to have a look at a cemetery that was at the side of the road. The lightning was flashing overhead and as we climbed the steep little hill to have a look at the graves. The tombs were at one time very beautiful but they do not look as if they are maintained very well and some looked vandalised.
Arriving back at the hotel we showered and changed and then went back out for our evening meal. We had booked a night jungle trek for 7pm, but it was cancelled because of the storm (what was the problem?) We drove to the Sea Food Restaurant. It was very popular and very full but there was just one table with two seats next to the lagoon that I think may have been set aside for us. We sat down, and it soon became evident that none of the waitresses spoke English, so we were taken to see our friend of that morning. We chose butter prawns, fried rice and steamed vegetables and I had my first beer of the holiday! It is fascinating to watch the asians eat and they obviously found it fascinating to watch us eat. They always arrive as an extended family with on average around 3 generations always present. One group numbered over 20 relatives, we spent a pleasant 10 minutes trying to work out who belonged to who. One thing you notice is that when the asians eat, the table afterwards as it it has been hit by a scatter bomb, there is food splattered everywhere. They must have found it very amusing that we piled up our prawns carcasses onto one plate and then wiped around the table with napkins.
We drove back to the hotel after thanking the English speaking Malay for ordering our food.