See more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskMmBJcb
Luckily, our hostel, D’villa Rina Ria Lodge was only 500 meters from Kinabalu National Park. One of a handful of UNESCO world heritage sites in Borneo, Malaysia. Located within the park is Mt. Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Borneo. Ranah, Franki, and I followed a 5.6 km trail shouldered by a beautiful river up to the base of where the treks start called Timpohon Gate. Trekking to the highest peak costs at least $200 CDN, so we decided against it. Instead, we did a couple of trails within the park. The paths are beautiful and you can see birds, insects, and squirrels. The trees and plants were lush and green. I had never seen some of them before, especially a particularly curly vine. Of course, it did rain, as we were travelling in Borneo in the rainy season. I’m glad I brought my poncho!
At the top of the trail we had lunched and relaxed. It was quite misty so we didn’t see the entire view from there. It’s always best to do outdoor activities in the early morning, as by the afternoon the weather is cloudy and rainy. The trails were very empty and we only saw a couple people on them. Most tourists drive up to the base which I thought was a bit odd.
Ranah and Franki had their first leech encounters today! The critters grabbed hold of their ankles and would not let go! The first one we used an anti-septic wipe to remove. But once we found some around lunch time, we were close enough to a cafeteria to get some salt (which I now carry in my 1st aid kit). Salt worked well, but after reading “WikiHow” it says the best technique is to use your fingernails and to make sure you scrape out the leech’s teeth. In total, Ranah found 6 leeches on her and Franki found 2. Luckily, the blood suckers were not after me today!