Places i've been in the short 2 weeks i was in Sabah
Think i'm a sucker for adventure, though i know better not to risk it.
I was told that a journey from KK to Sandakan will take a good 6 hours for a good driver and 8 for an average joe like me.
I did KK-Sandakan in 8 Hours.
Then, i was told that for KK-Lahad Datu, expect nothing less than 10 hours, again, for average joe like me.
And as luck would have it, i refuse to be average, let alone a Joe's Joe.
So, yesterday, after completing my work in Anjung Teduh, a good 110km away from Lahad Datu, i drove back. (see map above, Anjung Teduh is near Destination 7)
Journey started from 1830hours.
Reached Lahad Datu in 1 hour. Bought some hotdog bread, pumped petrol and got some drink and drove off at 2000hours.
Lahad Datu - KK is 404Km.
Reached Checkpoint 32 by 2130hours.
3 Hours of driving already.
Checkpoint 32 - KK should be about 7 hours, as it takes an hour from Checkpoint to Sandakan.
It started to drizzle half way between Beluran turn off to Telupid, I was extra careful as there is a stretch of gravel road, which was pretty bad.
Bonus of driving at that hour in Sabah is that the road is so clear. So clear that you could see as far as the car's high beam could let you see. The road is so dark that Big Dipper and the other constellation was highly visible.
At that moment, i did not think it was funny.
What if i had a punture?
What if some animal cross the road?
What if something which isn't animal crossed the road?
The drizzle soon became heavy rain. Words from the police officer at the road block right after Beluran turn off rings in my ears.
"Mana hendak pergi?", Men In Blue asked me.
"KK bah", me, trying really hard to sound local.
"Dari mana?", he asked again.
"KL, eh, KK!", I tried to recover.
"Pandu cermat, depan hujan lebat", He waved me on.
The heavy rain soon comes with fog.
Fog which is thick enough to make me drive at 20km/h. No Joke.
Using the high beam makes the visibility worse.
Using low beam seems to help.
I then came to a stop.
A cow was crossing the road.
I crossed Kinabatangan again, this time, not being able to see her.
I reached Telupid at 2230hours. At this rate, i should be able reach KK by 1.30am. Rule of thumb is that i'll drive at a maximum of 120km/h when the road and visibility is clear and will go as slow as i could if condition turns bad. Infact, i almost halt to a stop whenever a truck or express bus comes from the front, in case in their bid to take the corner, they strike me.
The fog doesn't seems to go off. From Telupid, i am about 80km to Ranau, that should be an hour's drive. Then I will pass through Kundasang, which means i will have 65km to go to reach Tamparuli, and from there, anohter 35 to KK.
At that point, i was actually regretting the decision to drive back that evening.
Too late to regret, there is no motel, or hotel, or anywhere i can stop to sleep. And it won't be safe, as the roads has tonnes of highway men, mostly Indonesian Bugis. Not gonna take any chances with them men with hands rougher than a 00 grade sandpaper.
I reached KK, safely at 0230Hours. Managed to check into the Hotel by 0330hours and slept until 0800 hours this morning before going off to finish the administrative stuff for my work.
Thinking back, the average speed over the 404km+110km=514km over 8hours bring me to only 40km/h max. That speak volume of the road condition!
After 2 weeks, i must say i've pretty much seen much of Sabah, along the road, that is. Like i tell some of my friends, the trunk road in Peninsular is like Highway compared to the road in Sabah. My record so far is overtaking 12 trucks in one single pedal to pedal overtaking manourve.
Definately felt like i'm in an F1 car. Well, a 1.5 Auto one, that is.
I will be back in Good Ol' KL tomorrow evening. Looked like i will get a 2 week reprieve before being send off to Sarawak...
Here are some pics, over the past 3 days which i have totally no internet connection.
Where i was again for the past 3 days?
I was in this place called Felda Sahabat Anjung Teduh. It is 25km away from the nearest town called Tungku and 110km away from Lahad Datu. The place is at the tip of the Dog's Nose (refering to Sabah's geological shape).
From the work site, i have to drive anohter 35km to the ONLY hotel within the next 150km of civilisation. Felda Sahabat Resort.
Enjoy the pics.
Bridge over Kinabatangan
Felda Sahabat - 113360 ha of nothing but oil palms
I wasn't BS-ing about the 113360 ha of oil palms
Since maybe non of us will ever go to Anjung Teduh, here is 2 more pics of the place...
Panaromic view with Sulu Sea
Panaromic view with Celebes Sea
Road to Beluran
View from the Police Station in Beluran
rare sight of the Sun Polaris...it was there for 5 minutes only"/
Sandakan from Signal Hill
Crocodile Roundabout in Sandakan
There is also Orang Utan, Proboscis Monkey and Turtle roundabouts in Sandakan... :)
instead of bak kut teh, there is PRAWN Teh! Sorry, BIG PRAWN Teh!
And Fish Teh
3 words to describe the seafood above. Damn.Kaw.Fresh.
Fish market in KK, Yellow fin Tuna being cut
Mahder Freaking Big Prawns
Half a fish for RM5, Tenggiri i think
Chicken backside, sate style RM1/stick
And of course, finally....