Today we had the short flight from KK to Tawau on the other side of Borneo and who should pop along to see us off – why Mount Kinabalu of course. Up until this point we had hardly had a sniff of the great mountain but as we went into the airport it was there loud and proud and then it popped up again as our flight took us on an eye level course past it – when you least expect it, these things can happen!
The flight was nothing exciting but it was from the air that you get a real sense of just how much the palm oil trees are taking over the landscape in Malaysia – whole great swathes of land as far as the eye could see were covered with the bloody things. It is one thing to make a living but quite another if it is at the expense of everything around it. When we got there the land route did nothing to expel these nagging thoughts I had about the extent to which one of the most beautiful places on the planet had been turned into one huge oil producing plant.
When we finally reached Semporna which was to be our digs, whilst we readied ourselves for the exciting prospect of diving in and around Sipidan, my first thoughts were nothing short of rating it craphole status and to be fair nothing later on really removed this impression from my mind. So as it seemed that there was not exactly a profusion of land-based attractions we decided the only thing we could do in such a situation (and it being a Sunday) and that’s to watch some television! Back home we would call such days as these ‘settee days’. Settee days are where me and the missus would start by doing not a great deal, if hungover perhaps go for a walk first to clear the cobwebs and then back home to settle ourselves on our big fat settee to watch – Poirot, Columbo, Bond etc – something good but well watched where if you did fall asleep it was no big deal as you could pick it up (even with blurry vision) upon waking and slip back into watching mode without having to think too much – great telly. Over here it is the X-Men or Sons of the X-Men or X-Men – the teen years, you know the kind of film, I suppose they serve the same purpose – take your brain out TV.
Tomorrow was to be our first day of diving in Sipidanish waters so we were duly excited by the prospect but not too excited that we could not go out for a meal and Semporna at night is possibly more gruesome than Semporna by day – perhaps Semporna by candlelight is the ideal scenario, who knows but this was to be our haven during the next few days so we had better get used to it.