Travel, Haircuts and Claypots – Sandakan – Day 75 – 3 Apr

Today was time to bid Semporna goodbye, a place where we had such brilliant diving highs but in truth it was not a place I was sorry to leave. The neighbourhood was somewhat shady and had the people to match and the seas seemed to be being used as a dumping ground – so besides diving really what has the area got? This is probably just me being somewhat oversensitive as the people there I am sure need the diving to continue in order for a lot of them to make ends meet and the fishermen need the sea for their livelihoods – it is easy to become the overcritical guest in a new place and this is probably me right now.

Sandakan next and this would be the start of the tour we had booked at KK with our hotel. We had a couple of phone numbers to ring should anything go wrong and we had parted with our money so we were hoping everything was as they say ‘legit’ – now was the time to see if the plan would come to fruition. The journey over to Sandakan was a good length and although the roads were straight and the scenery uninteresting (many many palm trees for many many miles) it was still very difficult to sleep. Still we finally got there at a bus station just outside the main town and after a taxi ride we were at our latest abode. The room was small as befits our budget but nice enough though the owner’s attempts at putting ‘art’ on the wall were quite abusive to the eyes and we turned away from them whenever possible!

Sandakan seemed a nice enough place by the sea and with plenty of eateries but we only had one thing on our minds – haircuttings – lol. I went to a local barber who did a nifty old job, he was a man’s man and I was a man so the whole arrangement worked very well – wait till my next haircut in Coron!



I walked out of there looking quite dapper with my new ‘do’ I had been where the locals go but probably paid twice as much and still this was cheap – next up was Liz. She went to a hairdresser who seemed to lack some of the necessary skills needed to attract more trade as was his assistant who was almost rude – unusual pair really and it was not just us who were getting the (wait for it) … brush off! After this we had a bit of a wander on then a bite to eat before going back and grabbing some shuteye before getting back out at night.

At night we walked along the seafront and very nice it was too, even better was that the restaurant we chose had claypot chicken a particular favourite of mine. Basically a chicken stew which when served was at roughly the same temperature as the centre of the Sun – at least so I believed and my mouth confirmed!

Tomorrow we were supposed to be going to Turtle Island a name that to me conjured up … well turtles actually and they are quite a groovy animal, let’s just hope that our tour arrangements have all been followed through as, if not when we finally got back to KK I would be paying our little hotel manager a visit – and I would unleash the Chicky (my wife … lol)! For now we simply relaxed and strolled back to our room for a bit of kip before tomorrow.


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