We left Sepilok planning to get an early bus to KK . But we had to get off the bus at Mt Kinabalu park as Liam had left his glasses at Laban Rata and they should now have been portered back down the mountain.
Waiting at the bus stop the first one that passed was full, the second didn’t turn up, and the third was late. In the meantime a “ute” stopped.
Enter Lous (I think his name was) and his wife Lin. They were driving from Sandakan to KK and offered us a lift. For free. Naturally we were a little suspicious, but they looked normal so we hopped in. At this point the storyline of Hostel that Scarlett had told me was running through my head. People “ordering” backpackers that they wanted to torture and kill… Especially as Leas started telling me about how he always tried to give people lifts, and that the last time he’d driven to KK and picked up an Austrian guy…
We quickly learnt that he had studied in Hull around the turn of the millennium, and thought it was a beautiful city. They both spoke great English and we chatted about Asia, Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, England, Kinabalu, them, us, Italy, changing cultures, all sorts. We found that they had only got married on the previous Saturday, the day we ascended Kinabalu. It kind of seemed like we were crashing their honeymoon.
At lunch we stopped for the height of south-East Asian cuisine. KFC. I don’t even eat KFC in England! But as Leas insisted that it would be “their pleasure to buy us lunch”, we thanked them and embraced the culture. They even waited with us at Mount Kinabalu whilst Liam collected his glasses!
Arriving in KK they dropped us at our door, handed us an apple each, and refused any petrol money. We couldn’t believe our luck, they were such genuinely kind people, I wish them all the happiness and success in the world.
Heading to the airport the next day we thought we were going to miss our flight. We didn’t. I’m fact we were over 24 hours early for it. How we’d mentally cut short our Borneo adventure by one day I’m not sure. At least it gave us a bit more time to wander around KK soaking up the atmosphere.