Sunday, March 29, 2009

Westerners From Gunung Gading Flying To The Land Below The Wind: Part 2

17th March, 2009, we were ready for the go very early in the morning on the second day. Though the tour on the first day was quite taxing (at least on me), most of us were up even before the cock crows at dawn, very much eager for the day's destinations. By 6.30 am, all were geared and psyched up and we recited our prayer together beseeching Divine intervention that we may be protected all throughout. Slightly before 7.00 AM, the tour bus that would take us arrived with the driver and the tour guide very much looking cheerful and willing. Our destinations for the day were Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom, the district where the famous Sabah Agriculture Park is located.

From Stella Maris Church we proceeded to Donggongon, an outskirt of Kota Kinabalu where we had our breakfast. It was at this point also that our parish priest, Rev Fr John Chong wished us a safe and interesting journey for he had to return to Kuching for a very urgent appointment with other priests and the Archbishop of Kuching.

The road to Tambunan is for the most part very winding, ascending up hills and mountains but with very breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and the world below. We had a short stop at Tambunan town itself to ease up and for some quick drinks. After a few more hours inside the bus, our next stop was Keningau, where we had our lunch. For us Sarawakians who are used to paying relatively cheap meals, food in Keningau (and all other towns) in Sabah are considered to be extravagantly expensive. A hundred ringgit on meals in ordinary eateries in Sarawak (especially in my hometown Lundu) would be considered a feast for about four or five but with that same amount in Sabah, that would just be enough for us from getting hungry.

After lunch, we proceeded right away to Tenom, famous for the state's Agriculture Park. Tenom by itself seems to be quite a sleepy town if not for the Park which is slightly to it's outskirt. It was in the Park that we see boundless specimens of flora. Unfortunately, we were told that we came not during bloom or fruiting season so we miss the chance of seeing rare orchids and other plants flowering or tropicals plants fruiting. So no free durians, langsat or jack fruit et al.

Like the day before, I was seated (though not exactly) next to the bus driver where the tour guide would usually be. My reason is obvious, to get the best view of what I have never seen before so that I can have the best chance of taking pictures. Never mind the comfort of the passenger seats for I expect a worthy trade off in return for scenic views along the journey. So, all along the journey, I was alert more than anybody else inside the bus except for the driver. It was a real feast day for my eyes and my camera for I was shooting at anything that was "new and strange" to me as fast as my ability and my camera could handle. I must admit that the pictures are not "professional grade" but for an amateur like me, it was a real satisfaction indeed. As far as I am concerned, my Canon S5IS camera did not disappointment me, except for a couple of battery changes which I am prepared for. Using mostly sports scene mode, below are some of the images that I captured while (mostly) from inside a moving bus.

My first shot of the day, Mt Kinabalu as viewed from Kota Kinabalu.

This 'trojan punk' looking for breakfast in Donggongon, Kota Kinabalu.

A herd of buffaloes having their morning bath somewhere along KK-Tambunan Road.

Like in temperate country but lo and behold, this is only in Sabah.

Another scenic view of the road to Tambunan.

Giant ferns by the road side at Gunung Emas, road to Tambunan.

For a Sarawakian like me, a view like this is simply God given.

Another panoramic view of a village in a valley in Tambunan District.

Sunsuron River, Tambunan, Sabah.

A herd of cows enjoying the shade under the tree in Tambunan town.

Road to Keningau, extremely straight for a stretch of about 22 km (according to our driver). Notice also the signboard of a Church, which is exceptionally common in Sabah but quite rare in other states in Malaysia.

Even mosquitoes have a village in Keningau, Sabah thus Jalan Kg Nyamok or Mosquito Hamlet/Village Road.

View of a paddy field on the way to Tenom.

Taman Pertanian Sabah/Sabah Agriculture Park, Tenom.

This young lady playing hide and seek in Native Orchid Centre, Sabah Agriculture Park. (SAP)

An uprooted speciemen tree in SAP

Quite a joyride for the writer.

A young lady and her brother with a replica dinosour in SAP.

A two-coach carriage that took us around SAP

Another trademark of Sabah, blank signboard(s).

A dog, a lorry and a kereta sewa (van for rent) on our way back from SAP.

Kampung Rompon (along Tambunan-Keningau Road), where wild boar meat is legally sold.

And fresh meat, the leg for soup.

Another rainbow greeting us on our way back to Kota Kinabalu.

More images can be viewed here.


Antogatn_Kayar said...

memang boleehh kita' ua...
cun ihan poss di gambar ''Quite a joyride by for the writer.'' nian au'..

Tbsbidayuh said...

I miss that road bro. I used to travel from KK to Tenom. Nice view. Next time you try the railway from Beaufort to Tenom and Sipitang Tenom.Really nice view especially the Padas River view. I enjoyed it very much. Plan to go there if got Rezeki.

tunabdulrazak said...

You should have bought that hairy leg and cook with serai, kunyit, ginger, daun kunyit, chilli..... wow man. 'very nyaman', Tiyung Dayak would scream.