I didn't get much sleep, so I'm not sure it was worth leaving the pub anyway: I woke up in pain again as I struggled to dress, and worried that I wouldn't be able to go rafting with my sunburn. After relying my worries to the rest of the small group going and seeing that Arkin was late, I decided to suck it up and get on with it. I brought my bags down and got ready to go white water rafting. Eek.
The hotel tried to say they wouldn't hold my bags if there was anything valuable in them, so I had to reassure them I was leaving them so it'd be my fault if anything went missing. They were in a locked room, so I couldn't really see this happening.
Four of the original group went rafting, including me, Karina, and Miserable Moo and co. I had to change in yet another grotty toilet, though this time I didn't drop anything. I was glad I'd put on a long-sleeved t-shirt as the sun was boiling as it hit my skin.
We took a train up to the starting point after driving for 2 hours to the station, the train was not air conditioned at all and sweat dripped off alobng with any sunscreen. My heart was beating ten to the dozen as Arkin explained how to swim if you fell out or if the boat capsized, and as we pushed the boat to the river I was seriously considering backing out and just waiting on the bank. In the end of course I got in, especially as I'd paid for it, and locked in my feet so hard that there was no way I was falling out. We paddled a few kilometres on the calm water, where a few people jumped out to practise swimming, but even this terrifed me so I stayed paddling. Miserable Moo went in, but then struggled to get back in the raft as three of us pulled at her lifejacket. I paddled for the whole 19km, and made sure every stroke counted, as there was no way I was going in that water. I shouted at Miserable Moo when she stopped paddling as we went into a high rapid, as my fear was overruling any politeness.
She said something about her shoulder after that and just sat in the middle of the boat, which meant that we pretty much gave her a free ride to the bottom. I kept quiet about this view though, as she was holding onto my lifejacket from the middle, and I didn't want her to accidentally-on-purpose push me in!
Once we'd gone through the harder rapids, I began to enjoy it, and my heart began to relax a little, but I was so scared whenever the boat even felt like it was going to tip.
In the end it passed so quickly that I'd like to do it again, but not just yet! The constant soaking helped ease my sunburn, but I've now got a new patch on mty forearm where I rolled up my sleeve. We arrived back in Kota Kinabalu at about 5.30pm, where we said our goodbyes and I walked about 100m up the road to my new hostel. After another cry as I realised I was all alone again I had a cold shower and went to dinner with Kim, one of the only remaining tour travellers who was heading back to New Zealand the next day. We went for roti and a chocolate milkshake, and then a quick diversion to the pharmacy for aloe vera and more sunscreen before saying my final goodbye.
On the road again.