Kia ora! Sorry it's been so long! We have had issues with the laptop, the internet, life... Anyway we're not going to give you an NZ update we're going to complete our Malaysian blogs first!
So, went to Brunei from Miri and this involved 4buses, 2 immigration check points and a boat. Very time consuming and bizarre. Brunei is state of its own with a King and his two wives! The mosque is very impressive and it's next to the incredibly rundown water village. We took a boat road through the water village and going to fill up at a petrol station in the middle of the water is quite a strange experience. We also saw numerous mosques and schools along the water and travelled into the mangroves to watch the Proboscsis monkeys play. It turns out that the people living in these rundown homes on the water are actually related in someway to the royal family and have homes on the land too. Brunei was just a quick whistlestop tour as there was not so much that we needed to do.
We travelled from Brunei by boat to KK which turned out to have entered the rainy season early and we had about 3-4days non-stop rain. We realised it was time to leave! Before leaving KK we managed to enjoy a couple of days of sun, one of which we spent on Manukan island where we snorkelled with some amazing tropical fish and enjoyed the beautiful views. Ruth was however startled by a tree snake that launched itself from the picnin table and whizzed across the sand and up a tree. Our other good days in KK were spent hiking up Mount Kinabalu. We started the hike just before lunck on day 1 and reached our hostel by 4pm where we spent the evening at around 3300m. We can't say that we spent the night as we had to get up at 2am to begin hiking at 2.30am to reach the summit before sunrise. We hiked with headtorches on a warm clothes. We had to haul ourselves up on thick ropes across the numerous rock faces which were nowhere near as bad on the descent as they were on the ascent. The views were spectacular, yet the lack of sleep was not so good. After a huge breakfast we began the descent from the hostel around 9am and were happily back down the mountain by lunch. It really is quite amazing to hike up and down over 4000m above sea level in 24 hours!
With our bodies a little tired from the hike we went to the poring hot springs in the hope that the warm water would somehow relieve our slightly torn muscles. We do like hot springs.
We left Borneo the next day after spending the night in the luxury of a hotel and a hot bath. It was an amazing place and we would trade the experiences that we have had for anything. Adam's hat is still with us, amazing really! Well we are safe, well and happy in NZ and will update you on our time here shortly. Hope you're all enjoying the winter!