Once there was a family. A father and mother with 7 children, 7 dogs and 1 cat. Their house is at a beach, the sand is so white it almost blinds you when the sun reflects upon it’s surface. The water holds the 66 shades of blue ever given name by man. Where the sand reaches the treeline, a little bit further into the land, you can find the family’s café. A couple of times a day, you can see the Kingfishers fly over the café straight to the beach to catch fish. The kind man who runs the café with the name: Secret Beach Café added the word Camping to the sign about a year before now.
Next to this cafe, right at the border of the beach and the trees, stands a tent. A blue tent. Inside this blue tent you can find 2 fieldbeds in opposite to eachother separated by a fan which stands in the very center of the tent.
This tent, on this secret beach, is our home for the moment.
Every morning we wake up to the sounds of the ocean, the wind through the trees and the cat right at the zipper of our tent, waking us up, ready to steal bites off our morning breakfast.
When we walk the 10 meters towards the café Roby (the father) is already awake for hours and up and running to cook our breakfast. He always greets us by our first name, what makes us feel at home right away. Usually most of the kids are at school already. Except for the 2 youngest. They hang around the café and play with eachother. When Roby comes back from the kitchen with fresh coffee, ginger tea and the delicious Wentelteefjes/Verlorenbrood/Gewonnenbrood/French Toast.
After breakfast we get the snorkels out and went to explore the mysteries of the underwater world, or we just lay at the beach in one of the hammocks until lunch to continue relaxing, swimming and snorkeling till dinner. In the afternoon the rest of the children get back from school. They really like the company of tourist to improve their English. We played a lot of games like Yathzee and Zwarte Pieten amongst others. Besides playing games, swimming, good food and tanning we also had to study.
Back in Indonesia we found out that learning the Indonesian language isn’t that difficult. There we learned the basics like: saying hello, thank you, goodbye, etc. Malay (Malaysian language, duhh) is the same as Indonesian. Ofcourse with some differences. But look at it like Dutch and Flemish. We can understand almost everything we say to one another.
So with the kids we learned more basics. How to count to 100, the days of the week, the names of the months. In exchange we learned them everything they wanted to learn in English. After the lessons there was time for some epic robot/power ranger action figure fights.
A little bit further up north away from our piece of paradise there is the Tip of Borneo. The edge of the Borneoan paradise. We went to snorkel there aswell and lucky as we where: not so many jellyfish around.
In the evening back at the Secret Place we had a great secret beach BBQ with new friends from Alaska. Loads of fun and amazing BBQ skills from Roby, Roby’s brother and his oldest son.
The next morning we took some family pictures and played one more round of Yathzee with the kids before it was time to leave.
Back in Kota Kinabalu we hopped onto a boat towards Sapi island where we snorkeled with the jellyfish. SO… MANY… JELLYFISH!!! It was absolutely pointless to get back into the water. So another round of tanning instead. Around lunch-time we went to Gaya, no jellyfish there! So we snorkeled on every square meter we could swim to. Not so many cool fish as in Menjangan, Bali, but we saw a really cool Pufferfish! Which is a great one to add to the “Animals we’ve seen on this trip” list.
Our last day in KK we spent a full day at Manukan island. Where we ofcourse snorkeled again, with no jellyfish!
Another lovely day at a beautiful island. A great way to end our trip in the Sabah region. Time to head on to a new place of adventure: Sarawak.
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