I have nothing against Mosques. Nothing at all, except perhaps when they are six feet away and you're trying to ignore the call to prayer at 4.45am. By the time we got up the family had already started to attack the days chores but we were sat down and fed breakfast. At least we knew we hadn't missed the bus as Jamali was to be our driver but we soon said our goodbyes and headed back to the MESCOT hut. During the two hour journey it seemed that everyone had enjoyed the experience as well, even Steve who might have counted as somewhat dubious the last time we saw him. Arriving in Sandakan, the second largest city in Sabah and was until 1946 the capitol of British North Borneo. More importantly it is also host to a lively Sunday market which we wondered around in a lethargic haze. One medicine stand did stand out as being a little stranger than your average market. The treatment was to place a glass bell over your grievance, where ever that is, and then to evacuate it until it starts to draw blood through the skin. Suddenly I had never felt heather. With the rain suddenly starting to come down like it meant business we ducked into the Fat cat cafe for a bite to eat, hoping the menu wasn't going to reflect the name of the establishment.
In the afternoon we met up with Maggie, Mike, Mel, Wesley and Richard for a mini tour by taxis driver. Firstly we went to a war memorial commemorating the so called death marches where the Japanese had tried to force 1500 Aussies and 500 Brits to march across Sabah when they decided they weren't being much use building railways. On the way six people escaped into the jungle but other than that no one survived the brutal treatment. It was a very somber place with a little museum room in the middle and an area of gardens where camp 1 used to be. In a slightly reflective mood we headed off to a Chinese Buddhist temple next. Being built on top of the hill over looking the city it had great views. Our final stop was at the restaurant for the evening, an old English tea house which played up to the old colonial image. A croquet lawn, sadly too damp to play on, and a lovely old gramophone kicked off plenty of discussion of the good old British empire days.