We started the day with a stroll up to Sepilok rain forest centre. This consisted of an educational building, some gardens packed with plants and an area of rain forest to walk round. Eleanor and I turned up with Maggie, Mike and Wesley. We started with the gardens and soon it became clear that Wesley took a lot more interest in the green world than most so Eleanor and I strolled off and went for the rain forest walks leaving Wesley taking a photograph of each and every plant it seemed. We found a rope bridge across a lake and then some towers connected by a walkway. Interestingly one tower had a nice set of stairs to tease you up but at the other end the opposite tower only had a ladder to scramble down - sign of a budget cut somewhere?! Jungle greenery aside we didn't see much of interest but the sun was out and not a spot of rain came down so a good stroll.
Back at the hotel we packed up and went to the airport to get a flight back to Kota Kinabalu, where this leg of the tour had started. Natasha had some trouble with the final security check having mis-placed her departure card but all was well when Wesley stepped in to 'have a word' or as Wesley put it 'pascifying the locals'. Back in KK we weer staying in a hotel by the beech with a bar overlooking the bay. A perfect place to put our feet up and enjoy the evening Eleanor was probably thinking. Colin on the other hand was thinking 'are these tandem canoes for hire?'. They were and soon I was dragging Eleanor away from comfort, and more importantly food, to go for a paddle. The bay was very shallow but there looked to be some interesting waves breaking a bit further out so we headed for them. Eleanor seemed a bit cautious about this since the canoe had no splash deck and was frankly not the most nimble piece of kit available on the market. Even so I couldn't help a chuckle when she advised that we shouldn't get too close, at that point we were still about half a mile away! However, as we approached it seemed that the waves were breaking over a reef and in an effort to not also break on a reef we turned left and stopped off at a small island for a treat of some sweets. Looking back the shore seemed quite a long way away so we were soon pushing off to head back.
Being Christmas eve we had a nice meal and some beers in the evening. Obviously I'd had one too many and happen to mention my legendary expertise with a table tennis bat so Maggie promptly went downstairs and challenged the locals on my behalf. Soon than I'd like I was facing the owner of the table and bats and doing quite badly. I never used to rate the bats we have at work but having played with these frying pans I'll not complain again. With a bit of in game re-adjustment all came good and I scored a narrow victory for the tourists.