The third day of our stay in Sabah (17 May 2006) saw us being picked up at 7am from our hotel on a 2-hour van ride southwest (again) to Beaufort (pronounced Bow-fort). What's this all about? Whitewater rafting on the Padas River. Woohoo!!
We arrived at Beaufort railway station at about 9.15am and we were told that we'll be catching the 10.00am train. This gave us some time to walk around the quiet town of Beaufort. Our train was delayed and we had little else to do except to observe curiously the way of the locals on the platform. This was time well spent.
[Chicken Fertiliser a.k.a. chicken feed Beaufort-style]
[Bus on rails: Our delayed train is similar to this one, as basic trains can get]
When our train finally arrived at about 10.30am, we started on a rustic train ride south which took us upstream. The train snaked along the Padas River, making its way into the interior of Sabah. Scenery along the way was quite charming. After about an hour, we made a 10-minute 'pit stop' at Rayoh Station. This was for us to keep our belongings as this would be the location where the rafting ends later.
After this, we had to endure another 30 minutes on the train before we arrived at Pangi Station, the starting point of our rafting expedition. The guides distributed life jackets, helmets and paddles (oars), and gave a briefing. There were some interesting rules and techniques to follow, e.g. about body rafting (when you're overboard) and how to use the paddles.
After the formalities, we were off!
[Here it comes... and...]
We fought rapid after rapid, taking in the water and savouring every toss and turn the rapids made. They had funny names too like Cobra, Washing Machine, Scooby Doo, etc. There were instances when the raft was tossed so high, we could hardly paddle the water. There were other rafts on this trip and some even capsized (some done on purpose upon request :o)).
The rafting lasted about an hour, maybe more. The river was rather swift as it rained the night before. We exited the river at Rayoh Station and had a sumptuous lunch of barbecue chicken, roast lamb, sausages, fried rice, noodles, fruits, etc.
After lunch we caught the 2.30pm train from Rayoh Station back to Beaufort and from thereon a van back to Kota Kinabalu. Mom, Dad, Angie and I, we all had a really splashing of a good time. Woohoo!!