While on a recent trip to Sabah, Malaysia, as part of a Fam Trip along with the other travel bloggers of Travel.Earth, we were given the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities. We went rafting, zip lining, cruising and many more. While at our stay at the luxurious and absolutely stunning Shangri-La Rasa Ria, we were told that they were going to make sure we took part in as many of their activities during our short stay there as possible, from what I had read, they had many to choose from and I couldn’t wait to see what they had in store for us. We started off the day with sailing followed by the more aerial kind- parasailing. We then rushed to go kayaking, which left us exhausted but we were told that we still had one activity left to go- The Nature Walk. We all looked at each other apprehensively. How were we going to make it through this??? I for one was sore all over and was not looking forward to another physically challenging activity. That being said, we didn’t want to offend our absolutely wonderful hosts and agreed to go ahead with the Walk. We were asked to meet at the starting point to meet our guide, Leroy. Leroy gave us a basic safety briefing and told us that we were about to take the easiest trek which would take around 50 minutes and that halfway through the trek, we would stop at an observation deck for a breather and return back to the starting point. In all honesty, the only words I heard were ’50 minute trek’ and nothing else, all I wanted to do was lounge in the pool and then soak in our balcony hot tub with the sun in my face. I’ll admit, I was not a very happy camper when we the trek, fortunately, things got better.
We began our trek with a few tired steps and as we kept going, we slowly realized why we were told that we would regret skipping this particular activity. As we breathed in the fresh, clean air, the effect was almost instant. We started becoming more and more energetic and actually started enjoying ourselves. A few minutes into our trek, we came across a couple of hanging bridges that were enveloped by the surrounding trees with the sun seeping through the canopies. We each took a few minutes to pose and take some pictures as we had such a stunning backdrop. The view was absolutely breathtaking. After clicking our pictures and refueling ourselves with some much-needed H2O, we carried on our journey to the observation deck.
Throughout our entire walk, our guide Leroy was very informative and kept us motivated. We discovered his flair for accents due to his unique job which we tested and were especially impressed with his British and American accent. He had also told us that he had quite a few Indian friends which we were thrilled to hear. We enjoyed his company and pressed him for more stories about his job and the experiences that came with it and he obliged.
As we got on with our trek, the route started becoming more and more challenging. The stone pathways became mud pathways and our steps became more and more calculated in order to avoid falling over. Le Roy promised us that the halfway point was near. As we struggled forward, we could see in the distance, an elevated wooden observation deck with two levels. I quickened my pace and made my way to the top of the deck and as I looked around, I let out an audible gasp. The view around us was a culmination of all the beauty we had witnessed on all our previous days in Sabah. It was a panoramic view that consisted of the forest, the river, the private beach, all framed by the majestic mountain ranges. We tried in vain to capture all the beauty on our phone cameras and finally gave up and decided to enjoy it with our built-in cameras- our eyes- and took as many mental pictures as we could. We all sat in silence for a couple of minutes just taking it all in before we were told that we needed to head back before sunset. As I grudgingly headed back to down and continued our journey back to the hotel, our realized that out of all our activities, the Nature Walk most represented my trip to Sabah. Unassuming, rejuvenating, breathtaking and awe-inspiring, I was already planning my next trip back!