Mañana

Floating on my back in warm crystal clear seas, I look back on the white tropical beach at our basic cabana. Just metres from the shore, Jane is swinging gently on a hammock stretched across a timber balcony. There are half a dozen other cabanas and a rustic shelter posing as a laidback bar restaurant staffed by laidback locals. Large broad-leafed trees provide dappled shade in the middle of the day. As the sun sets over languid seas we smile and chat to two other backpackers over a cold beer.

Swinging in the hammock

Swinging in the hammock

At the time of our stay there was a small English run scuba and snorkeling business operating there. I took part in some offshore snorkeling over some coral reefs teaming with small colourful fish. The business closed down, although things may have changed since then. Kayaks for hire also passed the time. This place lives up to the cliché of paradise and yet it was actually an afterthought. We were in Sabah, Malaysia to climb Kinabalu, at 4000 metres, the highest mountain in South East Asia. We had a bit of time after a big dose of altitude so what better place than a beach to chill out. Flicking through a Lonely Planet Book featuring Malaysia, we found our patch of paradise. Apparently, an American was staying here and kept postponing his departure date saying mañana, and the name has stuck. To get to Manana Borneo Resort, we caught a taxi from busy KK (Kota Kinabalu). The winding drive took about an hour, followed by a 10-minute boat ride to the resort. Although not an island, there is no public road access to the private beach. By Sabah resort standards, prices are very reasonable. Our cabin featured a mosquito net, comfortable double bed and flushing toilet and cold shower. We spent 3 nights here and nearly fell under the Manana spell. How about another night Jane?

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