As soon as we stepped out of the hotel shuttle, we were welcomed by the warm and friendly staff with a bang on the gong and a very interesting glass of iced-tea that had a kiamuy (dried plum) floating in it. Beyond the big and sunny lobby was the sprawling grounds which stretched to the white sandy beach. It was just as beautiful as the photos online promised and I felt a pang of regret that we only booked one night here. Nevertheless, I was determined to make the most of it.
The next hour and a half was just wild! It felt as if my thumb acquired a mind of it's own as it pressed hard on the gas. The helmets prevented us from hearing anything over the roar of the engines, which only enhanced the experience. We maneuvered our lean mean red machines along narrow and slippery trails and plunged into puddles of mud. Every once in a while we would emerge into a clearing for a minute or two before driving into yet another dense part of the jungle. We passed a herd of cows who didn't seem too happy about the noise barrage we inflicted on them.
We thanked our hostess and climbed back on our ATVs, ready to take on the more challenging trails. This consisted of very narrow paths that we had to squeeze through and involved a lot of ducking and swerving to avoid low tree limbs and branches that threatened to skin us alive. We made it back to the beach in time to catch the sunset. After taking the requisite pictures, we were given fifteen minutes to fool around with our bikes up and down the shoreline. We raced to the river, drew circles on the sand, and satisfied our need for speed! :)
Freestyling on the beach
By the time we were through we were filthy and worn. Our legs were caked with mud. Our clothes, hair and faces were spattered with mud and sand but we were happy. We borrowed the gardener's water hose and we cleaned up as best we could before meeting up with the rest of the gang for cocktails at Coast (the hotel's restaurant/bar located out near the beach).
The next day, while having breakfast at the Coffee Terrace, we met the most colorful member of the resort's staff (below). He pranced around proudly, totally showing-off. He even obliged the guests by posing for pictures. And when no one was minding him, he squawked loud. He was beautiful and he deserved to be noticed! :)
Sadly, it was time to say goodlbye to Rasa Ria and to Sabah. Before we boarded the vans that would take us to the airport, the staff serenaded us with the Rasa Ria farewell song that had us all in tears. What a nice bunch of people! I wouldn't think twice about coming back here someday.