Friday, September 28, 2012

It COULD have been worse!

I'm sitting on the edge of my seat - not out of eagerness, but in order to reduce the pain ...

The weather has gone weird. One minute there is no horizon where the silky ocean melts into the sky, and there is not a breath of breeze. Then we hear a rumble in the distance. Soon the wind starts, blowing first from one direction and then swinging around to another. Clouds appear, and sometimes storm systems appear to collide in the swirling winds and flashing lightning. And then there is the downpour ....
And everyone says it looks like the monsoon might come early this year (not that anyone ever really knows, but they like to guess). Which means the islands will soon close, and we need to get out there as much as we can.

Our main man on Kapas, Zai, has quit his job - too many Europeans turning up in his restaurant demanding breakfast at 7am. So we have started looking around at the other resorts.

Kapas Beach Chalet (above) is a pleasant resort with heaps of interesting greenery.

This time we got hold of Hans, at the "Kapas Beach Chalet", and booked one of his cabins. (We have visited there before, but never stayed in the cabins there.)

When we got on the speedboat on the mainland, we were joined by three other couples, including a lady who was carried on by her partner, and was accompanied by a wheelchair and various other bits of paraphernalia.

Thinking she was very brave to go to a sandy island in a wheelchair, we soon noticed her very Australian (Perth) accent and got talking.

Here we are just setting off from Marang on the mainland (above).

We found that she was a triathlete living in Kuala Lumpur up until last November when a car drove into her on her bike, breaking her back. With great determination she has regained a lot of mobility after the original diagnosis that she would be a quadriplegic, and looks forward to eventually walking again. Having lived in Malaysia for a number of years and frequently visiting Kapas, this was her first return to the island since her accident. We found her and her friends charming to talk to - and thoroughly enjoyed hearing Aussie accents for a change - so we said we would come and visit them in their resort later in the day.

Our chalet is the second on the left (above).

We settled into our quaint little chalet, and went for a swim. The ocean - as usual - was warm and clear, and the fishes seemed glad to see us! Returning to the chalet, Peter headed down the cement steps into our chalet bathroom ...

... and slipped. He hit his back and hip on the corner/edge of the steps, banged his head on the wall, and somehow (we are not sure how) broke the sink off the wall. I stood there thinking about our new friend in the wheelchair, and wondering how broken Peter was.

He was okay - few funny looking bruises, but not too much pain. We managed to re-attach the sink, but not the drain part - everything flows out through a hole at the bottom of the wall anyway.

We wandered down to see our Aussie friends in the "Qimi" resort - one where we have never (yet) stayed, and found the two men were not there, only the two ladies. They had left some vital medication in Kuala Lumpur and the two men had taken a boat back to the mainland and driven frantically back to KL to get it (5 hours each way!) and were hoping to be back during the night. So we spent a couple of happy hours keeping our new friend company.

The reception area at Qimi Resort - many of the facilities here are built in stone (above).

Relaxing in the restaurant at Qimi's until the storm passes (above).

Just as we were leaving, the thunder rumbled and the rain crashed down, so we sat in the restaurant a while. Then we took a look around and booked ourselves a room there for next week! (They are quite a bit more expensive than the other resorts, but very nice and we are looking forward to the change.)

Our friend decided to join us in the restaurant, so one of the local men was roped in to transport her from her room to the restaurant.

Qimi staff bring our friend to join us in the restaurant (below).

This morning, I got up to go for my 7am swim - as I usually do when we stay on Kapas. It was a rather grey-looking morning, and I didn't really feel like a swim, but I know that I always feel so good after ...

The water was a little cool and looked clear, but there were things hitting me all over - it was like swimming in soup. One or two of them made my skin sting a little - the water was full of tiny, tiny jellyfish - I remember this happened once before.

Feeling a little disgruntled after such a short and not so pleasant swim, I headed down the steps into our bathroom...

I could not believe it as my head hit the wall, there was a searing pain in my hip and bum (below the tail-bone, fortunately) and I turned around to see that somehow I had knocked the sink off the wall again - no memory of touching it!

Back home on the mainland now, sitting on the edge of my chair because sitting back puts pressure on my bruises.

But it COULD have been much much worse!!