Nikoi Island : Day #2, 7th Nov 2009
It rained last night, with lightning and thunder. It didn’t cause any problems for us since our beach house was in superb condition. Just more bugs I guess? Woke up at 8am, had breakfast at 9am.
Turns out we were among the latest to have breakfast. First was sliced fruits – mango, watermelon and pineapple. Then, they served freshly-made bread and donuts. In addition, we ordered sunny-side up eggs, bacon and sausage. All of this washed down with coffee and watermelon juice! And, there were complimentary milk and cereal which we were too full to even consider eating. Talk about a hearty breakfast eh?
Hmm. No pictures of the beach house yet? Here you go, starting from our room at the second level. As I’ve mentioned, mostly everything are made of wood as you can see. Even down to the little details like the door lock, the supporting beams and the roof.
There’s actually a bathroom on the second level, but no pictures of it. A look at what’s located at the first level :
Finished breakfast and strolled back to our beach house for a little tanning session. The weather was excellent as we lay on our private sun-loungers that were right in front of our beach house. Talk about convenience huh?
Spent about an hour under the sun with my ipod Touch and a magazine. Decided that was enough for now and went to grab a quick shower before lunch. Lunch at Nikoi is typically Asian cuisine, while dinner is Western. One thing to mention is that you do not get to order your meals here at Nikoi. However, if you do not eat what’s on the menu for the day, you’re free to inform the staff of your preference.
Lunch consisted of beef salad for starters. Main course was steamed rice, Thai-style beef curry and kai lan. And to top it off, mango dessert! Yummy. As usual, we had a little chat with fellow guests during lunch. Headed for a short walk around the island after lunch to burn off all the calories we’re accumulating!
Some sculptures that are found around the island :
Sandy paths on the island :
The sun, the sand and the sea :
Decided to explore the island in the afternoon, and I dislocated my elbow.
Yup, as much as it sucks, it did happen. Shan & I actually walked through the jungle trail from beach house #15 along the east coast of Nikoi, where we emerged at the Mangrove Swamp. (click here to see map) The white dots that says “access at low tide only” are in fact rocky coastal area. During low tide, the rocks would be exposed and we could actually walk along north-east coast. So there we were, where we could already see the wooden boardwalk.
One moment I was standing there, the next I had slipped after stepping on a large piece of rock. I don’t really remember how it happen, it was too fast. Somehow, I must have broken my fall with my right palm. The speed at which it happened must have produced quite a force, popping my right elbow out of its socket. (Trivial : In adults, elbow dislocations are second only to shoulder dislocations in frequency)
Almost immediately after it happened, I knew something was wrong. I looked at my right elbow, and my first thought was “Fracture? Bloody h*ll better not be!” Taking a closer look, I realized the elbow socket looked funny – the usually bony pointed end had a weird concave appearance instead. SH*T! I immediately knew what it was even though it has not happened to me before. Guess you could call it a medic’s instinct.
By now, Shan was understandably rather flustered by the whole incident. My adrenaline was kicking in and truthfully, there was no pain at all, yet. I knew I need to get to a place where I could sit down and get some medical attention, and I told Shan we’ll need to go forward and hopefully the wooden boardwalk is really near and there is freaking somebody there!
Before I continue, let me say that the staff of Nikoi was amazing and I am eternally grateful for all the help they had rendered during my unfortunate accident. Thank you Nikoi! Also, thank you Anne! You’re amazing, and I’m sorry for disrupting your time with your family! Thank you to all the guests of Nikoi who showed your concern!
The wooden boardwalk was indeed very near, and sure enough we caught the attention of a Nikoi’s staff who happened to be stationed at the Pool Bar. I think his name is Sammy? Sorry man, we must have gave you quite a scare. He quickly realized what had happened, and led us to Yogi’s Bar instead. It must have been the central area for handling emergency, and they must have an emergency procedure or something, I told myself.
The truth be told, I wasn’t thinking much by now. All I knew was that I need to get to wherever it is before I start getting light-headed once the adrenalin rush fades. It looks far on the map, but its pretty much a 5-10 minutes walk until we reached Yogi’s bar. I sat down, slightly light-headed by now. I must have drank an entire glass of water. Sheesh, I still have no idea why people in distress always drinks water.
Not sure who was the one, but Yogi definitely attended to me, giving me a blanket and checking with me what actually happened. He also helped to clean a couple of superficial wounds I had suffered along the way.
Now, this is the part that gets interesting. A couple of hours earlier, Shan & I had seen a group of Nikoi’s staff taking a group photo with a Caucasian lady. Each of them was holding a certificate in their hands. While we were puzzled earlier, we were not intrigued enough to find out what it was.
Lucky Me #1 : You are not going to believe this – the Caucasian lady is a first-aid trainer. She had just conducted a few-hours first-aid course on administering first-aid and emergency protocol a few hours earlier. Man, what are the odds of that happening. I had just become a live-demo case for Nikoi Island! And because this training was just conducted, everyone knew what to do and how to react, which meant I was able to get help as soon as possible.
Lucky Me #2 : Apparently, Anne was still on the island! They had gone to get her. Meanwhile, people started appearing out of nowhere and coming forward to take a look at what’s happening. There must have been like 20 people or something? I certainly didn’t know so many people worked on the island.
After a few minutes, Anne came along. I have to say, she is a really amazing lady. From our chats with her, we learnt that she is actually a first-aid and CPR instructor! Before moving to Singapore, her profession was a nurse back in London.
I could pretty much understand everything behind her actions, perhaps due to my basic training as a medic. She was talking to myself and Shan, understanding the situation and at the same time, assuring us and making us comfortable. She was also checking my right arm for blood circulation and my sense of touch. She then helped to ice my elbow area to reduce the swelling, which will help in popping my elbow back into the socket later. After some mis-communications, we finally figured out the plan.
Lucky Me #3 : At that point in time, there was a boat available that was headed for Bintan mainland! People who were on the boats looked more like locals than guests. We’d take a boat to Bintan mainland, where we would consult a traditional massage therapist who can help to pop my elbow back into position.
Lucky Me #4 : The massage therapist lives only 5-minutes from the jetty! The hospital, in comparision, was 45-minutes away. Previously, he had helped Suhud, one of Nikoi’s staff when he fell from a tree and dislocated his elbow. No harm giving it a try, we thought. Anne was nice enough to accompany us, and I was happy to let her as I thought some company would be great for Shan.
I was afraid I might get light-headed and more importantly not wanting to move my injured elbow, I was happy to let them stretcher me. Thus, we began our arduous journey to seek help. While not deserted, Nikoi isn’t exactly the most accessible of places in Bintan. We back-tracked our journey – meaning we have to take a mini-speedboat, transfer onto a larger boat for a 30-minutes ride to Bintan mainland, then transfer onto a car for a 5-minutes ride to a rainbow-coloured house for treatment. Throughout the journey, every little bump and vibration would set off a tingling sensation if I’m lucky, or a nagging ache if I’m not lucky.
Amazing colours for a house! What can I say? Amazing house for an amazing man. The massage therapist was good! Extremely good! He looked at me and my arm, did a little smile, straightened my arm a little and did his thing in like 5 seconds?! I swear there was no pain, and I think it kind of caught everyone by surprise that it was over so quickly!
He proceeded to give an incredibly painful ointment rub on my arm/elbow, and all I could do was give a mixture of laughter and stuttering while enduring the pain. A quick bandage and it was a done deal. Throughout my whole ‘ordeal’, the wife and young daughter were just sitting there like they’ve seen this a million times. What an experience huh?
“Terima Kasih.” I offered my thanks once again as we left the place. With my elbow back where it should be, I was well enough to walk. Mansud, dressed in his home-clothes, (I guess it might have been his off-day of something? I’m beginning to be embarrassed for troubling so many people) drove us back to the jetty.
Lucky Me #5 : There, Suhud, Anne, Shan and I waited for Tommy, who had joined Nikoi for only 1 month. He has a wonderful smile! He helps with the water sports at Nikoi and that night, the speedboat that they normally use had just been fitted with a new motor (the tiny speedboat was just an ad-hoc measure) and would be driven back to Nikoi!
We got on the speedboat and it whisked us away into the night. It was a surreal experience – over our head was the most beautiful carpet of stars we’ve ever seen. The sky was totally clear and there we were, riding on this speedboat, with Tommy navigating the boat with one hand, using his mobile phone on the other. From time to time, he would use a high-powered torchlight to check ahead to ensure we’re not gonna hit some rocks or anything. Man, I don’t know what to say.. Cool huh?
The return jouney took less time, courtesy of the new motor. Frankly speaking, we weren’t even sure we had reached Nikoi until we felt the boat slowing down. The island was totally shrouded in darkness, except for a lighted torch and a couple of torchlight that Nikoi’s staff were waving to signal to Tommy. Once again, we’ll need to get off the boat at the sandy beach instead of the jetty due to the low tide.
For once, the master-of-surprise (that would be me) was surprised! Once we reached Yogi’s Bar, we thought that finally everything was over. All of a sudden, Nikoi’s staff surrounded us and started singing a birthday song! I think Shan was more suprised than I was, and it was truly unexpected and such a stark contrast to the earlier events that we were kind of lost for words. This certainly put a smile back on our faces! Really appreciated it =) Thanked everyone again and off we went back to our room to take a shower and settle down.
Shall not bore anyone with the mundane details but let’s just say, it’s a b*tch to do anything with a right arm that’s practically useless. My right arm was so sore and weak that it’s literally just hanging by the side or resting in the sling all day. All thanks to Shan that I managed to survive on Nikoi until we left for Singapore. Thanks baby!
Lucky Me #6 : Nikoi’s staff was thoughtful enough to come to our beach house to ask if we wanted to dine at the beach house instead, which I happily accepted. Guess what’s for dinner? Salad, grilled fish with de-shelled prawns and banana cake! Food can’t get any easier to eat than that for an one-armed guy! Phew, no steak, no lamb, no chicken-chop for today.
Amidst all the horror and excitement, I guess I’ve forgotten to mention how good the service at Nikoi is. Everyone is generally friendly and it’s not difficult to find a smile on their faces. Some of the staff may speak limited English but it is not a big problem. Our orders (fruit juices & cocktails) and special requests (to serve fish instead of beef) were right on target without any problems.
I really appreciate their thoughtfulness for the surprise birthday song and their offer (I was in fact going to ask) to serve dinner at my beach house instead. Instead of serving everything at once, he (I think his name was Fitra?) came back an hour later just to bring us our banana cake, which was really nice even though I would not have wanted to trouble him for it.
A nice and quiet dinner to calm our nerves after a hectic and eventful day. We’re happy to just lie on our bed and rest early for the day.
Nikoi Island : Relaxed By Nature