Existing Member?

I'm not at work today

I'm sure i am...

MALAYSIA | Thursday, 13 August 2009 | Views [647]


Getting off the bus at the main carnival landing site I was greeted by the intriguing looks of school kids at the bus stop. This wasn’t a surprise as the carnival site was the local school.
Meeting up with the local pilots, a few of whom I had met before, we jumped into a 4x4 and headed off to the landing zone nearest the ridge and take off. Asked if I wanted to fly I replied “Nah!” All I wanted was a shower and a cold beer. A few hours later the pilots had landed and we made our way to the festival accommodation.

This turned out to be a “typical Malay village homestead experience”, so I got to sleep on the floor of a hut. As alcohol was banned all I got was a shower! The price of the weekend was only 50RM (£8.70) but the actual cost was a lot higher than that. Thanks must go to the state government and the Malaysian tourist board that had heavily subsidised it. For the money you got

Four nights accommodation
Breakfast, lunch and diner
Free transport to take off
Free recovery from landing
Free transport to and from kuala lumpur international airport

And of course the chance to win the top cash prize of nearly £600 if you came 1st In the flight endurance challenge…I wasn’t holding out any hope of winning that!

The next morning it was up early and after breakfast off to take off for 6 hours of parawaiting! The wind was coming from every direction except the one we needed to take off from. Thankfully there were several shade marquees to lounge under but it was still damn hot. It was approaching 4pm when the wind finally settled down in the right direction and people started to take off.

With about 15 people in the sky I took of and all I got was that sinking feeling! Well a 5 minute flight is better than no flight at all. The landing zone at the bottom of the ridge is a series of dirt tracks winding their way through the terraces of a newly planted palm tree plantation. The roads are in all directions so no matter which way the wind is blowing a place to land is easy to find.

I had set up a nice long approach glide following one of the tracks (in a nil wind environment) and was gently coming into land. A few metres above the ground I was drifting away from the middle of the track and out towards the edge. Weight shifting to the right with my brakes fully on I came into land with the knowledge that the landing would require several steps to run off the speed but nothing too serious or strenuous.

My right foot hit the track, my left hit the slightly softer ground on the edge of the track. I was halfway through my next stride when it came to my attention that I was unable to move my left leg (turns out it was trapped under a rock)…bugger! The right hand side of my body smacked into the dirt and gravel of the track before I tumbled ass over tit, coming to a rest on my back. I lifted up my head and looked at my left leg. Somehow the laces of the boot were facing me whilst the toes were pointing downwards to the left and my ankle bone was “resting” on the cuff of the boot pushing against the skin. “That’s going to need surgery” I said to myself.

Then the pain hit me…..

I wailed for help and then through gritted teeth kept on saying fuck, fuck, fuck me, fuck it hurts, oh fuck me it hurts, fuck it, fuck……….

The rescue team’s 4x4 turned up very quickly and the looks on all three of their faces were far from reassuring!!!!

30 minutes later I was in the A&E of the local hospital and yes the pain in my ankle was still there. X-rays followed then a bed and a decent amount of painkillers. By 20:20 the drugs had worn off and the pain returned with a vengeance. The 1st two shots of drugs really were far from effective and it took an hour of searing pain till I managed to persuade them for a 3rd hit. This time they changed the drug and it worked.

At 11pm I was wheeled into a room and they explained that the nice man standing in the corner would be manually putting my ankle back into place. After seeing the look on my face they assured me that they would give me a painkilling injection 1st…phew! The drug worked really well and my smiling euphoric face watched as the man grabbed hold of my ankle and foot, pulled then clicked my ankle back into position. Then a cast was put on and I was wheeled back to the ward, my bed and a drug induced stupor that lasted till the morning.

Come the morning came the x-rays and the doctors. The x-ray showed that I had broken my fibula (news to me!) about 5 inches below the knee and also that I had chipped a chunk of bone off my ankle that would need securing back into place with either a screw or a plate. When they started to discuss surgery times I interrupted them. “Thanks but no thanks” I said “I’m going back to England ASAP and have the surgery done there”. At 1st they were all against it but when I pointed out that I was actually travelling they relented. They had assumed that I was in fact an Ex-pat!

As I was travelling they gave me a very safe cast that came halfway up my thigh and weighed several kilos. On Saturday afternoon I was discharged and I managed to get a flight on Sunday afternoon back to England via Hong Kong.

My sister was waiting for me when I came through the arrivals gate at 05:36 Monday morning

About sfau

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries

My trip journals



Travel Answers about Malaysia

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.