(Finally finished this post!)
Here are some pics from our first ever 3D2N Unit Retreat in Bintan. Though many of us have been together as a unit for almost 2 years now (INK’s, Chris’ & KC’s CGs), we have never had any chalet outings or retreats before. This was one of those rare opportunities for us to just hang out, free and easy style, and let our hair down (doesn’t apply to me for obvious reasons). It was also through this trip that I got to see the crazy side of some IslandHopies (you know who you are!). More on that later! *Heh*
The morning we were supposed to meet at the Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal started uneventfully enough. All seemed to be going smoothly until it was Juergen’s turn to cross the checkpoint. Suddenly, he realized that one of his green cards (either the Student Pass or Embarkation & Disembarkation Card) was missing. After much panic and many a silent prayer from us folks who could only watch helplessly from across the checkpoint, there were sighs of relief all around when he finally emerged with his card. The lady at the check-in counter apparently dropped it on the floor while she was processing our huge bunch of passports earlier. The first miracle of the trip had occurred!
Us on the 2nd deck of the ferry on what was to be a 1 hour ride. We passed the time by doing what we do best – taking photos!
We arrived at Teluk Sebung at around half past noon and didn’t take very long to clear customs. While queueing, we again did what we do best – take photos. It also helped that Ashley was having a lot of fun with her mum’s oversized hat.
IslandHope’s Cover Girl
Thankfully, there was no drama this time around and when we got through, a friendly resort staff was there waiting to greet us.
Welcome Priscilla Tham & … who? Who?! What does the sign say?? It’s been bugging me all night! *hyuks*
I don’t remember that eagle being there the last time Zhiyi and I visited.
Happy slapping – this is how it should be done.
After another brief ride on a bus chartered by the hotel, we arrived at Nirwana Gardens Resort only to find out that a huge crowd had just checked-out and many of the rooms wouldn’t be ready till much later. Nonetheless, time flew by pretty quickly as we passed the time by snapping pictures and having lunch.
Our accomodation in the background.
I like how the pool looks like it is stretching out into the ocean.
A rare photo with me in it! I spent a lot of time in that pool thanks to some people…
As it was raining in the afternoon, we spent most of the day in and around the hotel. Merv and Chris went to try their hand at archery and I must admit that they were pretty good at it. I was a little disappointed though that they didn’t try any tricks like shooting blindfolded or two arrows at once.
It’s pretty obvious from the photo below that I’ve never tried this before. Just look at that wussy way I draw the arrow!
Right next door, the air rifle gang were doing their rounds. It’s ironic that though you expect guys to be good at guns, they were summarily out-gunned by the girls. Leading the way was “beginner after beginner luck” Pris who popped one tin after another and Zhiyi “I used to be in NCC” cooly hitting the target on ALL tries!
This lady definitely deserves her stripes.
All that exercise carrying the baby has definitely given Zhiyi steady arms (all the better to hold a gun with!)
Gab’s really much better at this in Battlefield than in real life (thank God!)
While we were busy doing target practice, Ashley managed to keep herself entertained looking at a fountain nearby. I don’t know what’s so hilarious about water sprouting up from the ground but she was in stiches for a good minute or two.
And when was the last time something so simple in life could make you laugh so hard?
The afternoon shower eventually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Once the rain had cleared and the sun came out, we were able to enjoy beautiful blue skies and clear fresh air.
Not a trace of the haze in sight.
This is sure to give Ashley a tan.
From there on, the day passed pretty quickly with a game of Captain’s Ball at the pool followed by dinner at the poolside cafe. Half of the unit folks decided to go out to the kelong for dinner (seafood!) while half of us chose to remain at the hotel. I guess after the really tiring workout at the pool, I wanted to be within walking distance of my bed! Dinner was not too bad and we were able to enjoy live music from a traditional instrument and dance group.
Romantic poolside dinner for seven. 😛 Can you make out the traditional music band in the background?
After the performance, some of the dancers gave out flowers. Seeing how Ashley is too young for earrings, this will do for now!
We ended the day by taking a short stroll by the beach. The tide happened to be coming in and the sound of the waves lapping against the shore with the cool evening breeze blowing just filled us with so much tranquility. How nice to be able to stay in a house that is facing the sea and being able to hear the sound of the ocean every night. *Yawn*! I guess this is what those people who paid millions of dollars for bungalows at Sentosa will be able to enjoy…
This hammock isn’t big enough for Pris and Ashley, so guess who got kicked off!