Maldives

Finally got around to a new country this year. Two friends and I went to Maldives on 14th May 2014, and great fun was had by all.

We went to Male – the main island, Villinghili – an adjoining island, Maafushi – the island we stayed at, and Hulhumale – the island that adjoins the island with the airport.

We had half a day in Male before we went to Maafushi, so we covered a bit of Male, then went to Villinghili. This beach was superb, but we only discovered it after quite a stay on a pavement under a tree. The island was very calm, with no tourists at all on the roads (except us, that is). When we finally discovered the beach, we ran to the water and then just kept walking along the beach. It just kept getting better at each stop. The shade was very welcome, because the heat was somewhat unbearable. And it was on the beach that we found the tourists. (note of caution: no bikinis allowed on the beach because it is a local island).

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After a relaxed morning spent in beautiful surroundings, we took the ferry back to Male, to have lunch with my friend’s uncle. This was at the artificial beach, all the way on the other side of the island from where we were, and where we needed to come back to. The lunch at Lemongrass sea view was wonderful, spicy and tasty, a pre-requisite for Sri Lankans.

The ferry to Maafushi was to leave at 3, and we sent decided to walk. We did manage it, which was a 3.9km walk, but just barely, and with a run at the end. Note of caution here is if you are going to walk, leave early! 🙂
The ferry ride was uneventful but seeing the island looming up 1.5hrs later, from the top of the ferry, was a good experience. We were picked up on arrival by staff of Holiday Lodge, and escorted to the hotel. The place was small but beautiful, and well kept. We were given a welcome drink, and the Guest Relations Manager explained the water activities. We got three bikes, and rode around the island that evening, and it was a joyous experience.

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The island is even smaller than Male, so it took us very little time to cover it. We had asked for dinner outside, and when we returned, we were pleasantly surprised at how much the staff had gone out of their way to make it pleasant for us. They had set it up on the edge of the road, overlooking the water, and right under a street light. This was the highlight of the trip for me.

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The next day we went snorkeling, and the others loved it. I struggled, because I have a horror of things in my mouth. I nearly gagged, and it took me a while to be comfortable. However, we all got to see sections of the reef, and it was a good experience. However, if you are intending to try this, get your gear right, get used to the gear, and then attempt it. We had problems with our gear at one point, and its not pleasant in the middle of the ocean!  The session left us jubilant but tired, so after lunch we napped – at least two of us did, while the third kept yelling at us to wake up! 🙂 It was straight to jet skis after the nap, so we were out of the hotel by 4, but the place we were renting from was closed, and so we decided to cycle around. Best decision, as we found a stretch of beach we had not found before. It was beautiful!

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We just got into the water in the clothes we were cycling in, and spent our evening there. It was just divine!

That night, we decided to eat out, and we found another restaurant with a beach area, and had pizza and burgers, and rice. Got caught to the rain and had to seek shelter in the enclosed area, but it was a great dinner. And the three of us were so well connected that it felt perfect. We ended the evening eating Belgian Chocolate ice cream.

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The next day, we left early to catch the 7.30am ferry back to Male, and took the top deck. Seeing the ferry plow through the water, and dolphins twirling mid-air in front of you is a beautiful experience, and one which I am glad I did not miss. We also went to Hulhumale in the evening, and were mesmerised by the beauty of the beach and waters. Like my friend Chaithri says, with Maldivian beaches, you are guaranteed a good picture wherever you point the camera, and no matter who points the camera.

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A lovely, lovely holiday it was!

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