Thursday, November 24, 2005

Maldives

Wow! Maldives is paradise! I suppose before I go into too much praise I must admit that aside from Isla Margherita in Venezuela, I've never been to a tropical island or resort. Not even Mexico or Hawaii if you can believe it, so I guess you'll have to take all I say with a grain of salt......
We had a great time, our "island resort" was very relaxing and informal so we just hung out and did a lot of nothing while we were there.
The Maldives are a collection of 200 something, mostly small, islands scattered along a line of about 150 miles or so, an hours flight off the southwest coast of India. About 88 islands are inhabited I believe, half being tourist resorts. The airport is it's own island, just a single runway and a couple buildings when seen from above. The capital city, Male, is just across the water. Almost all transport is by motorboat though the farther islands are serviced by float plane. We were greeted at the airport after our arrival and thrown onto a speedboat for our 1hr ride to our resort. The water is so incredibly clear it is unbelievable. Walk out of the airport to the boat docks and look down and there's our saltwater fishtank from home. Totally. Clear light blue water and white sand ringing each island on the inside of the reefs and fish everywhere. On our ride out to our resort we passed lots of other resorts but they looked really crowded or busy with all their little bungalows. We chose Asdu resort because it was small and didn't have all the crazy, unnecessary facilities like a gym and tennis courts. We also went so spur of the moment as in a couple more weeks all the prices double and the resorts are all fully booked so this was really our only chance to go.
I don't know how to describe it. You'll have to see the pictures or look it up on the internet. Our island was about 300m long and 80m wide. It had a single little dock, a central reception and restaurant/bar building and about 30 rooms lined up, most set back a little from the beach. The ground is sand, constantly being swept by the staff, and there are lots of coconut palms and a few other trees providing plenty of shade. The noisiest thing on the island are the huge fruit bats that constantly scream at each other, but there are a few other birds kicking around too. The whole island is surrounded by a reef so the water is really clear, and only knee deep until you hit the reef about 50m off shore. They also have a tiny dive shop for the scuba divers, kayakers and wind surfers but we just rented some snorkel gear and puttered around. Amazing. There are so many fish. I think I spotted all of the ones from the pet stores and plenty more besides. There are lots of different types of crabs, some running on the restaurant floor. We also spotted dolphins, flying fish (they are so cool), a huge puffer fish and rays.
It was sunny and ~30C the whole time though the sun is really really hot. The best part is that the water is about 25-26C so you don't even notice when you walk into the water as it is about the same temperature. Forget working on our tans, I got sunburnt so fast on the first hour of the first day that I am still purple. Forget red, I'm way beyond red. We all forgot about the photosensitivity side effects of doxycycline. Damn. Bre, cannot get colour no matter how hard she tries. She spent tons of time in the sun, unprotected and photosensitive and is still white. Lucky, but so unlucky.....
As the entire island is a beach, everyone claimed their own little area and we didn't see anyone else. We had our own corner where we could sit all day and watch both the sunrise and sunset. There were anywhere from 20-35 guests while we were there and about 30 staff though you'd never know. It felt like there was us and maybe 10 others total on the island. We only ever saw people at the meals and never talked to anyone... As you can imagine meals were all fish based but really good. I think my stomach isn't quite used to "normal" food anymore though.... We didn't talk to any of the other guests because almost all of them were Italian. Each island tends to cater to a particular group so we were at an Italian island apparently. Really only European tourists come all the way out here so no Canadian island available. Maybe we could buy one, there are still a few for sale......
We flew out yesterday to Sri Lanka. We arrived at Colombo airport and immediately got a taxi for the 3 hr ride inland to Kandy, where we are now. Everyone seems to travel around here by hiring a car and guide but we don't have a full plan yet. Sri Lanka has just had an election and unlike other times this one has not met with much violence so we are lucky so far. They are having unseasonal rains right now too, which are also affecting the south east of India, so most of Sri Lanka seems to be flooded and a mess and there is currently a big thunderstorm outside as I type. It should improve soon but things might be a mess for a while....
Ammon

1 Comments:

At 10:54 PM , Anonymous Sandra said...

So you guys are there, eh? I read this entry again ... was too tired to leave a message last night...

Sandra still the Sandra, starts her morning with her coffee, dreaming during the day in the lab, and keeps dreaming at night after home. Yes Ammon I am still having my coffee on my way to work..but I swing my mood less now...at least I try...what do you think? You want to laugh... hah..
You did a really great job here, I really enjoy reading this entry.. oh of course your other entries as well.. Looking forward for reading the next one. Keep up your great work. Email is coming soon :)

Vancouver is now a bit different though. Leaves burn gold, died and fall. Only branches stay in the chilled air, pretty foggy the past few days, too. Mountains are topped with snow, people with thick jackets, gloves and scarf. People are getting ready for Christmas here… Christmas drinks are out couple weeks ago, but I did not try any yet. Sparkling everywhere, Christmas cookies from Starbucks look good too. Very pretty!!… I am looking forward for the Christmas (esp the holidays.. vacation...)
Talk to you guys again soon…
Take care n HAVE FUN..without me Hah...Sandra vanishes…

Luv n hugs,
Sandra

 

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