I took my friends’ advice and stepped away from the computer while in the Maldives, so now as I wait 9 hours for my connecting flights home (yes, more than one) at London’s Heathrow airport with my feet swolen from sunburn (not to mention the 11-hour flight from Male) and itchy, mosquito-bitten legs, I have some time to re-cap.
It’s actually been an amazing trip, I have to say. I’ll have to add the photos and videos later, as I can’t seem to upload anything from this computer.
Anyway, I came to the Maldives after traveling with my friend Neena in India. Having some extra time at the end of our trip, I decided to take advantage of my time and go somewhere beautiful. Knowing I’d probably run into a lot of honeymooners, I decided to just go to the Maldives anyway, because the photos I saw of the islands on the internet were simply amazing and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to see them, since these islands are so close to India.
Scenery-wise, the Maldives did not disappoint.
As soon as I touched down in the Maldives capital of Male, I was instantly happy when I felt the warm air of the country, and saw the brilliant shades of blue and white that made of the landscape of the islands.
It’s an interesting situation the Maldives are in; the islands are disappearing with the rising sea levels, to the point the even have a famous tourism slogan — “Come visit us, while you still can…”
On the way to the Maldives (from Sri Lanka, before my domestic seaplane ride) I sat next to an environmental engineer preparing to do some work in the Maldives. I asked him if the environment is a big issue there — he says it’s the ONLY issue there. The country’s main assets are its amazing beaches and they work very hard to keep them clean and attract tourism. No trash can go into their crystal clear blue waters. All waste is filtered and flown miles away where it’s dumped. (Not that’s the best solution…) There are strict guidelines as to the depth of the water and how much waste can be dumped at a time.
But while the Maldives are concious of their environmentalism (sort of?), they seem to be the victims of developed countries that have been wasteful and hurtful to the environment. As those countries continue to pollute the earth, raising the global temperature, the fist casualties of global warming will be the Maldives as they sink into the Indian Ocean.
The Maldives are a collection of atolls in the Indian Ocean; some inhabited, some developed, some untouched. I had to take a sea plane to Kuredu, the resort on which I stayed (the entire island is a resort! Even though it’s small, it’s the biggest resort island in the Maldives!) on the way, I had an incredible view of those atolls and what struck me as that many of them have already begun to sink. You can actually see the ring of coral around what is supposed to be an island…. but it’s not there. It’s underwater. Essentially, there are hundreds of these “island-less” islands and low-lying islands.
We made a pit-stop before arriving in Kuredu. This part amazed me — we basicly landed next to a tiny barge in the middle of the ocean, to drop off a couple!!!! It was the craziest drop-off I had ever seen!
Anyway, I arrived at my stop, Kuredu, a brilliantly colored island, and was shown to the reception area on my side of the island where I was served pineapple ice cream and shown to my room. I stayed in a water villa on stilts.
I noticed there were lots and lots of Europeans vacationing on the Maldives, especially from England, Ireland, France and Germany…. and the prices on the island reflect the strong currency of its most frequent travelers. This island is expensive!!!!!!!
As for Americans, I didn’t notice any there. I’d venture to say I was the only American on the island, probably because the Maldives are so far away from the United States. The staff was utterly confused by my American accent. It was hilarious to me that they had a difficult time figuring out where I’m from; and they said I spoke English very clearly. Funny.
I found the pool overlooking the beach, ordered some pasta and my first salad in weeks and enjoyed the view.
I also noticed that the Maldives has sharks swimming close to shore… but I was re-assured that they’re vegetarian and that the resort has never had a guest leave with a chunk bitten off an arm or leg.
I found the dive center where they had sign up sheets for snorkeling excursions. I met an older English couple. They were quite social and nice, so I signed up to go on the same afternoon snorkeling trip they chose the next day.
Then I wandered a bit until it got dark and went back to my water villa to crash.