I have the definite impression that everyone is leaving for the Maldives this holiday season!
Here’s how a destination becomes fashionable thanks to/because of the pandemic, when borders keep closing.
Will you go?
Well, don’t worry, let me give you reasons not to be sorry about it J.
I was in the Maldives on New Year’s Eve. But in 2010…
At the time, it was a big thing to get there. When you heard someone went, you’d sincerely envied him!
My friends and I got there by mistake… By mistake I say, because we waited until the last moment with the New Year’s holiday, so we couldn’t find a place anywhere. So we decided to go to the Maldives for a week.
We bought our tickets in December. Smart, what can I say?… We took what places we found, on an island that was not very pretentious. Of course, we found places for totally nonsensical flights, 3 flights per direction, with a huge transfer, that made us die of boredom. And as for the price, it’s better that I don’t remember it, or I will not get sleep for some nights again.
THE REPUBLIC OF MALDIVES
I searched a lot on the map to see where in God’s name are the Maldives and I could hardly find them in the Indian Ocean. (Now it’s easy to find them, as you zoom in on the net very easily.)
The Republic of Maldives, as they call it, is an island state. The archipelago has 26 atolls (when I was there, I had read there were 19!) Atoll = group of islands in the shape of a ring, formed by the deposition of coral skeletons and often with a lagoon in the middle.
The 26 atolls form a territory that contains over 1,100 islands, out of which only about 200 are inhabited! This is heaven, my man! (Do you think they sell whole islands? I would be interested…)
On this trip to the Maldives I wrote “The Terminal” – part two. No, not with Tom Hanks, but with me in the lead role. I’ll give it to you to read one day to see what I went through during the transfers for this holiday. It could get an Oscar, really! J
But my dramas happened especially on the island where my friends and I were accommodated. An island 600 meters long and only 100 meters wide.
WELCOME TO THE MALDIVES
After 30 hours of traveling, we finally arrive in Male, the capital of the Maldives.
We landed well. If I had known on what tongue of land surrounded by the sea I was landing with a big plane, I would have thought 100 times whether or not to come here…
It’s 30 degrees Celsius. We get wet from the first minutes, due to the very high humidity. And the water bottles we have with us are wet too.
It takes us a while to get used to the air.
Those who are loaded or who have accommodation on more distant islands, get on the plane again, this time in a seaplane.
We have a boat transfer. About 12 people get with all their luggage on he boat, all going in the same direction.
The experience with the boat, which lasted about 45 minutes, was like in the amusement park – strong sensations, which I can’t say I really needed… I had survived the three flights, and now I was going at a crazy speed, breaking the big waves, a sign that it had been a storm.
Arriving on the island, we are amazed by the lush vegetation, by the alleys full of sand, by all the paradisiacal scenery in the middle of which we landed.
What seems bizarre to me is that, in a world full of people in briefs, with a strong sun, Christmas songs can be heard… On the beach they mounted some metal fir trees, with light bulbs, installed next to the real palm trees. It is a hilarious contrast.
ACCOMMODATION IN MALDIVES
We admire the beautifully lined water bungalows and remember that we do not live in them…
First because they were much more expensive than the villas on the beach, but also because we convinced ourselves that it is much cooler to stay on the sand, to have the beach that close, than to be on the water…
So we headed, led by employees from the island, each to his own little house.
Okay, it’s not really a little house, it’s a huge house! And, when you live alone in it, it seems like the ultimate luxury!
With an exit to the beach, a few meters from the sea, what can I say, you would never leave there in your life!
Next, I’m exploring the interior, which is shining clean!
You have everything you need here. There is nothing missing from what you could use.
The most shocking thing for me is to discover the bathroom. Where’s the bathroom? Well… it is outside! Under the clear sky!!!
The toilet, the bidet, the sink are with a ceiling on top, but with a missing wall – the one facing the outside, and the bathtub and the shower are both outside, surrounded by a wall and the palm trees on the alleys!
Believe me, it’s a great feeling to take a shower outside in the middle of the nature!
THE VIEW FROM THE BEACH
In the Maldives you come to linger – I had heard.
That’s right. If you don’t go to I don’t know what areas with sports activities, if you don’t buy I don’t know what trips, if you’re not a star who comes here for a luxury photo shoot, lying in the sun is the sport you can practice all the time.
You can lay on the beach and read (lots of people have books in their hands this New Year’s Eve!)
We came here for snorkeling. Just like that, on our own. But, until you get in the water, you stay here and look like a fool at how beautiful everything around you is!!! No matter if it’s sunny or cloudy!
It’s full of such crabs on the beach, you have to be very careful not to step on them.
… and can anyone say that you can’t walk on water here J.
At first glance, it’s shocking to see some people in the middle of the sea. Then, if you look closely, you see the very low level of water on small portions, where a kind of sandy path is created.
SNORKELING IN MALDIVES
I didn’t have a smartphone at the time, but I was proud of a water mask with a built-in camera and a camera tucked into a plastic mask. I had come here to photograph everything that moved in the water. Which I did, by the way…
Once you enter the sea and start to look through the water, you feel like in a luxurious aquarium! And this close to the shore, just a few meters away!
My God, how many types of fish, more and more colorful fish, like in a competition MissFish Universe…
I could not imagine that I could spend hours with my head in the water, to see the wonders that swim next to me!
A fish came to stare at me… I don’t know what he wanted to tell me, but I decided to bring some food with me the next day.
Okay, okay, but what food???
I took what I found on the island: some chips and some cookies.
I had a great success with the fish. Some didn’t even worry about pinching my finger too much, they wanted the food and that was all!
Impressed by the multitude of beautifully colored fish I saw, I bought a poster with the fish from the Maldives. And I swear I’ve seen most of them, it’s not a false promotion.
This thing with the fish is a fun you never get tired of here.
But it is important that, from a certain moment, you put a T-shirt on in the water, otherwise you’ll get your back burned!
And open your eyes wide underwater… Because, apart from the colorful fish, you come across some “tenants” who really scare you:
A moray eel came out of a bush. Do you see her? An eye can be seen.
It looks horrible and you expect it to attack you any moment, as if it is lurking. Brrrr…
I was so excited to see the stingrays that I kept swimming after them to catch them in a picture!
After I was told they could attack you, do you know how quickly I got over this hunt?…
But the top of my snorkeling was… the shark!
Yes, man, I had no idea. I saw some sharks on the penultimate day and since then, God, how good I was!!!
I later found out that they are harmless, they are a small species and… friendly, it seems. Whatever, I cannot put my hand into the fire, so I no longer put my foot into the water either.
MY MALDIVES NIGHTMARE…
It will seem strange what I’m going to say, but I couldn’t wait to go home!!! I came home so tired after 8 days in the Maldives that I thought I would sleep 3 days and 3 nights.
And here I come to the troubles I had during this holiday.
First of all, a bird got on my nerves. Man, it was like the Chinese drop! With an unheard by me song, so I could not understand who, in God’s name, was doing that. And I started looking for her through the tall, rich trees.
The little Alexander parrot, that’s what it is called.
I learned the type of sounds, and the tonalities, and the rhythm…
If the Alexander parrot is harmless, the lizards didn’t look the same to me. It’s full of such lizards here and, unfortunately, they enter through the thatched roof of the house where you live.
I, for one, was terrorized by them! I hardly slept at all.
I could hear them coming in, I could hear them walking on the ceiling, on the walls and, worse, on the bed canopy!!!
I covered all the entrances to the room with towels. Those people brought me a lot of towels. I put them at all the doors – from the beach, from the main entrance, from the bathroom. And at the windows.
I slept with the light on, I guarded the entrances, I checked every corner every night.
White nights, terrified by the lizards…
I used to get some sleep during the day, on the beach, under the umbrella.
And that was not all!
A mouse entered my room!!! So, at 2 in the morning, I left the villa and went to my friends, to ask them to help me get rid of the monster. Who had run to the bathroom.
They started searching in vain in the toilet area and even in the toilet. And that was yet another sleepless night…
I repeat, I couldn’t wait to get home, to be able to sleep peacefully!
WHAT TO DO IN THE MALDIVES
Beyond the hunting of lizards and mice, there are also some… paid activities, which you can have while you are on the island.
A TRIP TO MALE
…I mean going back to where I came from! We take the boat again and go to the capital of the Republic of Maldives, Male, which occupies an island alone, called Male.
After a few days spent on our island, the visit to the capital throws us into an urban noise we had forgotten about!
People, bustle, horns, merchants.
We go to the Grand Friday Mosque, the largest place of Islamic worship in the Maldives, a mosque with a minaret that can be seen from afar.
Then, because we each took $ 100 out of our pockets, we were taken to a submarine for a trip.
I wasn’t very much impressed. To be honest, I saw more cool marine wildlife during the hours spent under water, for our daily snorkeling.
FISHING AT NIGHT
We paid some more money to go fishing at night. We thought, let’s do this too.
They instructed us where and how to throw the fishing rod and, especially, when to take it out of the water J.
That was my only catch that night. A yellow striped fish.
And the whole catch of our boat was this:
I don’t know what happened to the catch, I think they cooked it for us. Anyway, it wasn’t like we were running out of food.
On a stormy evening, a competition for tourists was organized on the island: the crab race!
At a bar, crabs were brought just like the ones I had photographed on the beach: some extremely small, in small shells, who walk like crazy on the road, hiding in the shell when they feel a danger.
They were all numbered with the marker on the shell and put in a kind of bottomless pan.
For $ 5 (not for free, of course…) you, as a tourist, could choose a crab.
At a sign, the pan was raised, so that all the crabs were moving each its own way.
The first to cross the finish line (the red circle) brought a prize to the tourist who chose it, a prize consisting of some beer cans.
I chose the crab with the number 24. It didn’t win. But I lost with dignity… I also encouraged the others, I maintained the atmosphere.
ROMANTIC DINNER ON THE BEACH
Whether you come with your half or you are the 5th wheel to the cart, it doesn’t matter, there are romantic dinner solutions.
They put a nice table on the beach and… the romantic dinner was ready hihi.
The most romantic element of the dinner was the truly spectacular lobster! It looked as if it was painted!
Otherwise, jokes between friends and preparing for New Year’s Eve the next day.
NEW YEAR’S EVE IN MALDIVES
There, I was the Queen of New Year’s Eve. A cardboard one. But golden!…
Judging by my state that night, mourning my failures, they could have put a throne on my head, it wouldn’t have mattered.
The only good thing was that I, who never won anything, got my hands on the big prize at the New Year’s Eve Raffle! This is to show me once again that I have no luck in love J.
This was the big prize: a basket with some alcohol – expensive on the island – and some snacks.
Otherwise, a New Year’s Eve night with food, drinks and dancing, at the island’s restaurant. And all the tourists gathered there, one more dizzy than the other, a sign that no one cared about the money that night.
We also had fireworks!
WHAT TO BUY FROM MALDIVES
What I spent on the way here and on the accommodation was balanced with the economy I made in souvenirs. Although I would have preferred the opposite…
I could not bring the suitcase full of gifts, because there was only one souvenir shop on the island where I stayed. Where I took everything I could get… A map of the Maldives, a poster with fish, some magnets, a T-shirt with the Maldives, inscribed pencils, some spoons made of shells and photo frames made of coconut wood.
Okay, I told you what and how it can be in the Maldives…
Did I convince you it’s not such a big deal? During this pandemic “nowhere is better than home”? …
As for me, I was not convinced J)). Writing and reviewing the pictures, I realized I missed taveling! With all the lizards in the world…