The Malvides…

I had decided some time last year, that I wanted to go to the Maldives before we left this part of the world.  It is the quintessential vacation spot in my mind, once in a life time type of deal…  and if you believe in Global Warming, it may not be there in 100 years… so we needed to go!  We found a direct flight with Bangkok Airways and we were all set.  Then we had to find a resort.  Looking on Agoda.com, it really seemed that all the resort were the same…. PERFECT!  Sand, beach, island, the little huts over the water, they had everything.  And so we finally picked one with a jacuzzi and was built on stilts over the water.  Found out we had to take a sea plane to get from the airport to the resort.  And Robin, who is typically not a good flyer, was thinking she would have no problem with a sea plane…  the sea plane can land just about anywhere and there is a runway every where you look, so really, it can’t crash…  can it?  The sea plane ride was supposed to be 25 minutes and was 75% the cost of the 4 hour flight from Bangkok, not sure how they do their math, but they are making a killing!  You don’t really have a choice, because that is the only way for a tourist to get to the island.  And even some of the locals use the planes to get from Male (the capital) to the island.

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The City of Male. 1.77 sq km, around 100,000 people

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Our 15 passenger plane

So after determining that Reed was ok in head, we could head out the next morning with ease. Got to the airport on Wednesday morning with no issues and we headed out west.  After four hours of flying we were landing on the smallest runway ever, on a beautiful little island.  The airport actually used the runway as the taxi way as well for the planes.  We then went through customs and immigration with a breeze (on a side note I think our friends in ORD should take note on how to do immigration, when we were home for the summer, the lines in ORD were the worst we have ever had, but that is another story)  Then we caught a bus and went over to the sea plane airport, about a 5 minute bus ride.

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On our way….

From there it was off to the island.  We flew over a couple of different atolls and some gorgeous islands.  Effectively the whole country is built on some reefs.  And whatever is exposed gets turned into the island / resort.  And there are clear groupings of reefs, that as a collection are called an “Atoll”  After we landed, 25 minutes later, we hopped on a boat that would take us into the resort.  And it was just idyllic…  super serene, and basically paradise.  Actually it was overcast that first day, but we didn’t really care!

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The reception area — all sand

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Black tipped reef shark, about 18″  but we saw some others, that were much bigger…  crazy!

The check in area, the bar, the restaurant, etc… all did not have floors…. all they had was sand.  Pretty much everyone of the workers there did not wear shoes, a very few had flip flops, but most didn’t.  And actually the pilot, the co-pilot and the worker bee on the airplane didn’t wear shoes either.  Pretty crazy.  So we got all checked in and went to our little hut.  And it was super cool….  we were way out on the reef, and it was just awesome looking over the side and seeing all the sea creatures.  Fish, sting ray, black tipped reef shark, just freaking cool!  We quickly grabbed some lunch and then it was off to relax.  Well, it was still raining out a little, so we sat on our patio and looked at the beautiful sea.

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Sting ray… you can see the shadow of the walk way

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Our little slice of heaven

The next day we signed up for a whale shark excursion and a Maldivan Spa treatment.  I was apparently going to get a coconut body rub down…  no idea, at the time, what that means, but I was going for it anyways… when in Rome!  After that  we sat on the beach and didn’t really do much.  We were so comfortable that we actually missed lunch… and lunch is served from 12:30 – 2:30, and it is like 2 hours behind Bangkok…  so what I mean is that we just basically got so lost in doing nothing and sitting on the beach, that we completely lost track of time.  While being hungry was not fun, it was pretty amazing what happens when you don’t wear a watch or have a care in the world.  We finally found some ok bar type food, and from then on we took a watch.  We did not want to miss lunch again!

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At the “house” reef. About 25 feet from shore

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Crazy the number of fish and the colors, all right there….

I need to divert to another story and then come back to this one….  my camera that I had since we got married, so over 5 years, was on it’s last leg, so while in America this summer I asked Robin to buy me another one.  I was looking for an exact duplicate, replicate, same same, the same thing.  And I was pretty specific on my request.  So Robin, of course being the smart girl she is, got me something a little different.  I was quite concerned at first and well, not very happy.  It is a little bigger, and has this underwater feature on it, that to me means it will break sooner.  And I was not happy.  But then after playing with it in the pool at the apartment, and then realizing we can take it to the Ocean, I discovered just how smart I was for asking Robin to get a new underwater camera… boy am I smart!  I have had to apologize many times, and am pretty happy we have it…  so on a vacation like this I get to take lots of underwater photos.

The next day we took our cruise and excursion to go see the whale sharks.  We were told we had a 50-50 chance of seeing one.  The guides told us they saw 2 the day before and 1 the day before that, so statistically, that is not good for us….  but we were quite excited. We cruised for about an hour to the southern end DSCN0424of our Atoll.  And then all the crewmen were looking overboard, trying to spot the shark…  and then all of a sudden it was like “ok – everyone jump it!”  that’s it.  no warning, no instructions, no body check, just everybody jump in… and it was great.  The whale shark was right there…  massive, the biggest shark there is (hence the name “whale shark”) and there we were swimming right next to it.  I don’t think he cared less if we were there or not.  He just kept doing his DSCN0426own thing.  We’re thinking about 6m long.  You can see the person above the shark swimming away.  So we followed the shark for about 15-20 minutes before it got into deeper water.  then it was back on the boat to look for some more.  and like 10 minutes later the crew are all crazy like again, the boat is turning around, everyone is getting ready to jump in… but alas… false alarm… and that was it!  We kept looking for another hour, and then headed back north to our island.  We felt quite fortunate to see what we did.  It’s like living above the aquarium.  pretty neat.DSCN0380DSCN0538

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We had to leave 😦 This is our island, we stayed in the huts on the left

The next day was all about more relaxing and just hanging out.  We did a bunch of more snorkeling right along the beach.

 

and then the following day we had to leave.  so it was back on the boat to get to the sea plane, to get on a bus to go to the big plane.

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we circled around our island, now the huts we stayed in are on the right

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At the Male airport, you just walk right on out and to your plane… trying not to get hit by the luggage truck

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Definitely a vacation of a life time for us and we will always remember it.  We have joked that we may have ruined all future vacations, because wherever we go, it will just never be quite as nice, as it was in the Maldives!

 

 

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2 thoughts on “The Malvides…

  1. Well, wow! I don’t think you WILL ever live up to that vacation, but here is to hoping you get to do something like that again! How awesome. Justin said many people visited there when he was in Singapore, and they all said the same thing you said about the place – absolutely beautiful. Glad you were able to get the trip in – that would have been a bummer to miss 🙂

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