First Things First…
“First I prepare. Then I have faith” – Joe Namath
The vast and seemingly endless ocean had always been my fascination with the Maldives, I had nursed the thought of visiting the place until I finally got the chance. However, there was just one problem.
I couldn’t swim. At all.
So I felt it was imperative I learned how to swim as my intentions and hopes for going to the Maldives was not limited to enjoying the view of the ocean and feeling the cool breeze on my face. Who does that?
In hindsight, I may have deluded myself a little (Fine! more than a little) into thinking I would be good enough to give Daryl Hannah (from the movie ‘Splash’) a run for her money after a 10-week run at the pool. However, it gave me the motivation to take my lessons seriously for two reasons:
- I wanted to have fun
- I wanted to stay safe as far as I reasonably practicably can (phew! that was a mouthful).
Thankfully, the lessons paid off!
Sights and Sounds of Maafushi Island
When we (that is still the hubby) weren’t swimming or getting barbecued by the sun, we enjoyed leisure walks around the island – which lengthwise you could cover in 20 mins and breadth-wise, less than 5 minutes! (no kidding)
The Maldives is not known for its architectural grandeur and historical sights but depending on your island of choice there are still a few sights to be seen with most of these being souvenir shops.
At this point, I should say that if you are looking for a luxurious getaway island in the Maldives where your major sight is a split between your accommodation and the ocean, lots of it and nothing but more ocean…and you have lots of cash to spend, then a private island is for you. On the other hand, if you would like more options of things to see and would like the chance to experience the warmth of the locals… all of these on a limited budget, then I would recommend staying at Maafushi or one of the local islands.
Bon Appetit, em…
I was impressed by a lot of things at the Maldives – glorious beaches, lovely weather (ahem! If you’ve got some sunscreen on), friendly people and lots of fun things to do. One thing however that didn’t impress me much (thank you Shania Twain), was the food.
As a self-acclaimed foodie (Mmhmm), I was looking forward to sampling some of the finest exotic dishes my blessed eyes could behold. Looking back now, I admit my expectations may have been bizarre (and/or I may have been watching too many movies/documentaries). By the third day of our stay, I was in tune with reality enough to appreciate some familiar meals – spaghetti bolognese, curry, burgers, chips/fries (depending on where you are from), steak, pasta, barbecue chicken, etc.
Gratitude is a choice, not a condition. Amen!
“Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling, it’s better
Down where it’s wetter
Take it from me”
(‘Under the sea’ lyric excerpt from Disney’s Little Mermaid)
I absolutely loved snorkeling!
It was terrifying and yet exhilarating at the same time.
The journey to the snorkeling point took about 25 minutes by boat from our island and upon our arrival, I was hesitant to go into the deep blue sea. That is until the sight of a 2-year old toddler happily waddling into the ocean with his dad woke me up from my slumber of fear.
Talk about some free and practical therapy!
It was a worthwhile experience.
A Day Trip to Paradise…
‘Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good…’
(The Bible – Genesis Chapter 1 verse 31)
What is better than being on an island in the Maldives?
That is easy.
Living on the ocean with unlimited access to it. All you need do is walk ten paces or less from your bed or couch and the ocean is yours to discover.
Adaaran Prestige Vadoo is one of the luxury resorts we visited and boy! they do not come cheap. A day’s visit costs 2 fingers (I am tempted to say an arm though) as prices range between $70 to $100pp depending on numbers. If I remember correctly, for a party of 7 people and above, it costs $70pp.
From Maafushi, it took exactly 23 minutes by speed boat to arrive at Adaaran Prestige Vadoo where we were warmly greeted at the dock by some smartly dressed young men and then ushered towards the reception area. The floor was covered with beach sand, the room/hall (it was quite big so not sure what I should call it) was designed as a hut and had a rural feel to it but there was nothing rural or local about it.
As far as first impressions go, I was impressed.
The $70 fee covers unlimited drinks (alcohol or beverage), morning and afternoon snacks and a buffet lunch. No, it doesn’t cover a nap in one of the luxurious rooms. You will need a fatter wallet for that.
Souvenir? Oh yes, please
I wanted a memento from the Maldives, particularly some seashells. However, they were quite pricey at the shops. So I decided to collect some around the island during some of our leisure walks.
I ended up returning to the UK with quite a lot of seashells for decorating our home, a bottle of white Maldivian sand specially requested by a dear friend (I know, I don’t get it too!), and a heart full of gratitude!