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Published: March 24th 2021
This trip was on my wish-list for a while...but I actually booked the tickets less than 5 days before departure, which must be a first over the last 10 years. You see....even in Covid area...we learn to be flexible...and that at the end of the day, life is far away from being "that bad"!!
Ideal way to reach FVM, the Fuvahmulah airport is the direct flight from Colombo to Gan, than you jump on a 45 minutes speed boat...and just dream that the open sea is nice to you! Well, this was prior to the Covid area. Colombo is out of reach for now, and there is no certainty of the next direct flight from Colombo to Gan. But than again, not everything is that bad. I'm loaded with miles on Cathay Pacific....but they don't fly anything useful these days...and before miles do turn to sour, it's a good idea to get rid of them. So on the 27th January...due to the better relationship between Saudi and Qatar....Qatar airlines is back to the sky, or rather airport of Dubai....since the last flight pre-blocus in 2017!
So the first flight is on the 27th...I'm a cautious
human being...I wait the 28th....or rather the 30th to book. I was ready to book on the 28th....but we got our covid clearance from Nairobi on the 30th...and I book the flight leaving DXB (Dubai), on the 2nd February. So here we are...Dubai-Doha-Male...200usd plus 30,000 miles return per person! Don't ask me how I do it....even in economy...but we still have the the FFP goodies....as thanks to "level matching", QR is my new friend. If you do not understand any of it...no panic...you know, you always have this guy getting access to the lounge, queuing in business...and finally sitting in economy...but with a warm welcome from the staff...in his exit row seat...that he never paid for. Covid has develop the new game of "status matching". Well, this was valid for 2020....but as nobody has any idea to what the end of 2021 will look....Airlines are actually questioning the new business model. Business travelers may be gone for a while....so maybe, us lowly regular leisure fliers have a card to finally play here!
So back to the dates....we are on a flight to Doha. The business class lounge in Doha must be actually and currently the best one
in the world (see pics at the end of this blog)...EK should take some notes! We arrive in Male early morning...hoping for a flight to Fuvahmulah. well, here the stress start...they have three flights per day...that do turn in actually one flight...flying! We booked 4 days ago...but I paid only 36 hours ago...so we are at the back of the queue, even more as we have a pretty decent deal for a domestic flight. Our flight land at 9am...there is a flight at 11.30am...than maybe a next one at 11pm...but for sure one next morning....but we are in standby for the 11.30am...till 10.55am. Well....we are in...so no stress!
So little stop at Gan...we cross the Equator twice...well...don't we do that many time per year?? And finally, here we are, Fuvahmulah! This is the second biggest island of the Maldives. Male island is actually way smaller. Here, 9,000 inhabitants....so it's not "one resort, on island"! It's actually very very different! The government only opened the island to foreign visitors some ten years ago...give it more or minus one year. Maldives is a solid conservative Muslim society. Here, there are not roosters in the morning, but the call of
the prior...from everywhere! You think you've got a good deal for your paradise island getaway...be warned, no alcohol...women cannot wear swimsuits...the unique beach is not really swimmable! Till, it is a paradise! Just slightly different! People are super friendly, and you'll never meet the locals like this if you go to any of the island resorts...we did too!
We stay for 7 nights at Calyx Grand. This is a B&B right on the main street....and I can only recommend the place. It's brand new...the bathroom is spotless, the bed super nice...and the aircon cool the room and let you sleep! All this for around 70usd per night.
For the diving...normally, Fuvahmulah attract 140 divers per day....these days, it's more like 15 maximum. I dived with Shumi...was him...his Divemaster trainee....and me. 12 dives...we did Tiger Zoo 4 times....but went down also to some fun deep dives...anybody at 60.6 meters...I'm up to it!
As this trip was not in the plan....but you can never be enough cautious...I had my own diving mask....as well as dive computer...but only my truly old Canon little camera. Well...the camera survived 4 dives...so enjoy the pics, they are
the last ones with that camera.
Food was great too...lot of fish and chicken....but not an issue to find great food! We rented a moped for 6 days...15 usd per day...perfect to ride the main roads of this 6km over 1km island!
Enjoy the pictures....not sure we are coming back here anytime soon...but was great to dive in 29 degrees water....40 meters visibility...without another diver in sight most of the time!
Next, why not a little blog about Dubai!
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