The Baileys in the Maldives and Europe

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July 23rd 2012
Published: July 23rd 2012
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So this summer we are spread out all over the place - Cob is is Romania and has been there for a couple of weeks. He's working for a charity helping to build orphanages. He is in a remote part of the country without phone and Internet.

Josh embarks today on a month long tour of Europe with his friends from college. He is aiming to hit the main music festivals in Belgium Netherlands and Germany before returning via Austria, Switzerland and France. No doubts lots of music and drink over the next 30 days especially as he celebrates his 19th birthday on 19 August.

In the meantime we are in Machchafushi in the South Ari atoll of the Maldives. It is certainly everything you expect it to be. Landing at Male airport gives you an indication of the islands. Airports tend to be flat places by their function but when you're taxi-ing along and the waves are coming over the walls onto the Tarmac you realise just how low lying and vulnerable the islands are.

It is though refreshing to get through immigration and passport controunion under 5 minutes and with a smile too. It is also probably the only airport in the world where you come out of the entrance onto a wharf full of dhows and seaplanes. The seaplane journey is "intimate" and you certainly make friends with the people sat next to you as the temperature in the plane hits 100 degrees. Even the Maldivians complain about it.

It does though afford stunning views of the atolls. Islands and reefs below you. Coming into land is a great experience as you bounce along the waves and in the ocean. You then moor up onto a pontoon which is in an interesting experience in itself as it bobs up and down quite notably - its even more fun trying to get your luggage off the seaplane onto the pontoon and then onto the waiting boat to take you to the island. Serious fun and games.

Once arrived though you're treated to the most wonderful island - full of boungavillea, frangipani and other exotic flowers. Crystal clear seas with palmtresses and white sand beaches. It's supposed to be one of the wetter months but so far weather has been been fantastic - hot days with a warming breezing to take the edge of the humidity.

Rain has mainly been at night although Saturday produced two torrential storms each for 10 mins but Gemma has learnt that tropical rain can be warm!

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