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Published: November 8th 2007
Well, I MADE IT!!! After the incessant spending in Europe and the weakened dollar, I almost bagged my side trip to Maldives....but then I remembered that my desire to go there was the inspiration for this entire trip, so I had to do it! I made the mistake of booking through a travel agency instead of on my own on the internet, and she had me go through the crappiest of intineraries to get to Paradise! After leaving my hotel in Goa at 5am, hanging around the airport in Mumbai for 6 hours, a flight cancelling, getting rerouted through Chennai, then Sri Lanka, and the fourth flight of the day being delayed, I finally got to the Maldives 24 hours later! (ALso insert one minor meltdown at the end of that when my watch flew off my wrist and shattered....its always the little things that break the last straw of sanity!)
The airport was awesome, its actually on its own small island too, so we had to take a boat over to the mainland where the capital is, and where I would be sleeping for a few hours, then finally was able to catch a speedboat over to my resort
island! Talk about remote - the resort islands are each on their own private atoll, and I stayed at one of the closest places to the capital and it still took about 80 minutes to get there! But when we arrived, it literally took my breath away! The white sand and amazing water is just heaven! I saw a bunch of people snorkeling right off the island near the dock, and knew at once that would be my first activity! I went straight to my room, rinsed off in my outdoor shower (why are those so FUN!?), and hit the beach! As soon as I put my head under the water i was DELIGHTED, AMAZED, MESMERIZED, AND THRILLED!!! The number of fish was astonishing! They were EVERYWHERE all different sizes, amazing colors, and it went on forever! I spent about 2 hours just floating above this wonderment, then the tide was getting low and I had to head back to hit dinner and the bar! The food was pretty good, every night was buffets so I got to pick from a plethera of seafood dishes, curry you-name-it, or fresh pasta and veggies galore! It was nice to be back in
the land of food i can identify! I was also thrilled to find a foosball table at each of the three lounge/bars on the island! (Although it took until day 3 to find anyone to play with me!) I have to say, that's one of the only times I feel like I wish I wasn't alone....an empty foos table with no one to play with me is torturous!
My first full day I spent the morning snorkeling again (a different spot on the other side of our island) and then got to go out diving! We went to the shelf reef right off our atoll, and saw moray eels, a huge sea turtle, and of course SHARKS! I also had my first encounters with the schools of millions of trigger fish and the feelings of being absolutely relaxed and amazed by the life around me! It was also fun to be with other new divers, as we got to laugh at our rookie mistakes together. The best one was when me and my buddy descended we got down to about 5m and looked up and Paul and Emma were still on the surface! Not knowing what was going on
we were just hanging, waiting for them, and before we knew it, we popped back up on the surface as well! WHOOPS! DO OVER! 😊
My last day I spent out on the tip of our island snorkeling THE BEST part of the reef! I went out the snorkeling channel and immediately my heart started racing and my mind was blown! The reef went on for ages in every direction with all different shapes of coral and millions of fish everywhere! It fell off into the deep blue sea so i was floating about water ranging from 1m deep to about 12m deep, with a complete drop off right to my right! I let the current take me down the beach, and just floated in absolute amazement observing soooooo many fish with so many agenda in so many brilliant colors! If I stayed perfectly still, I would find myself surrounded, in the middle of a school, just giggling at the awesomeness! Until I spotted the biggest shark I've seen yet - its a black tip reef, completely harmless, but about 1.5m long and a girth to match! Yikes, hold your breath til he passes!!!! after that perfect day, I
found some resort staff playing foos and joined them in a 2 v. 1 match where i was just beating them left and right! NICE! Then Paul and Emma found me (my dive buddies) and we went to the manta ray feeding at the dock, very entertaining! We then went on to the bar on the beach and spent the evening playing foosball and exchanging stories! They were so awesomely fun, and I'm very glad I met them! (The island was really only couples and families, so my first few days were pretty socially boring! I mean, met a few nice families, but after a while their kids would annoy me!) They also are going to Thailand soon, so gave me some amazing touring tips that you will read about next week!
Leaving the Maldives turned into another airline-canceled-my-reservation for-no-reason nightmare 24 hour travel day, but looking back, all of the effort was worth that 72 hours in fishy-lovers HEAVEN!
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