This island nation has been on my Bucket List for as long for as I can remember. Of course, that list didn't include visiting while a coup or a spot of political unrest was unfolding, but so far, outside our beach villa on Villamendhoo Resort on South Ari Atoll, things are pretty relaxed. A bit surreal to hear about goings on in Male - the trouble started during our first night there, but hopefully things won't escalate. For our sake, but for everyone who lives here even more.
Tom's joined me (yay!) and we're enjoying 5 perfectly lazy days of relaxation. His sprained ankle is slowly healing, so swimming and snorkelling have been minimal but unbelievable! Who needs to dive when the house reef is so spectacular?? However, fingers are crossed he'll be completely healed for diving on the Theia liveaboard dive boat next week.
It's a rough life. I think this might be the nicest resort I've ever been to, but our schedule is just so grueling! At 6:30 it's yoga for me on the deck while Tom lolls about reading and drinking coffee. Buffet breakfast - giant, fresh, and fabulous- including pork products not found anywhere else in this Muslim country - only allowed on resorts. Then we ease into our day by lounging about in deck chairs by the water watching the baby black tip reef sharks chase the schools of little fish. See little fishies erupt out of the water on a regular basis! See big herons patiently wait their turn...! Then it's a blur of swimming, lunch, reading, napping, dinner and cocktails (also only allowed on island resorts and liveaboard dive boats - illegal everywhere else).
I'm having a little trouble adjusting to this place after India - particularly to high prices and extreme cleanliness. There's no trash, not even on the streets of Male! It's a bit of a double take.
The Maldives are just beautiful in that way that makes you want to just take a picture every time you turn around. The people are friendly, helpful and welcoming. Male is an easy city to get around, it feels safe, and has the best airport taxi system around - you take a boat from the airport to the city.
But for a water baby like me - the atolls are where it's at - the scenery is SPECTACULAR. I could stare at the multiple shades of Indian Ocean blue all day long. And do....
Can barely believe I'm actually here. But I might have said that a few times already.