Over 300 photos taken over 4 days. I will just have to post these in bite-size pieces. This post and the next few will be photo-heavy, so if you decide to read through to the end, thank you.
My husband, youngest son and I were talking about getting away for Eid Al Adha, probably out of the country to make the most of the long weekend. At first, I thought about Budapest because I wanted them to enjoy that same experience I had. But flights were difficult to organize and also we needed visas to go to Hungary and there would not have been enough time to organize that. Once again, I consulted the oracle, aka list of countries Filipinos can visit without a visa, and the Maldives seemed like the easy choice. The next difficult step was finding either a Cobone deal, or organizing flights and hotels on my own and hope that we get good value for cheap.
Trip Advisor is my friend, esp the traveller feedback, which is why I make it a point to write a review on any place we visit in case it might help another traveller. I try to tone down the sarcasm and negativity too but if it’s really a crap experience I won’t hesitate to say so.
Anyway, I booked us on Sri Lankan Airlines as it was the only one which gave us flights that syncs with the ferry going from Airport/Male to any of the other islands in the Maldives. It was connecting via Colombo and only had a short stopover so we didn’t get a chance to see anything apart from the airport and the big Buddha.
The flight was eventful at first legging it from Dubai to Colombo at nearly midnight and with at least 4 young children on board, two of them on the seats right in front of us and another a couple of rows behind us. The hum of the engine and the cabin pressure combined to lull them to sleep. I slept on and off as I usually do, same thing with my husband who is almost always a nervous wreck on flights. My son was dead to the world except for meals and loo breaks. By the time we arrived at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport, we were all fed up with sitting in an airplane so it was a great relief when we got off the plane.
The airport is on Hulhule’ Island, which is a short speedboat/ferry ride away from the main island of Male. Due to the long queues at passport control, we missed our 9am ferry and had to stay on the island until our guide sorted out an alternative. They found us seats on a speedboat leaving at 11am that goes to nearby Kurumathi Island, for a price (gulp!). An hour and a half later, we got of the jetty at this island and transferred to another ferry to take us to Rasdhoo which was an eyeball away!
Two plane rides and three boat rides later, we finally arrived here – our home for the next few days. It was such a relief that we could not even gush about how beautiful the place was. We just wanted to take a shower, change and feel human again. I’m speaking for myself here of course, the boys just wanted to get our holiday started.
This cold drink which tasted like freshly squeezed orange juice and some sweet blue syrupy thing at the bottom was more than a welcome sight. It was much needed after all that airline food. Ahmed, our excursion coordinator helped us check in and get settled into our family room.
The guest house has four double rooms and one family room. It was on full occupancy when we arrived. The staff were housed in a separate building adjacent to the guest house on the same compound. It was really just like any house. Except you had ensuite bathroom and toilet and you didn’t have to make nice with other people unless you really had to.
Our room was at the far end of the compound, closest to the dining area. It was relatively quiet. The beds were clean,pillows a little too fluffy for my liking and it hurt my neck and shoulders after our first night so I resorted to using the smaller yellow pillow and my J-Pillow. The family room has a king size bed and two single beds in an adjacent room. It was perfect!
With our last meal consumed in-flight over six hours previously, we were quite hungry. The kitchen was open for late orders so we decided to feast on some delicious dhal curry and papadums and rice. It was really good, even Patrick liked it. The dining area is open, no air conditioning, just ceiling fan and the breeze if there was one. I can imagine it must get cool here during rainy days.
This open air area serves as an extension of the dining area. It’s covered in crushed shells which was a welcome relief. I have had enough of sand to last me lifetime! These huts are so cool. I want one in my backyard eventually. We had a couple of breakfasts out here and would not get tired of doing so every day for the rest of our lives. Except maybe when it’s hot and there’s a squadron of mosquitoes doing kamikaze runs towards my arm and legs!
After a much needed shower (me!), we decided to walk about. This is the front of the guest house. Very colourful. I’m thinking about dyeing a series of colourways inspired by the colours of Rasdhoo. If only I can find the time to actually do it!
After a few turns around narrow unpaved streets, this is what we saw. Exhaustion from travelling stopped us from jumping into the water right then. It was a warm day but the breeze from the sea kept it cooler than it really was. There was a slight wave in the water but it looks really good. Everything was so green and blue and vivid! More pictures to follow to show you what I meant by that.
Last one for now, thanks to Patrick for his steady hands! I do have a few photos from this trip where I am in front of the camera. We had to turn our back against from beach because the breeze was making me eat my own hair. Suckin’ it in big time here because I couldn’t be bothered to sit up straight. More photos to follow, and only one or two of me suckin’ my big belly in. Promise.