Relaxing Day Trip
I woke up Friday with no plans for my day off. It’s the Muslim holy day and not much is happening in the capital. Things changed quickly, thanks to the Maldivian talent for last-minute arrangements. A few texts and phone calls directed me to a boat that was leaving to pick up some resort guests at the airport. I was delighted to see that some friends were on board, but this was a total coincidence. This trip was arranged for me by information ministry, which is officially in charge of state-run media here at the moment, but is about to be replaced by a new public broadcasting board. While waiting to pick up the resort visitors at the airport, we enjoyed a “kurumba” or young coconut juice before the 30 minute boat ride.Our destination was the resort at Hudhuran Fushi, the Adaaran chain’s bigger and much less pretentious brother of Vadoo, which I visited last week(see earlier post). Patrick, the Sri Lankan manager, showed me around in his “white Ferrari” golf cart, and deposited me at my beach villa home for the day. The sleepy lagoon was filled with very relaxed and friendly tourists from the UK, Germany and Russia. Snorkeling here was surprisingly interesting. Tiny outcroppings of coral were like perfect little aquariums and big fish lurked in patches of sea grass. While checking out some groupers, I felt a sting on my hand. It was a trigger fish, which I had been warned about at the other resort, biting me as a warning to stay away from his/her nest of eggs. No serious damage done, but I gave those little guys a wide berth after that. A small ray gave some British ladies quite a scare! I want to thank them for screaming because otherwise I would have missed it.Surfing is the big attraction here, and the house reef near the surfing beach on the other side of the 84-acre island can be kind of rough, so I confined my snorkeling to the lagoon. I discovered the beach bar near the water villas and even had a few peaceful hours to “lay out” on the beach, something I haven’t done since high school!
Typical of a big resort, the meal times are fixed and the only choice is the buffet. After lunch I just soaked up the scenery at the pool and the generosity of my hosts. At 5 pm it was time to catch the boat back to Male, admiring the resorts we passed on the way back to the city. For the Maldivians on board, it was time to catch a nap. I didn’t want to miss one minute of the scenery in this gorgeous island country. Maybe we could work out a deal involving a beach villa and commuting to the classroom by boat…