Days 9-10 – Welcome to the Maldives

After a short hop through Singapore (again), and then a longer four hour hop, we arrived at a very small slim parcel of land in the Indian ocean where the Male Airport sits.  Of course, since I’m pretty sure only about 1.87% of the people following this blog know where the Maldives is…here’s a quick refresher…It be here – a fair ways south of India:

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Something important to understand about the Maldives is that it’s just a long collection of tiny islands.  The airport is actually the biggest island simply to make room for the runway.

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As such, most travel is done via seaplanes throughout the Maldives.  Since our airplane arrived around 10PM, it was too late for seaplanes to safely travel and land at otherwise dark remote islands.  So we stayed in the night in a hotel on the airport.

The next morning at a painful 5:15AM, we headed across the runway to the seaplane port.  It was there we boarded our short 30 minute sunrise flight to the Conrad Maldives.

IMG_9786IMG_9797Above you can see the end of the runway.  There are no taxi-ways, as the airplane simply does a u-turn and heads taxis back on the runway itself.  Below you can see the capitol island – Male – and the airport in the background.  That’s the most dense island – basically covered with buildings.  Every other island is a bit more paradise-like.

IMG_9803IMG_9820 IMG_9841Our seaplane arrived at the dock, with the hotel staff there to great us.  They took us on a bit of a tour of the resort, which is two small islands connected by a overwater bridge:

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There are no cars on these islands.  Only boats and a few little golf carts to get around.

Oh…and sea planes.

IMG_0458 After a bit of wandering, we ended up at our overwater villa, complete with its own ramp into the sea:

IMG_1026IMG_9848IMG_9846IMG_1081Late that afternoon we swam across the channel, then we swam out to the end of one Island, and then back – completing a bit of a triangle – and almost exactly 1 mile of swimming…in crystal clear waters.  Because the satellite imagery of our little island isn’t correctly color corrected, the island looks all dorky – but here ya go anyway:

SwimDay1We followed the bridge over, and then aimed towards the point before swimming back – basically the length of the island.  Like I said…it’s not very big.  Below you can see basically where we started and then headed all the way across before angling back toward the tip of the island.

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Ok…because internet bandwidth is super-challenged here (and I’ve got beach loungin’ to do)…that’s enough for now.  Tomorrow we’ve got diving…and night diving, along with a slew of other stuff.  Then we’ll go onto a day spent onboard with a Whale Shark Research team.  More to come…

14 Comments

  1. The company that runs the otter float planes is the same run that does the charters from Resolute to Ellesmere Island. All the pilots pray for the Maldives gig rather than North Pole. :-) Awesome view - saving up my hilton points diamond status (yea work travel!) to one day make it the Conrad Maldives! I hope you and the girl had an amazing time!

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  2. Oh my! It's breathtaking!!!!

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  3. I'm WAY jealous. I think I just found my next vacation spot. Except how on EARTH do you get so much time off work? Would you like to switch jobs for a year... mine isn't that hard.

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  4. Kim

    so beautiful. you are on an amazing vacation!

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  5. I didn't know places like this really existed!

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  6. Wow - step right out into the water - how cool is that?

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  7. Looks gorgeous!

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  8. wow wow wow!!!!!!!!!!!! I must go there. that is Amaaaazing! enjoy!!!!!! can't wait to hear more!

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  9. Beautiful! I used to work with a lady from the Maldives. I always wondered why she left....

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  10. Great trip and pics!

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  11. Awesome. Simply awesome. And not fair. While the rest of us schlep back to work (and the semester starting Monday), you're doing this. Oh well. Keep on enjoying it! And post pics from the dives! Sooner rather than later!

    P.S. Am I the only one that saw the map in your first pic and started humming "One Night In Bangkok" to himself? Probably...

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  12. Eric

    Incredible! My wife and I are heading here in Dec '10 for 14 days and 13 nights. I cannot wait!

    What was your experience in the over water villa? Was that a preference for you? Did you consider a deluxe beach villa?

    -eric

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  13. Looks brutal...keep up stiff lip!

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  14. Our pipes froze in our house in Houston. I am jealous! I want a beach with warm water and warm breezes!

    Reply

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