A Travellerspoint blog

Omadhoo

February 6, 2016

sunny 30 °C
View Sri Lanka, The Maldives and India on katdill's travel map.

We packed up this morning and said goodbye to Eric, who was going off on a dive to hopefully see Manta Rays. We went to the dock to wait for the ferry and were entertained by kids swimming off the dock. There were also fish in the water to watch. I saw my first cuttlefish, which is a strange looking fish. A guide caught a couple to use as bait for the dive trip. We also saw a school of eelfish, which travel en masse all the time.
Eelfish school

Eelfish school

Girl on the dock

Girl on the dock

Cuttlefish surrounded by the ink they extrude

Cuttlefish surrounded by the ink they extrude


The public ferry arrived and away we went. It took an hour to get to Mahibadhoo. There was a smaller boat waiting for us there to bring us to Omadhoo. We were met at the dock and brought to the Kuri Inn. On these islands they use two wheeled carts pulled or pushed by a man to carry luggage. It is so hot, I have difficulty imagining the condition we would be in if we had to transport our own luggage!
The public ferry arrives

The public ferry arrives


This is a much smaller guesthouse than the Ariston Inn. However, the ceilings in all the rooms are very ornate. Carved cornices and a central inset section - quite elaborate.
After having a drink and introductory chat with Ishmail, our host, we retired to our rooms until lunch. Everywhere we go, I have to explain my weird diet of no nightshades to the cook or waiter. I have had limited success with that, but at Ariston Inn the chef always had something that was safe for me, and judging by the meals here so far, it will be fine here as well.
We've been admiring the lines of the boats they build here, but we just realized today that the rudder design is so clever. The pilot uses one foot to control the rudder - it's very cool!
Notice where his foot is

Notice where his foot is

Making a sharp turn to get out of the harbour

Making a sharp turn to get out of the harbour

More steering

More steering


Don and Rob went off to check out the snorkeling around the island reef and a bit later, as the sun got lower, I walked around the island - doesn't take very long - and met up with them as they came in from snorkeling.
We had a good supper - apparently all the guests from the 3 guesthouses owned by Ishmael and his family come to this one for meals.
Ishmael has 6 brothers and 7 sisters, and most of them still live on this island.

Posted by katdill 18:35 Archived in Maldives Republic Comments (0)

Whale Shark Success

February 5, 2016

sunny 30 °C
View Sri Lanka, The Maldives and India on katdill's travel map.

This morning, Rob, Don and Eric went out with Nish on a speedboat to go snorkeling with the whale sharks. They just found one, but they are so huge and impressive that one is enough. They said they had to swim as hard as they could to keep up to the shark. It is so large that even though it was hardly moving, it was hard to keep up. The boat had a rope hanging off the back that they could hang on to and get a ride farther along to catch up. They were all pretty pumped when they got back, just before noon.
Nish and Eric on the whale shark trip

Nish and Eric on the whale shark trip


I spent the morning sitting in the shade at the beach, stitching on my leaf project. I have drawn different tree leaves on a piece of fabric and am embroidering them. I've tried to get a leaf from each location we've been at, but because I insist I must know the name of the tree it's not always been possible. But it's a start...
For those of you who know me as Kathy the Water Nazi, you will enjoy the irony of Nish lecturing me on how we must drink lots of water when we are in the tropics. I managed to keep a straight face throughout this and just agreed with him, but I knew some of you would of enjoyed hearing him.
Today was Friday, which is the Muslim holy day, so routines were changed a little. We had to wait until a bit later for lunch, because everyone had been to the mosque to pray. We ate at beach restaurant number 1, because that was the only one that was open.
Later in the afternoon, Nish took us back to the restaurant for "tea". We had cups of tea, of course, and a selection of tasty pastries that are sort of appetizers. I got him to tell us the name of each of them, but because they were in the local language, I had no hope of remembering them.
Tea at the beach

Tea at the beach


Our supper back at the hotel was a little different as well. There were only the four of us for supper, and Nish ate with us outside at the picnic table. Very nice to eat outside, but there are mosquitoes here of course.
Tomorrow we go off to stay on a different island, Omadhoo, for another four nights.

Posted by katdill 17:42 Archived in Maldives Republic Comments (0)

School and snorkeling

February 4, 2016

sunny 28 °C
View Sri Lanka, The Maldives and India on katdill's travel map.

I visited the school again today. The principal had suggested yesterday, that if we wanted to come back again they would like that. So after some consultation with the hotel staff, I went off to see what I could do to help. I got to spend about 20 or 30 minutes talking to a grade 4 class. Their English was fairly good and we had a good time exchanging information about our countries. One of the first questions was "Are you a Muslim?" so when I answered that it turned out their teacher is not, either. He is from India - from the area we are going to visit. I wrote my name and address on the whiteboard, so they could all copy it down in their books. Then they wanted my autograph - yikes, what celebrity! I don't know there was any long term benefit for the kids, but I think it's good for them to hear English spoken with a different accent than what they hear all the time.
Some of the teachers at the school

Some of the teachers at the school


When I got back to the hotel, Don and Rob were just leaving on a snorkeling trip in a small boat with Nish. They were gone about 3 hours and had a good time. Rob got some great turtle footage with his GoPro camera.
Setting out for snorkeling

Setting out for snorkeling


We went for lunch to the other beach restaurant with Eric. This restaurant had no menu, just a fixed meal, fried noodles with vegetables. So that is what we had and it was delicious.
Lunch on the beach

Lunch on the beach


The fruit bats here are helpful to the islanders. They eat the fruit of a tree they call "stone apple" and spit out the pit. The islanders collect the pits and dry them. Then they crack the nut and find an edible seed inside that they say is delicious. Very interesting.

At sunset, Don and I went for a walk around the island. It's so small, the only problem is that there are a few rocks some places so we couldn't stay right by the water all the way around.
New boat just launched

New boat just launched

Tropical sunset

Tropical sunset

Posted by katdill 19:18 Archived in Maldives Republic Comments (0)

Dhangethi

February 3, 2016

sunny 28 °C
View Sri Lanka, The Maldives and India on katdill's travel map.

After breakfast, we were taken on a tour of the island by Nish, along with Eric, the only other new guest here. There is a large group of Spanish divers here as well.
We walked around the village and island, the village mostly fills up the island, and Nish showed us the sights and explained a little about local life. We saw the boat building yard, where they build boats for diving trips and excursions. We saw the new harbour they are excavating to improve boat mooring under different wind conditions. We saw the Community Center that was built with a donation from the Canadian Red Cross. We had a great little visit to the school and the principal explained quite a bit about school life in the Maldives. His English was wonderful.
At the school

At the school


Boat building

Boat building


We were also shown Bikini beach, which has a wall around it screening it from the rest of the island. This is the only place, men can take their shirts off and women wear bathing suits. Otherwise, we must wear shirts and shorts (not short shorts) to keep from offending the Muslim local people.

We tried out the "lazy chairs" they have here. Metal pipe frame with net seats. Quite comfy, actually.
Lazy chair

Lazy chair

Trying out the lazy chairs

Trying out the lazy chairs


After our tour, we rested out of the heat for awhile and then went to a beach restaurant for lunch. Apparently, there are two restaurants here that are not in the hotel. Nish said there are two other guest houses here, but we did not see them and they are not as large as the hotel.

Don, Rob and Eric went snorkeling around 3:00, but found the tide was too low and so they had trouble navigating around the coral. After Don got back, I went with him to try out the beach and the water. The many crabs are very entertaining and the heron walking along the top of the reef is a great sight. Too bad we didn't have a camera with us.

As we were getting cleaned up for supper, I spotted a fruit bat feeding in the trees outside our window. So nice to see one up so close. We had supper here at the hotel and the guys made plans for tomorrow.

Posted by katdill 18:03 Archived in Maldives Republic Tagged fruit_bats Comments (0)

Travel to the Maldives

February 2, 2016

sunny 28 °C
View Sri Lanka, The Maldives and India on katdill's travel map.

We had a relaxing morning, packing up and waiting until 11:00 for a tuk tuk to take us to the airport. Mani booked herself a massage at 10:30 because her flight back to Canada leaves much later in the day. The three of us loaded up and after checking in at the airport, had some lunch and boarded our flight to Male, the Maldives. The plane landed in Male at 2:30. We had received an email telling us that the speedboat that would take us from Male to the transfer island was leaving at 3:30. It didn't seems like there would be enough time to make it to the speedboat and we would have to spend the night in Male.
A young man met us outside the airport and conducted us to the airport ferry. This ferry took us from the airport over to the city, where another young man met us and put us in a cab to the speedboat dock. We got to the speedboat dock at 3:20 and they told us it was not leaving until 4:00. Whew! But we had no Maldivian money and not much US cash. Don had read there are only ATMs in Male and not on the other islands. So the guide took Don and Rob off to a nearby ATM to get some cash and they got back in time to leave on the speedboat. The ride on the speedboat was about 2 hours long with a couple of stops at islands along the way. Then we had to get off and transfer to a smaller boat that brought us to Dhangethi.
We were met at the dock by Nish, who guided us to the hotel, had us register, and showed us our rooms. We had a nice supper here at the hotel after we had a chance to rest and clean up. We met up with Eric, who is a Swedish man traveling on his own, and had supper with him and some interesting conversation.
On the airport ferry

On the airport ferry

The speedboat dock

The speedboat dock

Dawn from our window

Dawn from our window

Posted by katdill 23:00 Archived in Maldives Republic Comments (0)

(Entries 31 - 35 of 62) « Page .. 2 3 4 5 6 [7] 8 9 10 11 12 .. »