We Reach The Maldives
02.02.2016 - 02.02.2016 32 °C
NEGOMBO TO DHANGETHI
It feels like the end of the earth. Don Kathy and I comfortably settled at the Ariston inn on the small Maldavian Island of Dhangethi.
We say goodbye to Mani at the Alexandra Guest House in Negombo. Mani leaves to get a last minute massage from an Ayurvedic centre (I think she's hooked now) before catching a late afternoon flight back to Victoria with a stopover in Shanghai on the way. I am sorry to have her leave as we've had a great trip together.
We catch a tuk tuk to the airport, check in and 1 1/2 hours later we land in the Maldives an archipelago of over one thousand small Islands in the Indian Ocean. They are famous because the highest point of land in the whole country is just 2.4 metres above sea level making the country vulnerable to global warming and in danger of disappearing entirely in the future. We are met at the airport by someone who walks us over to a boat that takes us over to the next Island of Male, the commercial hub of the Maldives where someone else directs us to a car that circumnavigates the Island to get us to a launch area for the high speed inter-Island water taxi where we are met by a third person who directs us to the boat. We get there 5 minutes before the last departure of the day but have not had a chance to change any money so someone walks with us to an ATM that restricts the total we can withdraw, we walk back, and jump on board and we are off.
BOAT TRAVEL MODERN SPEED BOAT - TRADITIONAL DHONI
The Maldives are strongly Muslim and most of the women all wear the hijab. After a one and one half hour trip over rolling seas we arrive at a small Island the end destination of the water taxi We are directed to another high speed boat that takes the three of us south for another 30 minutes till we arrive at our destination - the Island of Dhangethi. We are met by the owner of the Inn and walk along sand pathways till we cross the Island (about 300 metres) and reach our destination just as evening descends on us. We are greeted with a warm face cloth, fresh fruit juice, and are adorned with a fragipani (they call honey flower) lei. This is service. We check in, are served a delicious fish dinner buffet, share a table with Erik a Swedish traveller who has also just arrived and has taken Mani's place at our table . We look forward to shangri-la for the next 3 days.
THE MAIN PORT AND STREET