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Old 28th November 2011, 01:00   #1
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Default Maldives Ahoy... A Picturelogue !!!

Hi Guys reporting from Maldives...Day 1.

First a bit about the place.

In Maldives, one arrives at the Capital, Male, the entry point to Maldives a county made of almost 1200 islands our of which only 350 are populated. The total population being 3.5 lakh. This is one of the worlds most dispersed countries. At the airport, you are greeted and met by a representative of the resort you have booked in and are escorted there, either by a boat or by a sea plane. The distance of the resort from the airport determines your mode of travel from the airport to each resort, which is either by a Sea Plane or by a boat.

Each resort is built on a separate island and occupies the whole island. These are small islands mostly which can be toured on foot within a few minutes if you fancy.
Although the currency is the Maldivian Rufiah, the USD rules roost. People are happy to accept USD rather than their own currency and it is advisable not to change into the local currency unless you want to take a taxi or a boat ride somewhere. Even there, the USD would be more welcome.

Surprisingly, there is no duty free shop at arrival but theres a reason, this is an Islamic country with very strict laws regarding bringing in goods and non Islamic items. They are very specific as to what is not allowed into the country and on the flight itself you are handed over a pamplet which lists out 12 specific items which one cannot get into the country.

The Pamphlet handed out on the aircraft.

Maldives Ahoy... A Picturelogue !!!-img00672201111271140.jpg

As mentioned above in the picture, for the benefit of future travellers, one cant bring in Dogs or any kinds of pets or animals, Alcohol, Pork products, Idols for worship, Plants, Materials contrary to Islam, Chemicals and the usual stuff that is banned from any sane country like Drugs, Firearms, dangerous stuff etc.

But.. all resorts have plenty of some of these otherwise banned food and drink items(though i didnt see a single dog), available for the guests albeit at highway robbery prices. Basically the place is a tourist rip off and one pays exorbitant prices for these items and mind you, regular food is also not cheap either and you realize why. Each island is secluded, right in the middle of nowhere armed with their own power plant and water purification plant amongst other things. Nothing grows here except plenty of fish so almost everything is imported and got in from Male via boat or seaplane.

More tomorrow.......

Last edited by V-16 : 30th January 2012 at 16:27. Reason: adding-deleting-etc.
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Old 28th November 2011, 19:55   #2
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Ok so taking off from where i left last evening,

The flight to Maldives from Bangalore was, well like how all other flights are. We boarded the Air India (the only Indian option) and reached Male an hour and 20 minutes late, that was because of the delay in the take off time due to whatever the real reasons would be.

When we reached near about Male it was evident as the sea got more visible. That is it got blueish, turquoise-ish green, lets just say it got beautiful and breathtaking. Each person on the flight was peeking out of the window.

View from the top.

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Finally we taxied into the parking dock of the Male International Airport.

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"The temperature outside is 30 degrees" we were told but it was pleasantly windy not muggy as we find it in Bombay, even in lower temperatures.
This Airport is small, really small and this country gets more foreign visitors than India does, many many times more. We should learn something from countries like Maldives and Singapore, keeping in mind their size.

As we walked outside the exit gates, a representative from the W was waiting for us and he welcomed us with a smile. He also inquired if we would be needing to take a local sim card....a very thoughtful touch i feel. Right at the airport we bought the sim cards. A helpful hint here for all you Blackberry (hereinafter referred to as BB for reasons of....well, sheer lazyness in typing the full form) users. he BB services would be activated only if you get a post paid card, which is more expensive and useless until you want to go back to Maldives in the near future. The pre paid card does not support BB services.

After that we were ushered to a minivan and onto a short ride close to the sea to the seaplane airtaxi terminal for our flight to the W.

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The Airtaxi terminal from the W Lounge at the airtaxi terminal

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The W Lounge was air conditioned and comfortable. We were offered a choice of soft drinks, freshly squeezed and canned juices, smoothies etc and a few snacks, both sweet and savory along with complimentary use of internet. This is also where we checked in while we waited for the weather to clear up. We had to wait almost an hour because it started to rain and till the weather would permit, our flight to the W was delayed. Not a long time after that, we were asked to make our way to the Seaplane. En-route, a snap was clicked of each group with the "W" in the background and we had these photos, framed in a concave acrylic frame delivered to our room later in the evening. One copy per participant, just in case you travelling with someone other than your wife

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The Airtaxi, an 18 seater seaplane was noisy as hell but the excitement to get to the venue and the beautiful coral reefs and sand banks below in the sea just overpowered the noise factor. One could see a plethora of Resorts in the middle of nowhere from the top

The Cockpit controls armed with Garmin GPS systems

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Thanda thanda cool cool

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View of Male from the airtaxi

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View of other resorts from above

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.....to be continued.......
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Old 28th November 2011, 20:26   #3
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The airtaxi had to make a drop at another resort so we descended to drop a few passengers. The air taxi lands in the sea and docks itself to a floating platform in the middle of nowhere. This is where the resorts send their boats to pick and drop their guests to the airtaxi terminal.

The Sea Platform

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Anyone know what brand these tyres are??

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Boats waiting from the resorts to transport their guests to their locations

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Guests alighting to be taken to their resorts

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Soon we were off again. Next stop The W.

More resorts and more corals reefs

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A short flight of less than five minutes later we touched down at the W platform. I was told that the airtaxi lands directly to the W jetty in the morning and evening times. It used the platform during other hours to avoid disturbance to the guest at the resort who might be taking rest. Very thoughtful again, i thought.

The W, visible from the airtaxi platform

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Photo op

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We boarded the W speed boat to the resort which could be seen some distance away. On arrival at the W jetty we were greeted warmly by the staff and the guest relations manager of the W, not to mention the pristine white sands and the turquoise blue water specked with green corals everywhere.

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A cold towel and a refreshing lemon grass iced tea later, we were asked to board a golf cart to be taken for a tour of the property so that we ware familiar with the facilities.

We were only two couples on the air taxi. Co incidentally the other couple was also Indian, from Mumbai and stayed in Bandra. We got talking almost instantly from the air taxi terminal. Both of us got a separate golf cart. No stingy operation in the experience here.
After we were explained where the strategic area such as restaurants and other recreation points were situated, we were carted to our rooms.

The Reception area

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Old 29th November 2011, 03:32   #4
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The various dining outlets

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The infinity pool common for each resident

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The Beach

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Coconut water on the beach

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The Golf carts with guests being shown around the property

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A wooden deck serving as a pathway lead to this side of the rooms, which were either lagoon or sea facing. We were put up in the lagoon facing rooms. The privacy factor was great in both sides if the rooms. These were essentially villa type of rooms erected on a stilted platform, into the sea. These have become a customary type of a room to have in almost every resort in the Maldives and also in some resorts in Mauritius.

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We were driven to our lagoon facing room

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The interiors were luxury personified. A huge room with all possible amenities. For starters, a huge king sized bed with the most comfortable pillows........

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......overlooking the outside private sunbathing deck on the lagoon.

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The room as seen from the deck which is equipped with deck chairs, a circular, well padded bed and a plunge pool cum jacuzzi.

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and access directly in to the lagoon. How cool is that??!!

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Last edited by V-16 : 29th November 2011 at 03:43.
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Old 29th November 2011, 04:41   #5
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The lagoon looks a wonderful blue and the water is so crystal clear that the corals are seen clearly on the sandy bed. One could easily mistake this to be the floor of a man made swimming pool.

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The Sitting area

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A Barbeque grill if you feel like playing Chef-Chef

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And a shower for using the plunge pool cum Jaccuzi

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The inside ceiling of the room is high and adorns a fan with an antique look

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In the living area of the room one funds a huge port hole cut out in the floor. Its Glass through which one can see in the lagoon directly from one's room

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View from the bathroom. One sees the infinity plunge pool continuing as if one with the lagoon

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Hungry, we ordered room service and the food came promptly and tasted good.

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As the night got younger, the deck looked magical

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We ventured to do a foot recce of the places of interest. What i found really thoughtful are these kiosks spread out all around the island. These are essentially called Sweet Spots from where any guest can utilize the soft drinks, cold coffees, ice creams, water and ice all throughout the day and night. They also contains some body lotion, hand sanitizer, sun block, paper tissues and beach towels. These are unmanned kiosks and everything from here is at no charge.

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We came accross an area with huge comfortable tables and chairs with all sorts of board games on offer along with a simple menu if one wished to eat.

We loved the Mother of Pearl and sea shell Chess Board so much, we settled to play a game of chess

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It was quite warm indoors so we ordered some cool thirst quenchers, tall glasses of freshly squeezed lemonade with some mint leaves, slices of giant lemons and lots of ice, Mine was called something fancy and came with added crushed pineapple. Really tastes different, good and refereshing. You guys should try this at home.

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Along with a very well made Pizza from their wood fired oven

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So much for the first day. We called it a night and headed to our room. While the wife slept, yours truly was up till late, filing in this report.

......Tomorrow.......Day two!! Good night...or rather.... Good Morning!!

Last edited by V-16 : 29th November 2011 at 20:35.
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Old 29th November 2011, 17:07   #6
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Day two began with a rumble in the stomach. I was up early and was spellbound watching the beautiful sun rays bounce off the sand bed in the lagoon. Gold was the only colour that came into my mind.

A quick shower later we headed to the "Kitchen" restaurant which serves breakfast. It had rained last night so was quite pleasant and overcast. The Kitchen has an inside and an outside dining area. Weather permitting, i always prefer to sit out side as long as there is no direct sun.

I noticed a few tables set in a calf deep water body. It looked so bizarre that i had to try it. My first step into the water was to reassure me that there was no moss and the floor was not slippery. Once assured, we sat in that table. I guess there were others, who wanted to try that seating too but thought it was too stupid to try first, so here they had me already sitting. Within minutes, guests from other tables made a beeline for these water tables. Its a great feeling to sit on a table with water almost up to your ankles. The only other place i have seen this kind of seating is in Venice at St. Marks Square but that is natural. Those guys have made it a tourist attraction. Actually, the drainage system in Venice is almost as old as Venice itself and due to pressure from tourism the underground drainage system has virtually collapsed, so every other day during high tide, Venice gets flooded. I stayed away from that part of floods as it is actually drainage water which you are sitting in, not so in Maldives, thank God!!

Only three such table are available. I think the management is looking forward to setting up a few more as they seem to be suddenly in great demand

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Yoghurt served in a novel way

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We decided to walk around the place to get our bearings right and passed many interesting spots;

The Clinic, aptly named "OUCH" Lol!!

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The Spa. We were told the best Corals are in front and around the Spa. We found later in the day that this was true.

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Coral reefs are natures bounty and it takes a coral decades to just grow a few inches. Its a wonder how many people do not care and just carelessly touch, bruise and also break or kill corals. They are very aware here of the damage to the corals and you are educated every time you step into the water to conserve corals and not to touch them. I agree.

We decided to go snorkeling and decided to take the guided tour at first so we are aware of the areas to swim within and to where to avoid. Our friendly guide was a young local called Haleem. I took an instant liking to him. Maybe it was something to do with his name, that is similar to one of my favourite dishes.

Haleem explained to us the nuances of snorkeling and the coral life before getting into the sea. He lead us through carefully marked chancels from where one can swim into the ocean and keep swimming while you gaze at the underwater world in sheer awe.

Whenever i see nature in all its glory i am humbled every single time. The lagoon looks so harmless with corals strewn around like plants until the otherwise almost flat sea bed just suddenly descends into the vast blue ocean. One can instantly feel sudden change in water temperature which drops down several degrees and compared to the water in the lagoon. This might have been a mountain or a hill centuries ago, before it sunk, I saw why the water turns into a dark inky black. There is a sudden drop in the lagoon bed, a slope really steep. While one can look into the lagoon and pin point every single spec of sand but one cant see the floor of the seabed. The seabed just vanishes into the murky inky blue waters, nevertheless clear but deep. We are advised to keep to the reef side, while swimming in the deep sea now but keeping within the sight of the Coral reef, carefully avoiding touching or harming them and not far away into the sea. We are told, there is not a single life guard on the island so its not wise to wander far off into the deep ocean. Scary but really fantastic.

What intrigued me more that the corals was what secrets lie hidden deep, invisible from us into the depths of the mysterious ocean. One saw a host of corals of all shapes and sizes, along with a huge variety of Marine life. White snapper, Reef fish, big fish, bigger fish, still bigger fish, small fish, turtles etc. I had borrowed an underwater camera from Tejas but as soon as i put it on under water, it started saying , "Clean Contact Card With Clean Dry Cloth." No this cant be happening to me. Here i was all excited about clicking under water pictures and this camera was not behaving itself.

After our snorkeling session which lasted about an hour, we headed back into the room to freshen up. A quick shower later i decided i had not had enough of the water so i armed myself with the bare essentials of a beach holiday.. and dunked into the plunge pool of the room.

Bare essentials of a beach holiday-Sunglasses, Sunblock, Hydrate-ers

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In the infinity plunge pool

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Ordered a light lunch...here, Ceaser's Salad

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And while the wife retired indoors for a nap, I chose to just lie down on the Circular bed on the deck and simply Gaze into the Horizon.

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The sun sets early so its dark early. Its my Wife's birthday tomorrow. What should i do?

We get out of the room for dinner and i slip into the reception area to ask what special arrangement they can make for her day tomorrow. We decide on a do it yourself barbeque on our room deck. Dining Al Fresco. They will send us the salads and some marinated meats and stuff which we can privately cook on the spit and enjoy the night and private dining by the ocean.

The entire board walk is lit with indirect illumination by led strips. Looks beautiful at night.

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We head for the "Fish" restaurant where i order a grilled White Snapper and she orders some Sushi

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After a good meal we decide to look into the night club called 25 Below, but its shut. We would be visiting it tomorrow, on her birthday.

Back in the room while she prepares to sleep i catch a Stevan Segal film on Star Movies onthe 42 inch LCD with a Bose Surround sound system, the door bell rings. A small cake is delivered to our room at 11:45.

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They must have gathered it from the registration where they ask your birth date and wedding anniversary dates.

We light the candle on the outside deck, she cuts the cake, i wish her a very happy birthday and good night and she his the bed and i stay on the deck, retiring for the night on the open air bed, gazing at the stars till i feel sleepy and move inside. I dont know what time it is and i dont care, Im on holiday and i dont need to be up at a scheduled time. The sunlight will wake me up,if the wife doesn't first.92...but before that i must write continue this travelogue armed with a mini Mars bar and cold coffee can. Aaaahhhh!!

......Day three coming up soon.

Last edited by V-16 : 31st January 2012 at 20:46.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 20:37   #7
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Default Re: Maldives Ahoy... A Picturelogue !!!

The D Day, Her Birthday!!

Got up fresh, and rearing to go. Could not believe we were already down two days.

Looked around dazed and saw my friends through the night, my companions who kept me company while i posted this travelogue.

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The weather was still and the sky was clear, quite a depart from last nights windy and cloudy weather, threatening to pour.

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We down a crisp Ristretto, brewed out of freshly ground Arabica beans from Brazil after a lazy breakfast mainly consisting of cereal, fresh fruit and juice.

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....we choose to walk along the perimeter of the island but its really hot so we decide against it and get back to the room to plan the day, from within air-conditioned comfort. We walk back avoiding the buggies, the walk, would hopefully help in digesting our overindulgence.

After reaching the room we contemplated what to do and decided to go snorkeling on our own. The first days guided (paid) tour was needed in my opinion. Haleem our instructor had shown us the way. There was an opening right in front of the room, in the lagoon i mean.

Notice the dot, the arrow points towards. Thats a Buoy marking the area where a channel is made for someone who wants to swim and see the corals. There are designated marked spots for swimmers which lead towards the reef in the ocean from where one can swim without touching the corals.

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We got into our snorkeling gear and climbed down form the ladder that extends down into the lagoon from the Villa itself. The water was warm, today was a hot day.

Before we swam out into the reef and did the same circuit again, we decided to see some of the coral life in the lagoon itself, after which we swam into the sea and ended up again near the Spa. I think the whole exercise took us around an hour and a half. I found that today we breathed more easy, we were quite confident of the waters and knew exactly how to avoid touching this delicate marine life. I am reminded of the song from some obscure Bollywood movie......"No touching, no touching......only seeing, only seeing!!" It quite weird, what things come to your mind when you are one with nature.

We walk back to our rooms through the pristine white sands getting glimpses of large schools of grey tiny fish. at the most half an inch wide and about three inches long. They swim in schools almost still and occupy a wave and look as if there is a cluster of moss moving with the wave, almost dead like, afloat. A most amazing sight and as soon as you step into the water they dart around you, all over, i guess its a survival technique. Go in all directions with speed so as to confuse the predator. One can spend hours just watching them. Once you notice them as being different from the coral or some aquatic weed, you start noticing them and wonder how you had never noticed their existence for all this while.

The Amazing Fish

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Its getting overcast and the sun has disappeared............we are hungry (yes, yet again we are) and order a Pasta and this time we share a superbly made Sphaghetti Bolognese for a snack or brunch, as lunch can wait.

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I take a dip in the plunge pool (what to do, i just love water) armed with some ice and a diet coke, while the wife visits the SPA and puts a huge dent into my pocket

I laze around in the pool s i have atleast 2 hours now. So i stand and admire the clouds, the sheer magnetism of the scenery which sometimes holds you by the collar and forces you to take notice.

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It barely a few minutes past five and the sun is already bidding adieu. I try and capture the sunset.

The sunset, Its just beautiful..

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.....and the Moon takes a wedgy peek out of the sky. Its clear again!!

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Its getting dark and i notice the clouds are gathering yet, back again.

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Im still in the pool and try and capture the Moon in my glass!!

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Ill have my Diet Coke garnished with a wedge of MOON please"

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The Crescent Moon smiles upon us

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>>>>>>More to follow>>>>>>>

Last edited by suhaas307 : 31st January 2012 at 21:42.
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Old 22nd December 2011, 20:55   #8
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Default Re: Maldives Ahoy... A Picturelogue !!!

its getting darker by the minute.....here....

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....actually, everywhere.....

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Let there be light!!


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The external light switch has activated the Fiber Optic Lights in the pool too...beautiful. Its like you are walking on the stars. Starts above and below. This is heaven isnt it?

The pool with the fiber optic lights

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>>>>coming up...the barbeque on the deck>>>>>
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Old 27th January 2012, 19:48   #9
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We stepped out for a stroll to check out the dining options for the night.

The lit walkways

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I wanted to make her birthday special so i had set about asking the F&B in charge there, Peter, a gregarious Parsi gent (aren't they all?) from Andheri the options. He gave me the idea of a Bar-B-Q. Said they had a restaurant called Fire which had a bar-b-q buffet and they could arrange a seating on the beach for us. I found that too romantic for me (im not a romantic at heart....you should meet my wife, she cribs about it to everyone) and the fact that my wife just about nibbles at her food. A buffet dinner was not what i was looking at, to add to that, the person said "We have a lot of Indian curries on the menu today" These words sealed the fate and we decided against it. We wanted something local or plain hard core bar b q stuff. We eat Indian everyday man. but what were the options left? We had eaten at their restaurant "Fish" and ate at "The Kitchen" every morning- breakfast, we had also eaten at the "Wet Bar" (Pizza and Awesome Lemonade remember?!!) so that left only room service and Fire. Fire was definitely out and the Disco was closed. Strange, i learnt that its open only three nights in a week???

He suggested that there was an option of a do it yourself bar b q available in our rooms. They would deliver the choice of bar b q meats and veggies, pre-marinated with all the paraphernalia and we could cook ourselves in complete privacy. "What a novel idea" i thought and i quickly agreed to the option. I remembered noticing a bar b q grill covered and kept in the corner of the deck. The meats and food i ordered to be sent in by 10 i said. In the meanwhile we browsed around the island and enjoyed the clear sky for the first time in so many days. Fortunately the weather was a bit better than its usual muggy self.

We returned to the room after a long stroll (and many stops at the sweet point for ice cream bars for myself and a few cans of diet coke).

As we sat at the deck chatting away the door bell rang and in came the attendant with all the ingredients that make a good bar b q.

.........................And the night got deathly quiet...and his face lost all expression, he said "If you got to make a Bar b Bue you got to learn to make it right..".....(Apologies to Kenny Rogers!!)

The fellow came with a buggy full of goodies, enough for four i thought.

The Grill was swiftly and adeptly set up to a portable gas cylinder.

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The meats were produced, straight from their kitchen freezer all individually packed in cling film and covered with another sheet of cling. Accompanied along with Olive oil and some basting sauce.

pre-marinated meats containing Chicken wings, Ribs and two 250 gm Burger pattys,…..

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along with two soft sesame burger buns, some Salad and two thick slices of processed cheese.

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The table was set along the lagoon under the covered part of the deck. Notice the deep turquoise colour peeping out from where the deck ends. The flash was not strong enough to capture the lagoon.

Two Salads, a potato salad and a mixed salad with dressed greens. A basket of assorted breads and some sauces to go with the bar b q.

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A platter of marinated Mushrooms and sweet corn on the cob also accompanied the set up.

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Last but not the least was the dessert platter. A plate of two cheese cakes, garnished with some diced exotic fruit along with a basket of fresh fruit. You can see the urge to taste this got the better of us and we sampled the goodies even before i photographed them

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Cooking time

The wings went on the spit

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and came out delicious, generously smeared with bar b q sauce

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Then the Ribs followed by some corn and finally mushrooms

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Burger time....the perfect burgers went on the spit one at a time, with a generous slice of cheese. The wife likes it well done so it went on either side for a little over 5-6 minutes (depending on intensity of the fire) . The Buns were cut into half and lightly set on the grill for that smoky flavour and to give them a slight toasty texture. The Patty was rested a few minutes to let it become juicy and slightly cool so one can bite into it. Without burning one’s mouth

Chef's Cooking Tip:Always allow your meat to rest for it to be juicy in the bite.

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I like it medium rare so no more than 2-3 minutes on one side as the grill is not very hot. Any more and it will get well done not something that i really am a big fan of.

Time for my burger to go on the spit with the onions and tomatoes.....
You can see the tomatoes are almost done at flip time and the onions caramelizing fast.

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The cheese is added as is a gentle squeeze of the orange juice, just for that sweet tang

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Finally, the Patty was plated, a perfectly cooked medium rare along with grilled tomatoes and caramalized onion but theres a limit to how much one can eat. Im not a big eater. I love my food but am not a big eater. A more often eater is more like it, taking a bite here and there very often and the wife is hardly an eater so i ate most of her burger and decided to make my patty into a steak, not within the bread but just pure meat, alas could not finish the quantity took its toll. As i said, the food was good enough for four. I dont like wasting food, but who could i give it too?. I took a few bites and then just gave up. I guess here, the eyes were bigger than the stomach

Man v/s Food.....This Time, Food Won!!

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Last edited by V-16 : 31st January 2012 at 20:49.
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Old 30th January 2012, 14:58   #10
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The food was fantastic, (what else comment did you expect-who in the heck is going to complain after cooking one own meal!!) and too much to eat. We got the dishes cleared and I lazed out under the open sky. A wonder that it was so clear that one could literally count the stars. The clouds had just disappeared. This could easily be one of the best views of the stars I have ever got.
I don’t know when I dozed of on the deck couch but given the setting and the open sky it would be a shame not to enjoy it..

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I got up sometime in the night and wandered off to the comfort of the thick mattress, wondering if this was all a nice dream…..ZZzzzzzzzzz!!!!

The next day was bright and pretty warm.

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The inviting view from the room and the passageway enroute to the breakfast venue compelled me to take a few pictures.

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Some kind of Orchid, growing in a huge planter just outside the Room. Looks beautiful with the turquoise background of the lagoon

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The lagoon was a different shade of blue today. The sun high-lightened the beauty of the corals below the surface of the waters. Even almost each grain of sand could be seen clearly.

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These little spots, access points, directly to the lagoon and a few of them housing the Sweet Spots.

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Post breakfast we took a leisurely stroll around the island. We had booked the evening to see the Sunset from a private island located within sight of this main island but more on that later. We strolled along the white sand beaches. So white I could almost christen them, for lack of a better term, Albino Sands.

The Albino Sands

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The sky was pretty clear, with a few clouds spread across reminding one of cotton candy or “Buddhi Ka Baal” (tresses of an old woman), as we called it in Mumbai when we were younger

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We could see people engaged in all kinds of activity…..
Guests Kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, board kayaking, wind surfing, etc etc.

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We caught a glimpse of “Dhonis” (not our own MS). A Dhoni is a traditional, hand crafted, multi-purpose sail boat used in the Maldives somewhat resembling an Arabian Dhow. It is one of the oldest known sea crafts in the Maldives, traditionally only a sail boat but the industrial revolution and modernization has lead the later Dhonis to adapt to mechanized motors to help them sail. The earlier ones were built from wood from the palm trees and many today are also built the same way with the same wood. Earlier used mainly for fishing, today it is used also for a variety of tasks such as delivery boats, which is what this Dhoni was all about.

A traditional Dhoni

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We walked across to the other side of the Island. This is the view of the Spa and the Helipad. Built away so that the noise is the least of a bother to its guests.

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Old 30th January 2012, 15:21   #11
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We returned to the room where we changed for our Island visit into our swim wear and over that some beachwear. The Sunset it seems is really beautiful from the Island but we were wondering if we would be able to see anything at all, as the weather had drastically changed to windy and very very cloudy.
The Island is a small….well island Away from the main island that houses the Hotel, this is a small piece of sand bank strewn with some trees and flora where there is a small shack, a bathing area and a place to eat, all covered under the thick foliage of trees and bushes. Basically a picnic spot or a honeymoon spot. After so many years of marriage, this was more like a picnic spot for us. For a fee this island is rented out to a pvt person or a group, together. It is strictly not let out to two different set of people.

Not knowing what to expect, we left the main Hotel island by a pvt speedboat enroute to the island.

That’s the hotel in the background.

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And that’s the island you can see up ahead, getting closer…..

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And closer……

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…and closer….

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…and close enough…just moments away….Our own private island for the evening.

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I could see some kind of a set up on the island….but only getting closer would reveal what it was….

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the waters were quite shallow so the Speed boat had to be adeptly maneuvered around corals almost sticking out of the water. I could now see a typical beach umbrella like shade spot made with palm leaves. So typical of beach destinations.

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Close enough..could see a beach mattress with two chairs and something else……. Cant wait to get to the island….

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That’s how far the Hotel was from this island.

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We Hopped of the boat in knee deep water and stepped onto the island. And we caught a clearer sight of those tiny amazing fish that I mentioned earlier. Schools and schools of these fish are found on the shallow waters. One feels they are a bunch of floating debris or something like that .

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The Sun was ready to set, almost awaiting our arrival but was playing truant from behind the thick cover of the clouds. Just out luck. We walked towards a private butler who gave us a tour of the island and showed us what arrangements had been made for us.

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Two beach mattresses if we wanted to grab a few winks, with a view like that, who wants to sleep?!

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Spirit lamps surrounding the area we were going to be sitting….. for that light in the as theres no electricity on this island.

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A couple of beach chairs with towels

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Something to cool your thirst with some snacks thrown in, in this case some Sushi and Scallops and some Cod nuggets. The Glasses came buried in crushed ice to keep them cold.

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There was an Ice box filled with ice and some Diet Coke (they must have noticed how many we devoured with each meal) and of course two Polycarbonate glasses. Polycarbonate, as they did not want any glass to break in the sand and hurt later visitors. What amazed me was this, that it was privately booked for us and only us. No one else on the Island. The guys who came with us and the butler, left waving goodbye to us and said they would return by 7:15 or so. They left with us, a cell phone with a fed in number, If we required to leave earlier. We could call them and they would be with us in 15 minutes.
What an amazing place this was. No one but a few birds, some fishes and a lot of sand crabs, besides us now inhabited the island.

All we could see of the sunset was fading light, while we tried to catch a glimpse of the sun from somewhere. Alas, no success.

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The Crabs were returning back to their sandy burrows…carefully avoiding us and quickly shooting into the sea if they sensed even a slight twitch on our side.

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Old 30th January 2012, 16:08   #12
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We decided to chill and enjoy the marooned (hardly) experience and as we partook the delicious snacks…….……. and waited for the truant sun to show us that little gleam.

Unfortunately it was one of those days when it remained overcast and the only way we could tell the sun was setting was to see the light gently fade away. Still it was a beautiful and unique experience.

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We stayed till the lights almost went out and soon enough around 7:15 pm, we heard the roar of the motor boat and flashlights blinking at a distance. Reminded me of old Ajit movies where the signal from the side of the Smuggling boat would be “AAN..AAF..AAN..AFF..!!” and the signal from the other side would be “AFF..ANN..AFF..ANN..!!”

We reached the hotel braving the cold sea breeze and after settling ourselves and taking a shower, set out again for a delicious Fish meal at the Kitchen. Pan seared Norwegian Salmon with a trio of sauces.

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Twas our last night at this middle of nowhere paradise, Time had flown away literally and we had a wonderful time away from everything. I was most enjoying my cell phones, switched off and had not even bothered to put in the local sim card I had purchased. If anyone wanted to get through to me, they had my wife’s number. Her phone was on coz mothers cant live in peace if they don’t check on their kids back at home at least a few times in the day We packed our bags and decided to retire for the night as we had a morning Seaplane ride back to Male from where we were to take off for Bombay, back to the grind. I took one last look into the lovely inky black blue sea, a last deep whiff of the lovely, unpolluted, cool sea wind and retired for the night. I wonder if I would be able to save all this to remember and feel exactly, when in Bombay.

The morning was beautiful and bright. After a quick breakfast we settled the bill and as the seaplane landed on the Jetty, our bags were also bought out and loaded on to the sea plane, which had just landed on the private jetty to ferry us across to Male Airport.

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A group of employees, both senior and junior are always present at the jetty to receive and see off guests when they come in or depart from the Hotel. One can see them waving a warm welcome or bidding an adieu to the guests.

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As the Sea plane roared into life the employees gathered around to bid us a farewell.

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Cockpit controls of the Seaplane

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The most interesting and amusing one was this big jog dial which controlled the Sea Planes nose.

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We flew with a great view of ports and what looked like resorts from up here.

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And finally the Airport could be seen. A wonder of wonders, making an airport here.

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Landing safely, where the seaplanes land and off by the coach to the Airport.

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Checking in, we shopped for chocolates and the usual suspects and settled down for a cool refreshing Mixed Berry Granita and a Potato and Leek Soup, awaiting our boarding call for our journey back to Bombay/India…the place we call home.

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Its so funny, that when one is returning after a great and satisfying holiday, one wonders how one will adjust back home and that one will miss the beautiful days spent at the holidays... but as one gets closer to home, a sense of comfort and security sets in and the slight, dampened spirit gets pepped up, just thinking about one's return to the comfort of one's own home....one's family, kids and bed.

So true...Isn't it??

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Hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed typing it. Bought back pleasant memories and a huge smile on my face.


Last edited by V-16 : 31st January 2012 at 20:54.
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Old 31st January 2012, 21:45   #13
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Note From Team-BHP Support-Team: Thread moved from Assembly Line to Travelogues section. Thank you for sharing this wonderful Picturelogue! 5-Stars!
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Old 31st January 2012, 23:51   #14
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Default Re: Maldives Ahoy... A Picturelogue !!!

Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
Hope you guys enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed typing it. Bought back pleasant memories and a huge smile on my face.
Awsome! Over the years I have realized the way to prolong your vacation is to share. I keep redirecting people to my travel pics at the slightest opportunity and go back to the memories while I discuss them .
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Old 1st February 2012, 00:05   #15
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Default Re: Maldives Ahoy... A Picturelogue !!!

Thanks for sharing the trip with us! Beautifully narrated and the pictures are breathtaking!
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