07 July 2009
Back from the Maldives !
Simon and Linda here, back from celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on Mirihi island in the Maldives.
We had an overnight in Columbo first - reasonably interesting place but there is a massive security presence - you're not allowed to photograph anything - and the big hotels were all bunched together with even more high security, so we didn't wander out into the city, especially as we were told there are no private bars outside of the hotels!
Next day we got our flight to Mirihi island and our room there was stunning. It was incredibly hot the whole time we were there, not very conducive to anything but diving or bathing! We did use the gym one afternoon after we'd dived in the morning, but the skin on Simon's upper arms began to bubble so we stopped immediately and went back for a rest. Oops! Had a fabulous time, although it did take a little while to adjust to doing absolutely nothing (I read 3 books). You could walk round the shoreline of the whole island in 15 minutes.
The dive centre was very slick and professional and was only about 10 paces from our door, so very handy. The boat went out every morning and afternoon so you could just put your name down if you wanted to go. It was all extremely efficient and well run - the whole place is managed by an Austrian and there is a heavy Swiss German influence in the management too, so naturally everything runs very smoothly. Lots of lovely sealife, bigger shoals of fish than I remember in Egypt, although I thought the corals were not as pretty or colourful. Among the things we saw were blue stripe snapper, clearfin turkey fish, forceps fish, fat starfish (!), lovey huge batfish that come very close, peacock grouper, moorish idol, yellow trumpet fish, clown trigger fish, turtles, remora that tried to attach themselves to my wetsuit!, unicorn fish, oriental grunt, Napolean wrasse, etc., etc., .......... you get the picture. Oh, and we had to do mask removal and buddy breathing before they'd take us out. Doh!
Also saw a couple of small sharks but sadly no manta rays (we didn't expect to as it's the wrong season) or whale sharks. We went out on the boat for 2 dives one day and the crew did spot the whale sharks so we stopped and were going to jump in with our snorkels, but they'd moved off. The boat fired up the engines again and began to move away and apparently one of them then went right underneath the boat! Typical. On the last day Simon and I dived the house reef and wreck - at about 25m - on our own, which was a new experience for me (I know, I sound like a complete novice). I was fine with it, although I did get a bit anxious on the way back as to whether we were going to come up in the right place. Should have had more faith in Simon as of course he knew exactly where we were.
All in all, a fantastic anniversary hol.
See you all soon!
Linda and Simon