The Maldives IV – The Good & the bad

11.02. – 13.02.2019

New day, same procedure it seems. Getting up far too early (I classify 8am too early during a holiday!!!), enjoying the Maldives breakfast while my better half enjoyed the continental one and then I was off to the pier for my morning dive.

I was a bit shocked when I saw no one just after 9am and was afraid they left without me. But they all arrived a bit late. And yes, ALL. Yesterday it was just Robin and myself, now the boat was full with a Chinese family heading to the sandbank, 4 snorkelers and 2 divers. But there was still enough space for everyone.

First stop was the lovely sandbank, and it actually looked nicer with clear sky and the sun being out. We then headed to the island near the sandbank to dive and snorkel. – Asdhoo Rock. Due to a bit stronger current we had to get into the water very quickly.  I was hoping the set-up of the camera was this time correct.

It was great being back under water, the water still beautiful warm, so no wetsuit for me but just swim shorts and a shirt. Going local. And yes, the current was strong from the start. We arrived on a small oral reef and then followed the very strong current. It was clear from the start it would not be a easy dive. To make it worse, I must have pressed a button on the GoPro before putting it into the water-proof box, as instead of one photo the camera took 10 whenever I pressed the button, and it took time. It seemed that the camera and I would not become best friends….

After following the nice coral section we headed deeper into the Indian ocean, seeing corals and sand on the bottom. Some of the corals looked dead to me, but I am no expert. We spotted the usual school of fish, but it seemed we would not be as lucky as the day before. Well, this was until a single eagle ray appeared. It was a beautiful sight, and I was in a perfect position to look down. It was just floating, giving plenty of opportunities of photos. Or though you would think. I pressed a wrong button again and it took a time-lapse video, and I managed then to get a video of the ray swimming away. It was brilliant to watch it in real life, but a photo would have been nice.

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We followed the strong current, passing some beautiful sections of corals and fish – which offered a lovely contrast to the blue water. But it seems our tanks were empty faster than expected and after 45 minutes the exhausting dive was over. It was a nice dive, but I preferred the dive site the day before. Though, it is important to see the various sites in the area.

Back on the boat the stories and sights were shared with the snorkelers while heading back to the sandbank to pick up the passengers there. Oh yes, the white sand looked far more impressive now with the sun…

Soon we were on the way to Dhiffushi, and thanks to the sun the water looked even more beautiful than the other few days. Light blue, dark blue, turquoise – just stunning. The highlight though was the passing between Dhiffushi and Meeru. The water just looked stunning. Just stunning….

Dive Facts:

Site: Asdhoo Rock

Max. Depth: 30.5m

Visibility: Normal

Highlights: Eagle Ray

Back on the island I was greeted by my much better half. She probably expected me earlier, but due to the the fact we had stops at the sandbank I arrived an hour later than the previous day. Before heading to the beach it was time for lunch so the starving diver could fill his belly. We obviouly went back to Café 420 and we had salad and the fish and chips. This time I was not too impressed with the fish though. I might have regretted the decision not ordering the chicken dish!!!

We then went back to the beach – unfortunately no sun loungers were free from our guesthouse. It seems they only have 8 available for 10 rooms. Not perfect. But there are worse things so used the towels and made it comfortable on the white sand. Yes, life can be hard. Relaxing, sleeping, swimming and having a cold drink. Life was good.

We headed back before sun set this time and enjoyed sitting in the garden and resting a bit in the cold room before freshen up for dinner. Unfortunately I started to get some headache, but I hoped it would go away.

For dinner we followed a recommendation from our host Melisa and went to the Ranauraa Inn as it apparently offers buffet and a-la-carte. To have a wee change we headed there. Unfortunately on the way I realised that I did not feel any better – but I was also hungry. The hotel has a nice restaurant on the first floor with plenty of seats. We decided to try the buffet with soup, rice dishes as well as Western food like spaghetti, fries and chicken. The price was around $12 pp. I wish I could state how good the food was, but I was suddenly only able to eat soup as I felt horrible sick. It was not pleasant and I wish it would happen BEFORE I ordered the buffet option for me. That was a very expensive soup and a few drinks. My other half enjoyed the food – which was important.

Unfortunately there was no time for fish watching this time and we headed straight back to the room. I felt horrible. It might actually be the fish fro lucnh as it was a bit colder than usual. But I cannot be sure.

The next day started as the previous day ended. I felt terrible. We were supposed to go snorkelling, but Melisa helped by calling the dive centre that we could not join. As it tunred out nobody was snorkelling today as it was too windy for that. So at least we did not miss it. But it turned out that I spend the first half of my last full day on this island in bed. I cannot even remember when I was ill the last time on holiday!!!!

After lunch I was able to sit outside in the yard – and depsite me trying to convince her my lovely girlfriend decided to stay to look after me. I am a lucky man it seems.

Around 2pm I finally felt better and I certainly wanted to go the beach, to enjoy a bit of the sunshine, sand and water. Luckily we got some sun loungers and could get lazy there. The fresh air was certainly helping and I loved spending a bit more time in the warm water. I must admit – I enjoy some active holidays but being on beach is not a bad alternative. And after a few days you get to know a few people. A group of Italians, for whom I played the photograper the other days returned to favour so that the two of us can get some nice photos as well. So after the terrible start it got better.

On the way back to our room I stopped at the Crown Beach Hotel as I wanted to check if they have the restaurant open for outside guests. And it was. To make it even better I could reserve a table and order grilled fish. Real Fish!!!! I could not believe to get fresh fish on an island!!!! So obviously we did this.

So after refreshing at the room we headed back to the restaurant of the hotel – The Sand Grill. And wow, the service there is great. We got a table on the beach next to the water – so clear view of the ocean, then sand resting on the soft beach. Besides of the grilled reef fish we also ordered a salad and some juice. Oh, when the food arrived I was a very happy man. The fish looked lovely, the salad looked good. And it tasted as good as it looked. I loved it. Perfectly grilled and the salad was a great addition. It seems we managed to have a perfect dinner for our last night on Dhiffushi – great food served on a beach with a very special person. Hard ot beat this!!!! I only wished we would have tried the restaurant earlier. But of course the prices were a bit higher, but worth every $.

After dinner we did a little walk, following the  street next to the beach nearly through the whole island. Something we did not do. We actually found some nice looking places that I guess serves some nice food and non-alcoholic drinks. But I had no space left in my belly, so we just walked. Maybe doing the walk during the day would have been better, but I still enjoyed it. The fresh air was nice and it gave us a chance to see a bit m ore of the island during the night. Not a bad way to finish the day.

 

Then it was time – our last day on Dhiffushi and the Maldives started. For a last time I was able to eat the delicious Maldives breakfast at Ohana (I really loved the tuna and roti!!!). We then tried our luck again, took our swim gear and headed to dive centre. Maybe we could do a snorkelling trip in the end. Unfortunately we run out of luck as the wind was still too strong for any snorkelling. Only diving was possible (and of course the divers told me how great the dive the previous day was – turtles, sharks and even dolphins near a wreck….I could have cried!!!).

Instead of snorkelling we just got a nice seat near Café 420 and enjoyed the beach, some cold coconut and going for a last swim. And here I found something very interesting. The beach section on the north west part – opposite Meeru – is calmer and easier to swim. However, between the café and Crown Beach hotel there is actually a small coral reef. Not big, but full of colourful fish. Great to find it during our last day. So at least some more fish could be seen.

We finished our morning at the Café with the local cat, checking the fish books and enjoying the view one more time. I got so used to the beautiful view from the north part of the beach – I was sure I will miss it quite a bit….

Back at Ohana it was time to pack the bag and waiting for the boat to leave at 2pm. Thankfully we did not have to empty the room earlier which made life a bit easier for us – and having a shower before leaving was certainly beneficial. And then it  was time to head to the pier for the very last time – of course we went there in style and the small buggy. Melisa organised everything for us, so we just had to enter the boat. I must admit I really like Melisa and she helped us to get the holiday back on a positive after our disastrous start. Not everything was perfect at Ohana, but the owner and Melisa were great host, fun to talk to and they try their hardest to make a stay at their place special. So it might have been a bit more emotional goodbye.

We got into the speedboat (larger than the private boat last time) and it was rather full. And then we left Dhiffushi. For a last time seeing the turquois water and the white sand while the boat headed south towards the airport. Unfortunately it turned out that the snorkelling was cancelled for a reason, as the sea was a bit choppy. It was ok for me, but for those with a weaker stomach it was not too good. Some of the waves were a bit higher than usual. I saw a seaplane and wondered how much nicer it would be to be in one of these right now.

But no choice, the 45 minutes on the boat had to be survived. So passing private island with water bungalows and white beaches and some public islands it was a last chance to really see why the Maldives are considered as paradise for so many people. I must admit the trip was not as I would have expected (changing the island on short notice it not always the best) it was still a nice stay at Dhiffushi. And when we finally arrived at the airport around 3pm I realised – the holiday was nearly over.

The only thing left before flying home was visiting Male for a few hours now…..

 

 

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