Our last full day on Bandos Island and this morning the alarm clock went off at 6.45 am as Gerry had his scuba diving session at 8.30 and he needed to have his breakfast well on time. After a leisure breakfast, we were back in our hut and ready to go to the diving centre which is only like 50 meters away from our hut.
There were about 9 divers and a few instructors – luckily for Gerry, he had his own buddy instructor with whom he had his first dive yesterday.
While Gerry was way, I spent some time relaxing under the trees on the beach, reading and at times went swimming. It was interesting watching the rest of the guests – young Chinese couples, probably a getaway trip for them to celebrate the Chinese New Year. They tried all sorts of water sports activities: water scooters, kayaking, and riding the water banana. Another group of tourists that attracted my attention were 5 young (posh) French ladies who were really enjoying themselves having pictures taken and getting in and out of the water and finally settling down on the beach beds drinking cocktails! They reminded me of the ladies in Sex and the City – Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Charlotte York and Miranda Hobbs!
As you can see from the above pictures, it was not really a sunny day – loads of clouds and quite blustery. We were told that this is unusual weather for this time of the year as normally it’s bright blue skies with temperatures well above 30 degrees Celsius and the sea is as calm as a shimmering mirror.
By noon, I expected that Gerry’s boat would be returning from their diving expedition. It was going to be a busy day for Gerry as we planned to go catamaran sailing in the afternoon.
Anyway, finally the boat berthed at the diving centre jetty and Gerry had great stories to tell. He had seen load of fish, mainly stingrays and also sea turtles and as he had his water camera with him was able to take some great picture as well as videos.
After a quick lunch, we were back at the water sport centre and our catamaran was being prepared for us. Actually Gerry wanted to rent a sailing boat but these were all out for maintenance so he was offered a catamaran, which he had not yet ever sailed……. well we had our skipper with us and although Gerry did most of the sailing, Hicham, our skipper, gave him valuable tips especially as there was quite some wind and we had to manouvre between the reef. It was a really great experience and I enjoyed it immensely – who knows, perhaps at my old age, I will be taking up sailing? Mind you, we had a lot of scrambling around on deck as we changed sails and getting sprayed with warm ocean water was just fantastic!
We sailed all around the island and along some huge Australian yachts anchored just off Bandos Island and then sailed further where we saw new man made islands being developed. What we understood is as the water level is rising, some islands will be left to submerge, while new islands are being created to be higher than the expected sea level rise of maximum 2 meters. Incidentally the international airport at Male is actually built on a man made island and is safe from any expected sea levels.
By the time we got back to Bandos, we were quite tired – most probably due to the adrenaline that pumped through our veins and jumping around on deck.
And then it was time to relax on the beach and watch the sunset – it was the best one we had in the past three evenings as we’ve had cloudy weather most of the time. We did manage to see the sun in it’s full glory but then lost it again behind the clouds. By that time, we were quite ravenous and made our way to the restaurant for our last evening.
Once again, we enjoyed some beautifully tasty food and of course we could not resist the sweets bar! Anyway to,orrow we are off to Sri Lanka and then we are back to a “normal” way of life as we won’t be staying in resorts but down to earth hotels and bed and breakfasts as we travel around the “pearl” in the Indian Ocean.
By the time we got back to our beach hut, I was quite ready to call it a day, however when we opened our door, a sweet smell of flowers reached us and actually I was quite puzzled……. well I just went through to the bathroom and got a real big surprise – our jacuzzi was filled up with foam water and on top it was covered with flower petals and a sweet message from our room boy, Mohamed. Then I went up to our bedroom and our bed was also decorated with flowers. It was such a beautiful gesture. These are the small attentions which makes one want to tip these staff – not like we experienced in other countries where you are told what to leave as a tip!!
Gerry and I had quite some fun enjoying the jacuzzi but our room boy must have put in quite a bit of bath foam as when we switched on the jacuzzi, we practically drowned in all the foam that was overflowing.
What a great way to end our mini holiday on the Maldives. We had a great time feeling relaxed and enjoying each other’s company. Tomorrow we will be catching our flight to Colombo where our private chauffeur will be awaiting us to drive us around in the next 18 days.