Day 1: Long and so tedious.
But we endured, because at the end of the road is apparently clear aquamarine sea, white sand and paradise unnamed.
The flight was uneventful. But the boarding procedure was filled with well-dressed (if not overly so) Koreans, Japanese and Chinese with tons of branded shopping bags and fur coats – someone was even eating a whole cheesecake like a hamburger – , soon to be sweltering under the humid heat of the Maldives.
A guy from the Czech republic stood waiting for TC and me, ushered us to the domestic terminal a couple of steps away and said goodbye, presumably to do the same for the next few people he was going to meet. It’s his job really – to meet and greet at the airport only – and he has been doing that for the past 9 months, in his first big trip outside the Czech republic.
TC and I marvelled over the blueness of the water at the airport, only to have him dismiss it as rather polluted. Then he asked us about the sea where we live and my answer was as cynical as it could be.
“How time flies,” he reminisces and sweats huge buckets. “I meet people all over the world. Some nice, some not. Some complain about the stupidest things.”
There was another 2-hour wait for a 20-minute flight to Maamagili and then it was yet another half-hour of a speedboat ride to Dhigurah’s Boutique Beach where TC and I are staying.
A ‘true’ resort is what the Travel Companion (TC) very kindly and diplomatically says about Boutique Beach in the Maldives, a hotel on a non-resort island, where locals in ‘tourist shops’ lay in gleeful wait to fleece tourists.
We bought an all-inclusive dive package with full board and unless you’re a diver or a person who excels at very little to do, Dhigurah isn’t quite the place for everyone. It was a realisation that came like a sledgehammer to the head while we piled on the back of the lorry that brought us from the small harbour to the hotel. But the place is charming, rather lovely, personalised…and full of sand. It covers the dining area and the balcony, perfect for those who like going about barefoot and squishing their toes in it.
With 2 hours or so to spare until sunset, TC and I headed down the beach, modestly covered up until we walked past the village and could then wear bikinis to the water. Dinner was under dim fluorescent lighting (which made it hard to see the fish bones) and we were weirdly serenaded by someone’s phone music that consisted of 60s songs and cheesy instrumental music.
Somehow, I was still glad to say goodnight.