Today has been crazy amazing.
We started the day with a full-day snorkeling expedition. We visited about 4 or 5 snorkeling spots and we saw a manta ray, 6 eagle rays swimming in formation, gray reef sharks, and tuna! But best of all, we saw pods of dolphins, with lots of babies, just following our boat and interacting with us! We even snorkeled a sunken ship, with only the bow sticking out of the water. Breathtaking. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much on one boat trip. It’s bad-ass hardcore snorkeling, if there ever was one.
And the whole time we were treated like royalty – snacks, food, a sumptuous lunch, coffee, etc., overflowing the whole time. We wowed everyone when we brought out a bag of dried mangoes. They kept closing their eyes and exclaiming how orgasmically delicious it was! The whole crew just spoiled us rotten. The whole experience was just magical.
We also had nice company, we had German, French, South African, and Peruvian people as groupmates. When we were introducing ourselves, as they proudly stated their home countries: “Germany!”, “France!”, “South Africa!”, “Peru!”, I was tempted to say, “The proud land of the Pinoy Republic of Jejemon!”
The water was incredibly clear and warm. Even in between snorkeling spots, we would jump in the middle of the ocean just to soak in the soothing turquoise brine of the Indian Ocean. It’s like we get separation anxiety from the ocean.
We were actually sad to see it end, our little seafaring jaunt, one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
And to our surprise, our day was far from over. Apparently, it’s Earth Hour, and to celebrate, all four “resorts” within the resort (our resort is divided further into four sub-resorts) are dining by candlelight, under the stars, serenaded by Maldivian performers, singing and dancing as we feast. Okay fine, it was crazy romantic, so I was imagining it’s our wedding and it was our reception (hahaha, I can’t believe I admitted that!). But it was perfect: overflowing scrumptious food, romantic setting, the sound of the surf crashing into the shore, Maldivian chanting and music wafting into the air, under the clearest skies imaginable, with the one person I’d want to be experiencing this with, how could I not swoon? What a perfect way to end an already perfect day.
Did I mention that this is now my most favorite place in the whole wide world? No? This in now my most favorite place in the whole wide world.
The road to Maldives was long and eventful. We arrived in Kuala Lumpur at 1am and our connecting flight wasn’t until 8pm, so we checked in a hotel only to find out we’re checked in not until 2pm later that day. Good thing there was a nearby inn that was available. So we checked in, then checked out at 12nn, checked in again at the second hotel (the booking could no longer be cancelled), then checked out at 6pm. We flew to Male, landed at 10pm, stayed overnight at a creepy inn in the middle of nowhere, then finally took a sea plane to Kuredu island a few hours later the next morning at 6am. It was my first time ever to ride sea plane, so it was quite a thrill. A bit scary, especially when we hit the clouds, but way cool, especially with the water landing. After almost 36 hours since we left Manila, we have arrived in Maldives, one of my ultimate bucket list destinations.
But once we landed, almost programmed to be disappointed with such unreasonably high expectations of Maldives, to further abuse a cliche, we were greeted with paradise. The staff was so welcoming (not as festive as when you arrive in the big Palawan resorts where you’re greeted with a throng of singing staff members), and very professional.
We’re spending the first half of our stay in a garden villa, then the other half in the more expensive, but more stunning water villa.
And once we swam near the resort’s trademark sand bar, it turned out to be one of my most memorable beach experiences ever. The sun radiated steadily, the water was luminous turquoise, the temperature was warm and inviting, the cool breeze blew steadily, and big fish swam past you in the crystal clear, shallow water, free of stones or corals. It was, to put it simply, magical. It was one of those moments that you keep safe in your memory bank, pull it out when your feeling low, then put it back in for future use. It was so good I didn’t want it to end.
We booked a manta ray snorkeling expedition for tomorrow (another bucket list entry, if ever), so hopefully all goes well with that. It’s been just a day on the island, and already it’s been worth the money and effort to be here. In my humble opinion, you can’t put a price tag on the memories and insights you gain when traveling.
And I haven’t felt stronger about that opinion as I do now, nestled in this paradise island, a gem in the middle of the Indian ocean.