The last day was a daze. We still did everything as if all was well. We ate breakfast, went to our favorite beach hut to lounge, swam for a bit in the cool early morning waters, lounged some more on the deck of our water villa, then we had to do something we dreaded and the mere thought of it sent knots tangling in our guts…pack.
It was painful. I struggled a bit with it, resisting like a spoiled child. I’ve never been on such a perfect holiday, so letting go was understandably stressful. It didn’t help that I was reading “A Dog’s Purpose”, which is heart-wrenching, so I was alternately weeping at the story, then bawling at the fact that we were leaving. We got a few hours reprieve, when our Filipino island host Charles gave us late check out, but we could only delay the inevitable so much.
We were trudging around the island as if we had leaden feet – paying our bills (which made it EXTRA painful on a different level altogether 😱) and saying goodbye to the staff – that was really rough. I hardly knew these people but I was inconsolable in our farewells. When we were finally on board the sea plane, I was watching the island shrink from view, until it became a mere tiny speck, finally disappearing into the horizon.
From Male, we took a flight to Kuala Lumpur, then back to Manila. Everything was a blur. It’s like one moment we were on the beach, and the next we were along EDSA. It’s as if we were teleported while we were in a stupor. On the bright side, we got to see the dogs again, a beacon of joy on a desolate sea of abysmal sadness (sorry for the melancholy, but that’s really how bad my post-holiday doom and gloom syndrome feels like).
So we’re back. I don’t know if we can even top this vacation, or if we should even try. Maybe we should leave it at that, the golden standard by which we measure all others. I’m sure we’ll have other incredible holidays, and who knows, maybe even unqualified better ones, but Maldives 2013 will always have a special place in our hearts, entrenched forever in our pantheon of awesome memories. But my promise to myself is this: no matter how amazing, instead of lamenting past memories, I’ll go out and make brand new ones.
I still wanted to do two morning dives since I’d still have a full 24 hours before our flight the next day, but we wanted to really soak in the island completely for our last full day in the Maldives. We vowed not to do any more activities, and just swim, lounge, eat, chill, vegetate, and be in various states of catatonia.
So we basically revisited our favorite spots, like swimming along the sand bar, which was really exposed because of a ridiculously low tide. So little islets of sand were suddenly exposed to the air, extending the sand bank an extra 200-300 meters. We also spent a lot of time on our water villa’s deck, just breathing in the steady cool breeze. And we finally saw the baby sharks! We saw a couple swimming along the shore, as in right along where the water meets the sand.
A night, after dinner, we spent it in Sai Kotari, a tea place/ bar situated at the very end of the jetty, and they put lights under the water, so you can watch all the underwater activities much better. We saw a huge stingray and a full-sized ginormous nurse shark, that glided so coolly by, like a submarine, just under the surface of the water. Amazing, even just hanging out at the jetty yields so much treasures.
Inspired, we went back to our villa, in the middle of the night, and started feeding the fish crackers and bread we had in the room. We were at the lower deck, dropping little morsels hoping some fish would come closer. Before we knew it, small fish started appearing, then larger fish the size of catfish, then larger fish, then even larger ones we couldn’t identify, then a huge giant trevally arrived scaring all the other fish away. It was at least 3 feet long. We usually see them out in the open sea, being such large fish, so we were surprised to see one right under our villa. And just as we thought we saw everything, in the middle of the fish frenzy, we jumped back and literally almost fell off the deck when from out of nowhere a full grown black tip shark came put of nowhere and passed inches from our hands! It was about 5 feet long, and it came back for a second pass before disappearing into the darkness. Spectacular. We would’ve been happy to see talakitok, so imagine how freaked out we were to see a grown black tip shark. We know babies are supposed to be near the shore precisely to avoid predators like adults of their species, so we were surprised to see one so near the shore. What was freaky though, was that we swim in front of our villa all the time, not knowing that these big mommas are also out there.
So even on our last full day, the island just kept on outdoing itself. It just wouldn’t stop dishing out pleasure after pleasure. It is going to be VERY rough leaving this place. It’s like finding the love of your life, your soulmate, then having to break up with them after 11 day