This morning, we were awakened by the sound of the pitter-patter of raindrops blanketing the island. This usually is a delightful sound to wake up to, unless you’re on summer vacation…on a tropical island paradise! This has always been my nightmare, that rain will spoil a much-awaited, much-prepared for, much-saved up for holiday, the way we spent our Koh Samui vacation a couple of years ago in our resort room as the island was battered my torrential monsoon rains.
Thankfully, it wasn’t the case. The rain eased up by the time the sun came out, and soon the sun was on full blast, the way it has been the past three days, allaying any fears of being rained out.
So soon, we were swimming and sunbathing as we had the past day, and finally got to some reading. I decided to continue reading “The Life of Pi”, which I never really enjoyed, so I stopped reading after a few chapters, but now I find it a gripping read. I guess being so close to India, and the fact that we’ll be out at sea for the next three days, makes the story a little more apt, a little more gripping (although the whole boat sinking story arc doesn’t really sit well with me, given our looming boat jaunt). I devoured the book too fast, that I had to stop myself. I only brought three books and I’m almost done with two. And I don’t think the last book will last any longer.
We spent the afternoon sitting on our beach chairs, watching the sun set. It was hella romantic. Couples were drawn to the sunset like moths to a flame, walking along the shore, mostly holding hands, bathed in the warm orange light of the setting sun. If you were friend-zoned, bring him or her to this spot and I guarantee you, makakatikim siya ng malisya!
We’re spending our final night in the Bonthi area of the resort, so we found our check out letter on the bed, and our table in the Bonthi restaurant had a table cloth that said, “See you soon!” on it.
We spend the next three days on a wooden yacht, then transfer to the Sangu water villas for our final four nights. Like most dream holidays, this one is zooming past way too quickly. One can’t help but feel melancholic once hitting the halfway mark, like lamenting a delicious meal that’s been half-eaten. Trying to enjoy the present, the now, instead of dreading the looming end, but it’s a hard task. It’s like trying to enjoy a summer love, knowing you’ll eventually part at summer’s end. I’m weird like that, I usually get depressed on the first day of a nice vacation because if it starts, then it means it’s also about to end.
I don’t think I’ll have a blog entry for the next two days, because I don’t know if they have wifi on the yacht, so maybe I’ll post three days worth when we get back to land?
Pi Patel had a tiger with him on the boat. I have a Baby Whale. Talo siya.
For our 3rd day on the island, after 2 action-packed days, we decided to take it easy and have a chill day. Basically we just wanted to lounge around, swim, lounge around some more, and break the chain only for food and naps.
After breakfast, we checked out the lesser known pool, the “O” pool, and I just LOVED it. It had this whole French Riviera vibe, with a really nice dock where you can grab some drinks as you watch the sun set.
After that, we checked out the other beaches around the island, since the ENTIRE island is bordered by white beaches, some nicer than others. Some areas have powder white beaches to rival Boracay’s, while some have pebblier sand mixed in with the fine sand.
We opted to soak the whole day’s worth of sun at the resort’s trademark sand bank, where the sand is at its finest, and the water at its clearest. I don’t know why people don’t crowd in that area of the resort, since for me it’s the best part of the island. We even watched a couple get married on the beach, which is a great idea, since this place is crazy-ass romantic! (And no, I didn’t scream: “Lolokohin ka lang niyan!”)
After literally spending every single daylight hour baking under the sun, we were ready to call it day – long fresh water shower, huge dinner, breed dragons, then turn in for the day.
We’re considering spending 3 days/2 nights on a dhoni, which is like a Maldivian wooden yacht. It sounds like a marvelous once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it entails giving up 2 nights of our accommodation since we’ll be out at sea. Let’s see what we decide and for sure I’ll blog about the experience.
For now, I’m still digesting the Mexican night buffet food that I gobbled voraciously. Surprisingly they have leche flan and suha, something to remind us of home.
One last tidbit, I’m surprised how the whole resort is filled with Europeans, mostly German and French, and none of the nationalities that usually dominate the resorts we’ve been to before. We’ve only seen ONE asian couple, and that’s it. So no Koreans, no Chinese, and no Japanese in sight. But surprisingly, no Americans, no Australians, and no Russians either. We met a Filipino staff, and he said we’re only the third Pinoys he’s seen in the resort since he started working there. So wherever we go, we stick out like a sore thumb. Buti nalang mestizo ako…
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.
If yesterday was really cloudy and rainy, today was as picture-perfect as can be! The sun was out full blast and we were deliciously baking the whole day. We basically soaked in the brine from sun-up to sun-down. I feel physically and emotionally disinfected by the ocean, the way we soak wounds in the sea to heal them. We’ve also been eating like starved swines since we got here. We had lunch at Dos Mestizos and tried out their famous Paella Valenciana. Absolutely delicious to the very last grain. And tonight we’ll be dining on Moroccan cuisine at the Kasbah. Had the sun not set, we’d still probably be in the water. Why do vacations have to end?
I really needed a break. I don’t remember needing a break this badly in a looong time! With book 2 finally submitted and a ridiculously heavy December waiting for us, I need to recharge my physical and mental batteries. And so, we decided to take a quick Boracay weekend. We almost missed our flight this morning, not because of traffic, but because of the perennial parking shortage at NAIA T3. I don’t know why they don’t address this major glitch in operations. So frustrating. But since we made it, forget the bad vibes. We were three hours delayed but it was all good. We landed in Kalibo, so with the bus, boat, and tricycle rides, we got to the resort just shortly before 6pm. Loved the room (I’ll post photos later). Headed out for a hearty Mexican dinner, got Jonah’s papaya milk shake, then headed back to sleep early. We’ll just do all the activities tomorrow after a good night’s sleep. I actually don’t care what we do, I just love the idea that I’m on vacation for the next three days. Pure heaven. ❤️
I wish I did something like this last night…