Maldives 20050122

Rashid was there with our Maldivian version of a European continental breakfast: slices of pineapple, orange, melon and watermelon, served with fresh squeezed pineapple juice. The tart passion fruit certainly woke me up. I left cards for the two sets of English couples (I don’t even remember their names), in the same style as Darren and Jo did for us. On one card I added, “PS. I saw the lizard with the green mask!” This was in reference to an ordinary lizard on the island with a disproportionately large green head that makes one think of the film, “The Mask”.

When we left at 5.30, the sun was truly rising, and the views were spectacular. By the time we got on the plane, the entire island of Filitheyo was lit up, and it was a bittersweet farewell.

There was a large Italian contingent on our flight over to Kuredu: two families with children, and grandmother to boot. Due to a windsurfer, the pilot had to abandon his initial landing, after just nearly making contact with the water, and we circled for a successful second landing (not striking in our path a green barge or its lines).

The Kuredu welcome was a good one, with someone playing a Boru drum. A rep stepped forward to ask for those staying in the deluxe water villas, and my heart sank as the Italian families followed us into the separate van, which became absolutely packed! At the reception, as all-inclusive guests we had a blue plastic bracelet snapped onto our right wrist. I grinned as it was put on, because all I could think about was the Filitheyo reception, when Riyaz said that they don’t do bracelets, “because they look cheap”.

Arriving at our villa, we couldn’t help but start to make the comparisons with Filitheyo. We must be kind to Kuredu, because it does cater for different customers. Indeed, there are some lessons that each could learn from another. For example, in our room is a “Kuredu Mobile Free Zone” notice, telling guests that they are effectively not to use mobiles outside their villas. The use of mobiles — mainly by the Asian guests — at Filitheyo took away from the ambiance.

We had lunch at the Sangu Restaurant. The architecture is authentic Maldivian coral and cement, with thatched roof. The quality of food was adequate. Not as fine as at Filitheyo, where Ira said has the best food of all the Maldivian resorts she’s been too. Kuredu doesn’t have fixed table seating, where you eat at the same table during your entire stay. We prefer flexible seating, and actually forced it upon Rashid at Filitheyo.

In the afternoon we took a nap, as we were understandably tired from our lack of sleep and busy morning. I was pleased that I could connect my mp3 player directly to the stereo and listen to our own songs. Filitheyo needs to upgrade their stereos. No televisions in the rooms at Kuredu though. You need to go to the library for that, although their website states that they intend to put tvs in the rooms in the future. With luck, the tvs will have either a Scart of 4-line input jacks, so that people can play back their own recorded videos on them (or even DVDs from laptops).

I took a walk towards main (versus Sangu) reception, using the beach route. A number of people trying out some wind sports, like kite and wind surfing. Found ProDivers, and spoke to someone about snorkelling. I learnt that I can’t easily equalise the pressure in my ears (my left ear takes too long), so deep snorkelling, let alone Scuba, is likely a no-no for me forever. The German assistant, Axel, showed me the availability of digital as well as film underwater camera rental. I don’t have to worry about a videographer, as he goes on holiday for a week, from tomorrow. Talk about bad timing.

I went across the path to the diving accessory shop. Spoke to a young Hawaiian-looking woman (who I later learnt is actually from Scotland!) about an underwater SLR film camera with strobe light. Usually $1,000, but now only $600 (or £350). Good price, but I don’t have £350 to spare for an underwater film camera. Good news is that I can rent the same camera from ProDivers, and perhaps I will.

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