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Two weeks in paradise – my trip to the Maldives

30 May 2024 | Written by By Jenn Millard
The Joy Club member Jenn Millard shares the delights of her paradise trip the the Maldives…

December in England is frosty, crisp and Christmassy. Combine that with a special birthday and a wonderful surprise – my husband unexpectedly produced tickets for a two week trip to the Maldives. Excited? Oh yes!!!!

On the morning of my birthday in the skies somewhere over Colombo, I awoke to croissants, orange juice and a glass of champagne, courtesy of the flight team. I felt very lucky, very blessed and so very excited at the thought of this trip.

There was more! From the airport we were taken by water taxi to a jetty – this part I did not know about – for our seaplane to the Atoll. I don’t like heights and boarded the seaplane with legs of jelly. Seated in the middle on the tiny aircraft, my knuckles were white on takeoff. The seaplanes fly low deliberately for tourists to experience the best of this beautiful ocean, the reefs and tiny atolls dotted below. What was I afraid of? Within minutes my head was swivelling as though at a tennis match, as I tried to capture all the beauty in my minds’ eye.

Landing gently and taxiing to the jetty, the passengers (all four of us on this trip) and our luggage were unloaded. We were met with welcoming smiles, cold drinks and assistance to the hotel reception. There are no words to describe walking along a boardwalk with a turquoise sea below you, fish swimming close by and dazzling white sand ahead.

As one steps off the jetty onto the beach, the sand continues into the reception area and staff are uniformed, barefoot and ready to escort us to our (oh my goodness!!) bungalow on the water. The gentle swathe of water bungalows are designed to blend in with the reef and each bungalow is set apart from neighbours, offering privacy and the sensation of being on your very own island. The bungalow was Robinson Crusoe in style with lots of wood, very high ceilings and a deck with a ladder straight into the ocean. We even had a glass window cut into the floor of the bungalow, with a well placed sofa for us to sit and watch the fish below us at high tide.

Each morning I awoke early, not wanting to lose a minute of the day. With my swimming costume ready I could slip into the sea for my pre-breakfast swim. Most of this swim was spent floating gently and watching the tropical fish around me, with the odd small Manta Ray swimming away. The Manta Ray is a shy creature and as soon as there is a disturbance in the water they make their presence known and glide away rapidly. Wading further out to the reef at low tide, the beautiful coral and rocks were home to a myriad of tiny, brightly coloured tropical fish, delightful to watch darting in and out of their ocean homes. There are some cheeky chappies to look out for, the Titan Trigger fish has a vicious bite if provoked, luckily we only encountered babies during our stay.

Boat trips to see dolphins (no luck unfortunately) and fun, trying to fish with hand lines, or snorkelling in the deeper water kept us entertained in between our “lotus eating” days. The golden days simply spent lying on a beach bed reading, dozing in a hammock strung into the cool of the trees and constant dips in the crystal ocean. We explored the tiny atoll, walking paths among the trees and along the powder like sand at sunset. “Bat man” amused us at mealtimes, walking along the open decking alongside the dining room, waving a tennis racquet at the cheeky birds swooping in to steal crumbs from the outside tables.

The hotel staff were a delight. The Maldivians are a shy and gentle people, always ready to please. The array of fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood made each meal an adventure and we were lucky to meet very pleasant fellow guests during our stay. We celebrated the 31st December with our dining tables arranged on the beach and the sun setting on a crystal sea. Music, laughter and fireworks at midnight rang in the New Year.

Truly an unforgettable experience with beautiful memories of white sand, warm seas and incredible beauty. Paradise indeed.

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