It seems that we’ve fallen into a cadence that, while a bit unorthodox (even for us), has served us well here. Unfortunately, we’re still waking up quite early in the morning, but we’re essentially sleeping during the hottest part of the day and that has allowed us to enjoy the best that the Maldives has to offer!
We’re up early and on the beach for sunrise, then off to breakfast once the sun is fully up. After breakfast we’re off to the shaded pool for a bit then back to the room for a nap. After nap, we’re off to happy hour and free drinks (due to my Hilton Gold status). Then it’s back to the beach for some snorkeling and beach fun for a few hours before heading to Rangali Bar for dinner. We’ve managed to dwindle our dinner bill down to about $75 by Ken and I sharing a meal and the kids sharing a kids meal. It’s more than enough food and ridiculously expensive for what you get, but the most affordable option available. We then are in bed by about 10pm (unless your 4 year old sets the alarm on the iTouch and we have to call “Engineering” to figure out where the noise is coming from).
The snorkeling has become a highlight of the day for Ken and I. We take turns with the kids on the beach and one of us able to swim out to the reef about 50 feet off shore. In fact, swimming is optional as it is so shallow, we can touch. But there are so many different species of fish, I’ve never seen such great snorkeling from the beach. Even the snorkeling I’ve done off a boat after having been delivered to a prime spot isn’t as rich as the snorkeling here.
The kids haven’t gotten the hang of putting their faces in the water with the mask and snorkel so we booked the cheapest excursion to the underwater restaurant that we were able to find so that they could see all the fish. While it was pricey, the 11am – 12pm cocktail hour was worth it as the kids were able to see hundreds of fish. In fact, there was even “Nemo,” his anemone home, and several of his friends including Gil and Dory. There were even the fish that travel in schools that gave Dory and Marlin directions to Sydney. It was really cool. An extraordinarily expensive novelty, but worth every penny as the kids loved it.
Unfortunately, the only negative that we’ve experienced thus far is that somehow Ainsley is getting eaten alive by what we assume are mosquitos. Ken, Lachlan, and I haven’t gotten more than one bite each, but Ainsley is bitten all over. And she’s allergic to bug bites (they swell and open up) so her legs look horrible. Given that we’ve hardly gotten bitten at all, we’re not positive when the biting is happening, but we’re assuming it’s happening at dinner. We went to the island clinic (two doors down from our villa) and got some medicine that should take the itch away. She will be wearing pants to dinner from now on in hopes that we’re able to keep the bugs away for the remainder of our trip.
Overall, we’re having a blast. Our schedule is serving us well and keeping us out of the oppressive heat and humidity during midday. The kids are loving the beach, the warmth of the Indian Ocean, and the wonderful infinity pool that gives us shade when our beach is being pounded by the sun. While this is not the cheapest destination out there, we’re able to manage the expense through a few saving techniques that I will outline in the coming days for anyone who’d like to replicate our trip, but don’t want to break the bank.