Enjoy a Maldives holiday - while they are still there

Saturday, 31 January 2009 21:43

Iain Mayhew

They may be sinking, but the stunning Maldives will always float your love boat.

It’s lucky I’ve brought my snorkel, mask and flippers with me.

I mean, they’re great for watching the mating habits of wrasse and rays and reef sharks and rainbow fish and so on.

But soon they could be an essential accoutrement to daily life out here, in much the same way as people carried around gas masks in boxes during the Blitz.

The Maldives is sinking into the peacock-blue Indian Ocean. Or rather, because of global warming, the sea level is rising around the Maldives.

And if the doom merchants are to be believed, every one of these 1,190 islands will be up to its neck in briny within a few generations.

Sitting under a coconut palm and watching a heron organise its breakfast buffet from a coral-ringed lagoon, I find this very hard to believe.

Yet someone seems to be taking it seriously. Only a few months ago the country’s new President started browsing the global property market to buy a post-diluvian home for his 270,000 people (a tiny slice of Australia has been mentioned. Quite how these gentle, seafaring, non-drinking folk would fare in the land of cane toads and Castlemaine beer doesn’t bear thinking about.).

No, I can’t see it, somehow. Here on Meeru Island, just one resort about a mile long by a quarter of a mile wide, with its palm-lined sandy walkways and sugar-white beaches, all seems right with the world. This really is as close to paradise as any cliche can get – unless of course you happen to be a travelling shoe salesman, because no-one wears any. At all. Even for dinner.

Meeru is a 50-minute speedboat ride from the airport at Male, the Maldives capital.

You could pay a bit more and arrive here by seaplane (15mins), but the boat parks up just a few yards from the airport arrivals hall and after an 11-hour overnight flight you might prefer the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. It is one of the larger Maldives islands (on some you could throw a coconut from one end to the other) and in some ways – particularly if you’re here for two weeks – it’s better for that.

There’s a dinky little nine-hole golf course, a golf driving range, floodlit tennis courts, badminton, a gym, two spas and bicycles for hire to whiz yourself from the Uthuru Bar on the northern tip of the island to the Asian Wok restaurant and bar in the south...........Read more


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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