A dream date for a Calendar Girl - the Maldives by seaplane

Monday, 4 May 2009 08:53

It had been a dream of mine for many many years - and when my 60th birthday loomed I decided it was time it came true. I went to the Maldives. A week in this paradise can cost anything from £4,000 a couple to £49,000 and, with 1,200 tiny islands grouped in 26 coral atolls to choose from, deciding exactly where to go can be a dilemma.

Our budget of £2,000 each at least made the choice easier and, breaking our limit by £500, my husband and I decided on an all-inclusive package to Chaaya Lagoon Hakuraa Huraa resort.

We flew with Emirates from Manchester, changing in Dubai. Waiting in the immigration queue at Male airport, the gateway to the Maldives, we seemed to be the only ones still sweating. We stood in our Manchester clothes while the French and Italians looked tastefully cool and chic and were, of course, carrying their own diving gear.

At last we were whisked off in a coach to the seaplane dock to wait for our Maldivian air taxi, and we were able to relax. As we watched seaplanes soaring in and out, with the sun shining above a sparkling blue sea, it felt as if the holiday had begun.

A couple of hours later we were making for a De Havilland Twin Otter, feeling like extras in an Indiana Jones movie. Barefoot uniformed pilots welcomed us on board - and we were relieved to see our luggage again. The plane revved up and another barefooted guy loosened the ropes, tucked them away and climbed in as we started to move, heading for Meemu Atoll, 45 minutes away. Read more.....

By Tricia Stewart


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