Monday, September 7, 2009

A Vacation in Paradise

We have returned from a true vacation in paradise. We spent a week in the Maldives on the island of Komandoo in the Northern Atolls, and it was pure heaven! There really isn't too much to see with these photos aside from a lot of beach photos and some stunning sunsets. We spent a week just relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the island and the Indian Ocean. 
Ironically upon our return home to the UK, the newest issue of a travel magazine was waiting for us and it lists the Maldives as one of the top 10 beaches to see in the world. We couldn't agree MORE! The sea plane flight we took from Male to our island was amazing - the sights of the various atolls down below looked like little dots in the middle of the ocean. It was a great getaway and one I am sure we will not forget! Hopefully the sun and warmth will reach you through these photos...
Upon our arrival in the main capital, Male, we then took a van to get to the sea plane area, which we took to our island resort. 
When we were up in the air, we could see the "proper" runway on which we landed on from our mainland flight from Dubai. 
The sea plane we took from Male to our island. It was an interesting and cramped ride....
Scott on the sea plane. Can you tell how close we were due to the small plane? Note the jet-lag but we were both excited to get to our final destination! 
We could see the cockpit and the pilots up close during our ride! 
The plane's air conditioning...
A few of the atolls we passed during our flight.
Another atoll with vegetation on it. 
There were so many atolls - they were all just a bit different. 
A small local island we flew over, with local inhabitants. 
When we arrived at the island of Komandoo, the plane landed next to a raft in the middle of the ocean (pretty far away from the island). We then de-boarded the plane and stood on this "raft" while our luggage was unloaded on to it as well. A boat from the island then pulled up on the other side of this raft to take us up to the island. 

The sea plane pilots were flying barefoot! 
Another photo of this "raft." It was not really my favorite experience.
Scott on the boat from the raft towards our island.
The Island of Komandoo
The sight we saw as we walked from our boat along the boardwalk towards the resort. The hut is the island's bar. 
Upon arrival, there was a team of staff waiting for us, and playing a musical welcome with drums in the reception area. 
Welcome drinks! 
The reception area - sand floors! 
The boardwalk onto the island from where we arrived. 
A view of the bar and ocean from the reception hut/area. 

Scott in front of our beach villa. 
The view from the porch of our beach villa.
The inside of our beach villa. 
The outdoor bathroom. I was a bit shocked by this at first - once you stepped out into the bathroom there was no air conditioning! 
The sink area in the outside bathroom. There was an overhang that covered this area in case it rained. 
We had a jacuzzi area outside with this chaise type bed under the hut and next to it was a jacuzzi tub - again, all outside. 
The beach view from our villa on our side of the island.
Baby sharks! We saw them in the water daily. I was quite paranoid about them at first but they really didn't bother us if we were in the water. 
More baby sharks swimming around close to the shore. They would swim up to the very edge of the water towards the sandy beach. 
Scott on the side of our beach villa, in front of the porch. 
We watched the sunsets every evening. Here was the view from our porch.
Scott taking a wander towards the ocean during the sunset. 
Getting ready to watch another evening sunset on the beach. 
In the mornings, this was our view from the villa. (shades did not really seem to be that private! However it was such a quiet island and everyone had their own view of the sea, so we did not see many people wandering by during the early morning or evening hours)
Scott walking to a meal on the inside of the island. 
Another boardwalk on a different side of the island.
Our meal time view looking outside. 
More scenes from the island.
A view of the over-water villas at the resort. 
Getting ready for time at the beach! It's hard to tell where the sand ends and ocean begins here...
The water was so clear! I could look down and see my feet without any problems - perfect for snorkeling. 

Scott enjoyed every bit of the snorkeling on our trip. I enjoyed it too but didn't last nearly as long as he could every day as he swam around the island to explore the reef that was just 20 feet out from the shore. 
All geared up and ready for a snorkel adventure. 
Off he goes...
And I turned around and saw this sight of the beach and the villas from the water, and turned back to shore. 

The meals at the resort were nice. By the end of the week we were tired of eating because we felt like we had eaten such big meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. The restaurant had a sand floor as well so no shoes were needed anywhere on the island! 
Scott using the cool towel they provided before a meal. We were spoiled with the nice service touches such as the cool towels before every meal and even sometimes on the beach. 
Enjoying another long lunch! 
Scott at dinner one evening being silly with his napkin. 

Getting ready to kayak. The resort had a few kayaks and we took them out to paddle around. 
Scott heading for another snorkel. 
I moved my chair into the water so I could sit there for a while. It was heaven! 
And then retiring on the beach during sunset for some relaxation. 

Dinner outside on the patio one night. 
A pelican found its way onto the porch to check out the water bucket, intended to clean off our sandy feet before entering the villa. 
Sights around the island...

We watched a storm roll in towards us one afternoon. Luckily we only had one afternoon of rain. We checked into the spa that afternoon to pass the time. 

An attempt at a self-portrait photo while kayaking around the island. Can you tell Scott did most of the work? 
Scott watching for the baby sharks....or maybe he's looking for shells. 
Outside our beach villa. 
Scott heading out on the boardwalk to watch a sunset. 
Watching the sunset at the end of the pier on the boardwalk. 
Our sea plane waiting for us for our departure home. :( 
The raft again. 
This man was on our sea plane ride and he stood on the side of the plane to untie the rope that was holding the plane to the "raft" and then would jump back into the plane once we were moving. I would not want his job! 
The island of KOMANDOO, our resort, from the air. It was a beautiful place! In this photo you can see the reef area around the entire island which is where we would snorkel right off the shore. 
Another atoll along the way back towards Male. 
Scott as we are about to board our plane to leave the Maldives and head to Dubai. What a great vacation we had! 

1 comment:

Kris said...

That place looks AMAZING! I'm so jealous.