I am currently sheltering in my rather large beach villa on the island of Eriyadhoo in the north Male atoll in the Republic of the Maldives.
The reason I am sheltering is that it is currently under monsoon conditions which means that the rain is coming down so hard it would make your head bleed.
Shouldn't really complain as this is my sixth trip during the monsoon season and I am sure the weather will change again. It was a good 34 degrees and bright sunshine most of yesterday.
The journey here was a change from the usual eleven and a half hour direct trip as decided to fly Emirates this time which meant a change in Dubai.
The Airbus A380 800 is an amazing aircraft where even in economy you feel like you are travelling first class. You even get a proper knife and fork and your wine is served from a bottle. The trolley dollies aren't just trolley dollies, they're Marks and Spencer trolley dollies. They look like super models but without the attitude and are very helpful with no rolling of the eyes.
Landing in Dubai there was a 2 hour stop over till the next flight departed which didn't leave much time to do any shopping and find the next gate which was a good twenty minute walk away but at least I didn't have to recover any suitcases and drag them around.
The second flight on to Male was on a more familiar 777 and it felt I had been afflicted by what I can only describe as an invasion of Germans, too soon to use that phrase? not sure but I can't think of any other term to be honest.
The last two hours of the flight was quite uncomfortable for my back after the operations in November and December but was still a lot less painful than before the ops.
Stepping off the plane in Male the heat and humidity hit me like an old friend. Yes even my friends hit me I'm so popular;)
After filling out the disembarkation forms when I eventually got my hands on one during the bun fight to get hold of one the trip to find the island representative was underway.
I had now been travelling for 22 hours and been awake for 24 so was starting to feel a little cranky, this was not lessened by the distinct lack of representative. I soon remembered that we were now on Maldivian time, this makes Jamaicans look like they are on cocaine and speed cocktails. So I took a deep breath and chilled.
Eventually the rep arrived and after about an hour sat in 32 degrees 90% humidity my dishevelled tired ass was plonked onto a speed boat and the journey to the island began.
This was supposed to be a 45 minute transfer but the fact that the twin Yamaha outboard engines packed up 4 times on the way it took a shade longer to arrive.
On arrival I had to put on my most cunning hat as we had only booked a standard room on All inclusive and I had no intention of staying in a standard room if at all possible.
The trip adviser bag tags were already in place and I had somehow on route managed to misplace our receipt / voucher which had our details on. So after filling in the forms at reception which ask how many times you had visited the Maldives before off we went to a deluxe room on the North of the island (sheltered side), free upgrade, who doesn't like that?
Eriyadhoo is a very relaxed chilled out island which is frequented mostly by divers so the beaches all around the island are for the most part empty, all day.
After sat frying in the sun for a few hours I decided to have a short snorkel to test out mask etc and make any adjustments. Took the new underwater camera and took a few test shots and all seemed well.
After spotting a small pod of 4 dolphins slowly swimming past I decided to try and head them off and get a few shots.
Well as people who know me know, that if I didn't have bad luck I'd have none at all, the camera decided to flood and fill itself with sea water which is never good. As a result there are no photographs of dolphins and I suppose I can't really be that unlucky if I'm here in the first place so after laughing the situation off I have now dug out my old faithful fuji finepix wp. Not anywhere near as good quality but better than nothing I guess.
The new one is currently sat in a bad of uncooked rice hoping to revive it ($5.00 for a bag of rice seemed a bit steep but if it works worth it.)
Well interweb the rain appears to be abating a little and things seem to be brightening up a little so I'm off to lather myself in factor 50 gazzillion sun cream and hopefully Greenpeace will leave me alone this year and not keep trying to roll me back in the ocean.
Peace out yall, THE BAGSTAXXX