Michael Ludwig and Tracy Ludwig

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Maldives

Years gone by > 2006

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Day 1 Monday 9th October

After waiting at Gatwick for 5 hours or so we boarded the plane bound for Manchester. Although this was a 45 min flight we ended up sitting on the tarmac for a painful 2 hours before finally jetting off, on what can only be described as the worst flight we have ever taken..10 hours on a Monarch flight, we even had to swap seats as Michael was hunched up against the window.

Day 2 Tuesday 10th October

Finally landed at 2.30pm after putting clocks forward by 5 hours, a very smooth arrival met by the local Thomson rep. We soon transferred by speedboat to the island of OlhuveliMet by a drummer we were taken to reception in what can only be described as something just like Fantasy Island. Retiring to our aircon beach villa, we had flowers on the bed and fresh fruit to mark the start of our honeymoon. We went straight out, by now it was 6pm, for a swim. After a quick shower we went for the most impressive all inclusive all you can eat buffet, which had everything from salads,curries, pies,fish, rice,pasta, breads,soups, vegetables,sauces and meats to cakes, fruits, waffles, flambed fruits and pastries served lunchtimes and tea time with a themed twist. Of course this was washed down with as much drink as we liked. Our waiter, Mohammed Shaafiq, was really good, getting us drinks everytime our glass was empty. He was to be our well tipped waiter for the whole holiday.

Day 3 Wednesday 11th October

Following breakfast along the eat as much as you want style, we had our welcome meet. Deciding that today all we would do is wander round the island. We thought we would not need tan lotion as we mainly would be walking and swimming. We swam accross 3 sandbanks, through shallow, clear, warm, blue sea's. Every now and again the odd fish would swim past. After lunch we walked and swam on the farside of the island, which had deeper water. Returning to our room that evening we noticed we were a bit burnt.

Day 4 Thursday 12th October

After waking in pain, and missing breakfast as we seemed to sleep forever, we decided to go to the farside,deep but calm waters. We pitched our sunbeds under the trees and other than to go and eat, the day was spent mainly in the sea. For tea we had a specially laid on Honeymoon romantic dinner,and although it was seafood pasta to start, and rice with seafood for main, we both enjoyed it. In fact Michael seems to like chilli fish and curried fish.

Day 5 Friday 13th October

Today,we spent all day swimming back and forth accross the sandbanks. Tracy is sure she saw a sting ray, when in fact it was just a harmless manta ray. She also thought she saw a shark, but it was tiny!!! We managed to take cover in the shade so did not burn.Michael's nose has already started to peel.

Day 6 Saturday 14th October

Woke up to find Tracy moaning that her lip had swollen,she then announced that she did not want to go out at all today. So we lay in bed for a few hours and her lip swelling went down. A quick swim, this time wearing T-shirts, and then off to Male'. The capital was the smallest sized capital in the world.(Land mass). But it had 91 thousand people living on it, and today it seemed they had all come out on either there bikes or cars or mopeds. We visited a mosque, a park, we saw the Sultans palace, the government offices, a cemetery and visited a smelly fruit market and a live fish market which stunk to high heaven. We then were taken to a 'department' srore were after a complimentary drink, we were guided round by our 'personal' shopper. Later a quick trip to another souvenir shop and supermarket before our boatride home. Tea tonight was traditional Maldivian fayre and was spectacular.

Day 7 Sunday 15th October

Not much happened, we snorkled by the sandbanks. We saw a few fish, mainly clear and small but a few times we were concerned they would bite! The afternoon saw a bit of rain saw we went in and went to sleep.

Day 8 Monday 16th October

After an unfortunate event this morning in which a departing speedboat caught fire,and a seaplane having to come and collect some people with minor burns to their hands, nothing much happened in the morning. We stayed on the east of the island in the shade. In the afternoon we went for an excellent boatride where we saw flying fish and a large number of dolphins. We saw about 5 schools in 1 area and a little bit further on we saw another 5 or so. Jumping, turning, swimmimg by the boat, it was amazing to see.

Day 9 Tuesday 17th October

We walked up the jetty in the morning and saw a number of fish including, needle fish, trigger fish, a black tipped reef shark and a sting ray -- of course we did not have our camera. We then went for a swim off the sandbanks, and then it poured with rain. No bother as a quick beer, then back to our room. In the afternoon , we went for another walk this time taking our camera and we saw more fish. We then sat by the sea and swam more. In the evening we went back to the jetty and took yet more fish-in-the-sea-in-the-night pictures.

Day 10 Wednesday 18th October.

We left this morning for a half day trip to Gu-ard-hoo, essentially it consists of a few old houses built of coral, a primary and secondary school, and a school for special needs (oaps, orphans, disabled people). There are a few new houses built on donations after the Tsunami. Walking around makes you thankful for what you have. The people we saw seemed to be happy with what they had and what they were doing. We then did some shopping, mainly wooden stuff we could put around the house, but there was not really stuff you could get for people as gifts. In the afternoon we did a bit of swimming. Day 11 Thursday 19th October We started off the morning snorkeling by the reef, swam near a small shark. We then moved to the sandbanks had a swim and sunbathe but it was hard to swim, as it was choppy so we moved to the left side where it was calmer.

Day 12 Friday 20th October

Today could have turned out to be the worst day, as it rained nearly all day.But we had pre-booked a 4pm, 160 minute honeymoon special, in the SunSpa. This consisted of a steam room session, a sauna session, a cold plunge pool and hot jacuzzi.We then went and had a foot bath, then an all over body massage. We then had a facial mudpack, and an allover body mask. After being left for 10 minutes , we then had a warm shower followed by a warm flower bath. This was totally worth the effort and thoroughly relaxing. We both felt extremely clean and smooth afterwards. A highlight of our stay.

Day 13th Saturday 21st October

We did not do much today, starting again in the sandbanks then moving to the left side. Much hotter today, but some good swimming and good relaxing. Went to check our account and found that we had been charged for the internet cafe, and for a pack of cashew nuts. Neither of which we have had. They said they will sort it out. Tea,was Maldivian night, which was very good apart from some dodgy looking pudding which contained fried onions!!!

Day14 Sunday 22nd October

Today, we did very little bar sunbathe and swim in much calmer water.Really enjoyed todays lunchtime beef curry and chilli lamb, tonight its Asian.

Day 15 Monday 23rd October

Today, is our last day as we are leaving tommorow at 16.25, so we basically swimming, sunbathing and packing.We really have enjoyed our time here. In the afternoon we recieved confirmation of our departure, so we finished packing and left some clothes so we could have a final swim tommorow just before we go. Tonight there was a party to celebrate the end of Ramadan, called "Eid". There was dancing,singing, music and balloons, the food was excellent and the whole evening rounded off our brilliant holiday. We also paid our bill, they reduced it by the internet cafe, but we ended up paying for the nuts!!!

Day 16 Tuesday 24th October

We awoke following some heavy rain, but now it was dry. Perfect as we were leaving. We planned a breakfast, then quick swim, then checkout and wait a few hours before our island transfer, then an evening flight and back to Swansea very late on Wednesday morning, then back to work Thursday.-----Oops, we had a note advising us that, our flight was delayed "due to operational difficulties by Monarch", we therefore have an estimated departure time of 11.15 on Wednesday, this along with an island transfer and 10 hour flight and a 5 hour time difference plus a 4 hour Garwick to Swansea drive, plus going through customs and getting to our carpark means, i will be knackered--unlikely i will get to work this week-----But will pop in Saturday morning, to get post, export emails etc. Needed to email family, work, cattery and BCP carpark to advise. Although these delays were not caused by our resort or Thomson, they have allowed us to stay here free, but we would rather get home. Still, this has not spoilt our holiday.

Day 17 Wednesday 25th October

We left and went to the airport as planned at 10.00, we arrived at the airport to be met by know UK tour operator. Our flight back was just as naff as it was going. We arrived at Manchester at 10pm, and then at there for an hour, before landing at Gatwick a further our later. After taking the car out of the carpark, we eventually got home at 5am.

Day 18 Thursday 26th October

Well the holiday is truly over, and I am still half asleep. Im not going in tommorow as I will fall asleep still.



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