The brochure pix don't tell the whole story
19.03.2013 - 19.03.2013 103 °F
The Maldives are an odd place, an odd country, and we give advice to all who would come here - don’t make an effort to do so. The country consists of 26 atolls into which its 1200 islands are grouped; the average height above sea level is 5 feet. Of the total population of 300,000, 100,000 folks are crammed onto Malè, which looks like a large lily pad with dirty buildings all over it. We spent the day on Malè, got very hot (over 100 degrees), got shoved off the narrow broken sidewalks (the Maldivians don’t like visitors, especially non-Muslim ones), went to the Museum and left because it smelled so bad, looked for a nail salon (hah!) and a Starbucks (hah! hah!) for WiFi. We did find a cafe with WiFi and coffee and air conditioning, but it was not great and everything is very $$ because there are no natural resources and everything has to be imported. The language used here is Dhivehi, a strange adaptation on Sri Lankan, with round squiggles written right to left and peppered with little dot and dashes above the letters. We hear that the resorts are great but in danger of 1) rising seas and 2) a government ban on beer and bikinis. It takes a big effort to get to them - and once there you would NEVER leave the resort, so why come all this way, as there are lots of great resorts in the world. No photos today; nothing looked very interesting.
The pirates must be closing in. We had to shut our curtains at 6 pm tonight and there are NO lights on the outside of the ship. We are speeding to Mauritius and looking forward to being out of the pirate zone.