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 Maldives, Vilamendoo

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Mad Destination Expert

PostSubject: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Sat May 05, 2012 10:39 pm

Have gone the the Hukuraa Club for our thirtieth anniversary and were slightly disappointed. We had to go back to the Maldives once more and in 2004 we realised that dream and booked the last bungalow on the beach at Velidhoo with Sky travel holidays, they used to advertise on the free box. Velidhoo was far enough to require booking a seaplane, which was an extra cost.

However, we got a letter from Sky travel 6 weeks before we were due to go, telling us that we had been double booked and they offered us an alternative holiday to yes, the Hukuraa Club. Well we weren't going to go there again and we able to tell them why, no proper house reef etc. We also picked out our alternatives some a lot more expensive. The Sky travel girl was sympathic and said leave it with her and finally we were offered a dearer holiday to Vilamendoo. She also said the flights were included in that holiday and returned the cost of the seaplane that we had already paid.

So well please, we were about to go on our best ever holiday.

The plane landed at the capital Male and we were minibused across the runway to the sea plane area

I apologise for the poor quality of the pictures but I have taken them off a cheap video camera I invested in madd

I have so few good pictures that this is the only way I can give you a feel of our best holiday

About twelve people share a seaplane and they usually have Australian Pilots and you can watch every thing they do

so here we were about to get underway propellers going

so it was out of the harbour

and along and over the airport which was built by joining two islands

and then it was over the capital Male where 103,000 people are crammed on this small island

I took this picture from another trip for a better view

continuing with the video

When people first arrive in the Maldives most people are in awe of the turquoise seas and atolls

another resort island

The coral patterns below

the sea is beautiful and clear

approaching the island after about 45 minutes flight

and touch down

we had landed at the right Island

however, the plane taxis to a floating ramp

luggage and ourselves are put on a boat and taken ashore

Vilamendoo has short piers as the house reef is right next to the island

People are given a drink and cold lemon flannels to cool down and luggage is taken to the room for us

story to continue in parts but will join it together once complete and put it in worldwide

Last edited by delboy on Fri May 11, 2012 4:13 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Girl Power Member

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Sat May 05, 2012 11:49 pm

Rep for you DB . . . It's definately on my to do list . . . . Rolling Eyes
Love your stories . . . cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Sun May 06, 2012 6:26 am

Very good DB, rep from me. clap clap

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Mad Destination Expert

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Sun May 06, 2012 9:46 am

Part 2 accommodation and walking around the Island

Vilamendoo's accommodation had been around for some time and was not luxurious and since we have been the island has had a upgrade and is now twice the price. I just hope the didn't spoil it in anyway by doing it. Apparently water bungalows have been built and that can only be over the coral

The rooms had heavy dark furniture

all this would have been changed anyway but lovely big beds

The shower bathroom and toilet and basin were outside, well why not it was a constant 80 degrees and rooms were all air conditioned at no extra cost.

Its a jungle out there lol

But outside the front door is what we called heaven, Mrs DB relaxes under the trees

There was probably only a 100 people on the island and we all had our own chairbeds for free

The is what the accommodation looked like outside, nothing special but we were IMO in the best location right next to the water front

So walking around the shore, the coral sand is nice a fine and great to walk on

The turquoise colour is shallow area around 3 / 4 ft deep, the darker bit is the house reef which drops to about 60 ft with coral and every fish under the sun

here's a better picture to describe it, this is why picking an Island with its own house reef pays off big time

the fish are just happy to swim over the top into that shallow area, as you will see as I walk along

The first thing of interest I came to on the walk was a flying fox (fruit bat)

It has a bat's body but the head of a fox

walking on still lovely beaches

They put exit signs up for swimmers to go over the reef more or less to preserve the coral

yet the fish swim in front of you

looking back, few people to annoy you

eventually one arrives at the sunset bar, where most gather for a cold beer and watch the sun go down before dinner but more on that later

Here there is a vast area of soft white sand that gathers at the head of the island and one can walk out a long way

lovely views here

a black tip shark swims passed totally not bothered about anything, they are usually about 2/ 3 ft long and eat the small fry

All these fish and I haven't put a toe in the water but more exciting things to come later

going round the head of the island which is only about 1/2 mile long

and here you can see the shallows, ideal for a paddle

and now on the otherside of the island heading east

here vast shoals of small fish stay in the shallows to avoid being eaten

but the predators know that and come in after them

Funny it's a small world even in the Indian ocean, there was another island in the distance and zooming in it turned out to be Lilley Beach with their unmisakable bungalows, Mrs DB was going to book there the previous trip, until I spotted the not so good Hukaraa club deal. Also Mike has stayed at Lilley beach we could have throw stones at one another but again this island has since undergone an upgrade

on this side of this island the bungalows were deeper in the undergrowth and I prefered our bungalow position nearer the sea edge

I will continue this walk in part 3

Last edited by delboy on Tue May 08, 2012 12:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mad Destination Expert

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Sun May 06, 2012 7:37 pm

going back to the water edge

I got to the only rocky bit on the Island, but the fish loved it

so again looking back

and forward we have this 30/40 metres od rocky shore

here just ankle deep in water all kinds of different fish that would cost a fortune to buy

In amongst them was a colourful parrot fish

zoomed in to catch a close shot of it

also the heron's are not too bother about humans either

A bit further along and a couple of divers were going in, about 10 metres out it drops down 60 ft so no boat is necessary to take them out. Although trips are arranged for the hot spots

amongst the shade of the trees, more black tips sharks are picking off the fry

then were are back to a sandy shore again

Such a shame I didn't use my camera a lot more

then it's to the part of the Island where there are other bars and the restaurant

The reception as it was then

one of the two piers where you can look over the side and see many fish, too hot in barefeet today

the main bar

These guys really look after you and bring the drinks to you no waiting whatso ever just how AI should work

the restaurant as it was, probably been completely refurbished now

some of the red flowers in abundance on the Island

The diving centre run by two German guys

The second pier where most of the supplies are brought on the Island

a better picture

I did go back and get my shoes on so I could get a few shots the piers surface is so hot

So we can see over the reef

and a shoal of fish off the pier

the last stretch to get back to our bit of beach

a couple of better pictures from the camera

so heading towards our bungalow, boats and sailboard for hire, they would be extras

So almost round now

and about an hour later I am back to Mrs DB still enjoying herself

In Part 4 I'll try and show you some of the thing that happened and explain why I thought this was the best holiday ever

Last edited by delboy on Tue May 08, 2012 12:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Girl Power Member

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Sun May 06, 2012 9:51 pm

Looking forward to that, DB . . cheers
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Mad Destination Expert

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Tue May 08, 2012 12:03 am

Well we had only been there a day and suddenly there was great excitement on the beach and everyone had gathered

a school (or a pod) of dolphins had arrived and were swimming along our shoreline

apparently they are not as friendly in the Indian ocean

and your unlikely to get them to swim with you but they came across the shallows near the sunset bar

We also had a resident crab on our beach that would dig a hole each evening it was fascinating to watch him

being an angler I am absolutely in awe of the fish and my eyes were always on the horizon waiting for that big fish to jump and boy did I see some beauts, One evening having a beer at the sunset bar, as you do, I spotted something strange on the horizon, so I was in the water quick with my video camera was it sharks or dolphins?

I wasn't sure but my interest got everybody up on their feet

I couldn't work out what they were but they were sure big

soon everybody was joining me in the water, shame really it was to spoilt a real opportunity to get the perfect shots

It was a group of big rays that had come into play in the shallows, I had never heard of Steve Irwin in those days, so had no fears

they must have weighed about 100 lbs a piece

and they were just swimming around us

It was the first time I wanted a lady like her to move out of the way lol!

and the bow waves on that

This was real live exciting stuff and the night of excitement had not finish yet

Well the ray's had said goodbye, and the sun had started to go down

I was still standing in the shallows watching the sun, when my eye caught a glimpse of a dark shadow in the foreground

so I kept filming

It was a shark attack

and one of the few lucky kids on the Island was saying what the hell was that

So it was a cool beer to relax for the rest of the evening with some new friends eager to talk on the days events

no fish were injured or humans eaten in the making of this film

Part 5 on to the next day

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Mad Destination Expert

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Tue May 08, 2012 9:28 am

Mrs DB and a blonde girl had a chat and it transpired that she had a desire to go diving, there was a half price offer for an hours or so lesson about 10 dollars. Well blonde girl's husband and myself were not keen to do it but Mrs DB volunteered to keep her company and give it a try. I hoped it didn't start a new hobby of going down to Frinton-on-sea diving club each weekend. However, this was a chance in a lifetime to go over the side of the reef on a second lesson.

So a first lesson was booked

they got use to the weight of the cylinders

Then the two German instructors gave a one to one guidence on the breathing

and balance

and then it was an individual swim along the shoreline watched by the instructors. Mrs DB didn't get on with the breathing aspect of it and didn't take up the second lesson which included a one to one dive below the reef (shame)

Mrs DB is a competent swimmer, I only had my 25 metres swimming certificate but I did buy us proper snorkelling masks and pipes and a pair of flippers from a diving shop in London. All stuff you can hire out there, but my mask fitted properly. These kid packs you can buy are not very good the masks let in water. The hire stuff in the Maldives we found has been well used and you have to pay for damage.

I kept in the shallows snokelling whilst Mrs DB was a lot braver and went out further, however as pointed out before the fish are everywhere

The water temperature was like being in a bath and you didn't want to get out (oh bugger it's lunchtime, must I, oh alright then lol! )

It was like swimming in a tropical fish tank

and swimming with the fish got my interest and confidence up t

Evening came and there was a bit of cloud about, as we headed to the sunset bar

as we all sat having a beer, it turned out to be one of the best sunsets I have ever seen

a camera pic of it

I filmed till the sun disappeared (and more)

some shots with the camera

then after a meal it was back to the sunset bar and drinks all round with our ever growing party of friends

part 6 to continue

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Mad Destination Expert

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Tue May 08, 2012 11:03 am

We didn't have any trouble from the mozzies here, as one guy pulled a cart with a smoke gun full of repellent late in the afternoon which seemed to do the trick

not sure whether is was too healthy for us

but we stayed clear whilst they did it

days were lovely if you like this sort of relaxing holiday and evenings were drinking and chatting as there were so few people you get to know one another, even the heron was happy

No Rod Stewart tribute bands here though, it's make your own entertainment

you could book at table at the sunset bar, no extra cost which we did towards the end of the holiday

Soon friends who had arrived a day or two earlier had to go and we saw them off

we waved them off, and the plane was away

then it was back to the fish

Soon it was our last night, I know they do it for everyone but it does make you feel special for that night

And after a lovely evening we returned to our bungalow and

And in the morning it was our turn, a place after just a fortnight I didn't want to leave

Just a few last scenes of the flight, of a holiday I shall aways remember as my best

back over the Capitial Male

and the airport runway itself

then its down to land

Picking up the Monach flight back home, we did stop at Sri Lanka to pick others up.

I apologise for the poor quality of the video clips but I hope it gives you a flavour of living the holiday with me

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Girl Power Member

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Tue May 08, 2012 3:32 pm

Great stuff DB . . . were there video clips. or did you mean that the pics were taken from video clips?

I'd hate to miss some of that . . . . Cool
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Mad Destination Expert

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Tue May 08, 2012 3:35 pm

cut from the video itself Boss, I watched the film in slow motion and pressed a key to get a print. I didnt have many real pictures from the normal stills camera to tell the story

Mrs DB just seen the review, "It's a bit long isn't it", she said, I know she is usually right violin

video prints have the black lines top and bottom as the film is poor due to shake
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Girl Power Member

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Tue May 08, 2012 3:57 pm

No . . . I like to see it all . . . I'm a 'need to know' person Very Happy
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Mad Destination Expert

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Tue May 08, 2012 4:00 pm

It runs for over an hour Boss after the editing, I just can't throw the not so good stuff away.

I loved looking at it all again doing the review
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Girl Power Member

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Tue May 08, 2012 4:05 pm

Yes . . . lovely to reminesce Shocked
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Mad Destination Expert

PostSubject: Re: Maldives, Vilamendoo   Tue May 08, 2012 4:24 pm

My fishing mate had a much better video camera but even his camera is old hat now, but the quality of his was much better and with the new HD video cameras you should be able to capture most stuff on a picture now

The first couple of holidays I only had a still camera and everyone else had video, I was so envious, so I bought a camera which in those days was cheap at £350 and gave the low quality that you see. Top of the range videos were £1000 and I couldnt justify that cost
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