So here we have, finally, a roundup of what I did in the Maldives. You've already seen my desert island experience but this time I wanted to share with you what you can do on the islands, specifically Kandolhu island. I don't think I've explicitly said where we stayed but I've definitely mentioned the island a few times; we stayed in Kandolhu which is a tiny island with approximately 30 rooms. There was a real familial atmosphere because of the size of the island, we got to know our neighbours (who weren't keen on us playing loud music, we had quite a few visits from them requesting we turn our music down - oops!) as well as the staff on the island. It always surprises me just how friendly everybody is, when you're from such a big city like London coming to a small island where everybody appears to be happy all the time is pretty much a shock to the system! Kandolhu is the only Maldivian island I visited so I can't compare it to any others but I'm assuming that each island is more or less similar in terms of what's on offer.
One of the first things we did was go on a sunset cruise, I believe we went on either our second or third day on the island. I don't do too well on big boats like these, I don't know why but I feel every bit of motion so I really wasn't feeling too good. It's strange because on smaller boats, or even speed boats I don't feel any sort of sickness or queasiness at all. This meant I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped but everybody else had a lovely time. We were treated to canapés and champagne, although I don't actually drink so Andre got two glasses to himself instead, and sat in the bow (which I've googled and hope means the front of the boat) we watched the sunset as we sailed into the sea.
From what I gathered, snorkelling is the thing to do in the Maldives, with such crystal clear waters I'm really not surprised. I'm personally not a confident swimmer, and I particularly don't like being in the ocean because it's just so vast and I end up worrying I'll be taken by the current or bitten by a shark, or anything else that sounds remotely scary and/or gory. I did pick up some snorkelling gear anyway and gave it a go from the shallow end where I could kneel down and stick my head underwater (it all sounds very glamorous doesn't it haha!) I did venture out a little further towards the end of our holiday in an attempt to spot some bigger fish but I was still so scared I didn't enjoy it, and then I got salt in my eye and it was downhill from there. The boys on the other hand loved snorkelling. My uncle and Andre went snorkelling daily and got lots of underwater snaps and footage too! I was happier floating around in my giant pink flamingo.
Talking about giant pink flamingo, it was my favourite holiday accessory. We were known on the island for our bright pink pal and I don't regret it in the slightest. It did cause some embarrassment and even lead to upsets, my auntie and uncle became devious children on holiday and one evening they kidnapped my beloved flamingo! That was the start of a feud between us, all in good spirit of course. We played quite a few pranks on each other and it was all fun and games until one evening when my auntie called me in a panic to say my flamingo was floating away into the sunset, hopefully now the photo above in the middle makes more sense, that unidentified object is my flamingo! Andre and I made a mad dash to their room and we couldn't believe our eyes as we walked to the pool villas. We could see something bright pink in a speed boat being brought back to shore. Yes, you guessed it, the team had rescued my flamingo! Embarrassingly, the team said they initially thought someone was on the inflatable - which I think is why they went out of their way on this rescue mission - but I genuinely think that was one of my holiday highlights. I still can't believe it!
As I said previously, I didn't enjoy snorkelling so instead I would often go out onto the beach in the evenings when the tide was low. I think it was on the first evening when we decided to do this that Andre spotted a turtle in the water and we quickly rushed to try and get a glimpse of it. It was absolutely incredible to see a turtle up-close; I saw a total of three turtles and each time was as exciting as the first time. There are also lots of small sharks in the Maldives which casually swim up to the shore and although they're tiny and harmless I couldn't help but panic whenever we'd spot a shark so close to us. I'm pretty sure I always ran out of the water, just in case.
We were in the Maldives on the night of a full moon which was quite a big affair. We had no idea that this was celebrated, or at least it was on our island, so it was a nice surprise. The Kandolhu team invited all guests to the pier for an evening watching the sun go down and the full moon rise. Personally, this was the most memorable sunset for me. We got some incredible photos from the night and every time I look at them it just reminds me of how beautiful it was. That evening there were also some traditional Maldivian drummers who performed some of the local music.
You can do as little or as much as you want in the Maldives, the possibilities are endless. One thing I would say is make the most of it and take it all in. We were lucky enough to see some incredible birds and sea life during our stay as well as experience some of the Maldivian culture and I would urge you to do the same if you visit.