24th of October we left from Negombo. At 2:45am we took our taxi to the departure terminal and we could immediatly check in. The way it works in Sri Lanka is completely different than what we were used to. They scan your bags when entering the airport and entering the gate, but they are way less strict than in Belgium. We were almost falling asleep in the waiting area at the gate because we were so tired, but we couldn’t even sleep on the plane. Because we were only in the air for 1,5 hours.
Landing in the Maldives during sunrise was as beautiful as you would expect. We could see all the islands surrounded by torquoise blue water and even before we landed we felt in paradise. After landing we grabbed our luggage and headed outside. Our objective was to get to Male and our first option was the taxis that were right outside. The only problem is that they charge ‘tourist’ prices and we were not in the mood to pay 5 times the normal amount. So we looked for hopping on a ferry to the big city. Some time later we managed to find one and got a ticket for 50 cents each.
Arrival in the big city
Once arrived at the harbour, we needed to find our next ferry to Kulhudhuffushi. We like to exercise so we walked about 1.5km to the next ferry. We arrived and were confused, our ferry was floating in the middle of the harbour. There was no obvious way to get in or inquire about the prices, so we asked the local salespeople how to get in. They told us we needed to go boathopping from one boat to the next and reach the ferry that way. (with our heavy backpacks) Luckily a man working on the boat saw us and we waved at him to come, he helped us hop from boat to boat and get on the ferry.
The ferry was leaving at 5pm and we arrived in Male at 7:30am, so still an entire day to fill. We dropped of our stuff on the ferry, paid our tickets and headed out to explore Male. Before heading out we asked the manager what to see in the city and he just told us ‘nothing’. We went anyway, looking for some food and stuff to see. Like we were told, there was indeed not much to see except the busy streets and a lot of motorbikes. After eating we decided to head back to the boat and just sleep or rest for the remainder of the day.
Trip with the ferry
5pm was departure time, we were lucky to already be on the ferry. Over 200 people all tried to get on at the same time and it was chaos. Food and drinks were included in the ticket price, so at 7pm we g0t fried rice with chicken. But because Nissa doesn’t eat meat, the crew made italian pasta, only for us. They invited us onto the bridge with the captain and Nissa even got the steer the boat for a little. We were shocked that the crew went out of their way, just for us. This gave us an amazing first impression of our stay in the Maldives yet to come.
After getting stuffed with the amazing food, we decided to watch a movie to pass the time. Unfortunately for us, the sea was extremely rough, a storm was coming. We were below deck and we could feel every wave crashing into the boat. Watching a movie while being thrown around was not fun and made us nauseous, so we closed the laptop, took some medication for travel sickness and tried to go to sleep. Because of the rough sea, not many people were able to sleep and a lot of people were getting up to vomit up their dinner. I was one of the lucky ones that slept trough it all and dint’t wake up once. Nissa didn’t sleep at all. Instead she was helping the sick people all night, giving them some of our medication.
Arrival in Kulhudhuffushi, the capital of Haa Dhaalu
At 5:30 Nissa woke me up telling me we were sailing into the harbour. I didn’t realise I slept all night and woke up extremely happy to have skipped the rough ride. From outside the boat we took a taxi to our lovely host. She was already expecting us and received us with open arms. She cooked us a traditional Maldivian breakfast with freshly baked Rotti, coconut, tuna, onion and lime. It was the best food we’ve had in a really long time. After the food we decided to rest up for a bit, especially Nissa who didn’t get a lot of sleep.
Updates will follow!
- Blue Ocean
- Male to Kulhudhuffushi
- Sri Lanka