Finally some ‘ME’ time! Part 2
I wake the following morning in a state of despair, thinking ‘Oh my god what have I done!!’ It takes me a while to recover from the ‘Mum guilt’ as I break the news and try my best to convince the offspring that I would be fine travelling solo, when in fact I was more worried than they were.
My departing flight to Colombo was booked for March 8th 2017 and so I had 8 weeks in which to work out the logistics of what 6 nights in Sri Lanka would look like, as well as make a decision on which island I would stay on in the Maldives.
There is so much information out there in terms of travelling to the Maldives it’s easy to get bogged down with all the conflicting reviews on Trip Advisor , Booking.com etc. I had a budget to stick to and knew that I didn’t want to travel all that way without being able to experience the indulgence of what the Maldives has to offer so I got to work planning my trip.
Like some people, when holidaying, I like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage and I didn’t realise that the Maldives is in fact a Muslim country, so whilst researching I work out that on the big island resorts you are able to enjoy a ‘Gin and tonic’ in their all-inclusive packages and on the smaller islands you’re having ‘dry days.’ With this in mind I decide to split my 5 nights in the Maldives into two different islands. Two nights on a smaller island and three nights of indulgence on an island resort, which balances out the expense.
I research the Direct.gov website for travel visas and vaccinations needed when travelling to both destinations and I’m informed that British Nationals can obtain a tourist visa for up to 30 days on arrival in the Maldives and that I can apply for a 30 day tourist visa for Sri Lanka online. The recommendation for vaccines is to contact your GP 4 to 6 weeks before your visit. (See useful link section)
After contemplating which islands to visit based on their proximity to Male, the snorkelling factor, Trip Advisor and Booking.com reviews, I finally decided on a B&B in Maafushi and then an all-inclusive on Biyadhoo.
Once again I find myself staring at the computer screen, credit card in hand weighing up the pro’s and con’s, I remind myself that I’ve already booked the flights so this has to happen! I hit the confirm key and as the Booking.com confirmation email comes through I feel the familiar pang of ‘Mum guilt!’
After recovering from this second bout of ‘guilt’ I now need to work out how I get from Male airport to Maafushi, onto Biyadhoo and then back to Male at the end of the trip. I find it interesting that the added costing of the stay on Biyadhoo for the speedboat transfer to and from the island, is an additional 180 USD per person. I hope that I can work out a cheaper option as the equivalent to this is pretty much my spending budget for 6 days in Sri Lanka.
In a nut shell you pretty much have three options in terms of transfers in the Maldives. One being public Dohni (little ferry) which is fantastic value albeit really slow, two being a speedboat transfer usually arranged by your accommodation and three being the most expensive option via Seaplane.
I email The Arena Beach Hotel on Maafushi where I have booked my first two nights, asking whether they can arrange a transfer and what the costing would be, I hear nothing back.
I then email iCom Tours which I have read about on several Trip Advisor reviews asking for a quote for the transfer to Maafushi……….I hear nothing back. I am beginning to get the sense that the Moldavians are a relaxed race and wonder how they managed before Booking.com ?