After the first dive on the Maldives, we now have time to spend a lot of time on the island exploring what has changed in the last few years. The island is one of the larger of its kind. However, there are no cars or other motorized land vehicles here. On foot, the island is comfortably circled in 45 minutes. The dive center and 20 bungalows are grouped around the main house.
The main house consists of the kitchen and the restaurant, which is also a meeting place and communication center. It is about 30 meters from the beach and is surrounded by ancient tall coconut palms and dense mangrove bushes. We note that relatively little has changed and that mass tourism has not yet entered in a negative form here.
The kitchen is simple but good. Every day there are freshly caught fish, which the fishermen deliver with small dhoni boats. For a change, meat is also prepared on the grill on some days. The restaurant is open on all sides, so that in the evening a fresh sea breeze usually provides the necessary air conditioning.
The oceanic-tropical climate is determined by the monsoon winds. From December to April the pleasant northeast monsoon blows with wind strengths of 2 to 4 and relatively low regular precipitation. So the climate is actually a good place to endure. If you do not want to go diving, find a shady spot among the palm trees and enjoy the paradisiacal peace. A part of the island is traversed by low mangrove bushes and hardly penetrate. There is also otherwise lush vegetation on the island, which is favored by the tropical climate.
In the evening, Brigitte and I regularly set out to explore the island. We walk around the beach on foot. We regularly see little baby sharks and rays that come directly to the beach. We must be careful not to step on the many crabs that come out of their shelters in the evening and leave small sand castles on the beach everywhere.
Brigitte has made herself comfortable in the hammock. A shady spot is a must, as the direct sun is not too long to enjoy with impunity. After the dive, the washed-out sets are dried on a leash.
There is a quiet and peaceful atmosphere before sunset. The first bats are already getting ready to start the nightly hunt for food. It is teeming with geckos, spiders and other small animals.
The water supply is secured by its own treatment plant. The filtered salt water is not drinkable and always has a slightly brackish odor. But it is enough to take a shower, even though a slightly sticky salt layer remains on the skin. We already know this feeling from our first stay. For newcomers, this is usually always cause for complaints. Most people forget too easily that we are not in Europe but in Asia.
The only danger to be permanently exposed on the island is the coconuts. They have the habit of rushing down from 15 to 20 meters without warning in the most unlikely moments. This is especially dangerous. The view is always directed with one eye up. We have made it a habit to open some coconuts every day.
The milk is delicious and the meat very nutritious. With time and under the previous instruction of the islanders, we soon have the trick to open. So we feel after a short Aklimatisierung already again as Robinson “on time”. It is amazing how quickly the hectic everyday life that we do in Europe is forgotten and makes room for a more leisurely rhythm. It makes Juergen enormous fun with the diving knife, which is led like a machete, first to cut off the outer fiber layer, in order to open then at the uppermost place the shell of the coconut.
For many of the islands, which are still inhabited, this is one of the staple foods, except, of course, for the fruits that the sea still has to offer in abundance. The fishermen come to the beach with their extremely agile, small Dhoni boats to sell freshly caught fish. Some fishermen also offer rare shells, which they get from the reefs during freediving. These beautifully drawn shells are extremely rare and were originally worn only for celebrations.
With the beginning of tourism on the islands, this has become another source of income for fishermen. Of course, we reject the purchase offer. It is quite a picturesque sight to watch the boats as they emerge from far away as a small white dot from the deep blue water on the horizon. For the fishermen it is hard everyday life. But you are always happy and make a deeply satisfied impression on us. Some tireless people still want to set off for a night dive and so the dive boat leaves for the last time for today from the jetty. Further exits are not possible because of the lack of navigation at night and also because of the reefs too dangerous. Slowly the day draws to a close and we admire once again the natural spectacle of the setting sun. With a can of tropicalized beer we let the day end. Brigitte collects a few interesting shells on the beach. The sunset is very fast. In just a few minutes, the sun sinks into the sea and leaves a last firework on the clouds. A dreamy day is coming to an end. Luckily we still have some of them in front of us and we do not have to say goodbye yet.