Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Phew!

Well it doesn't seem two minutes, my dear readers, since we were doing this...




(Golly, there's not a lot to be said for the architecture of this station, is there?) But in fact it's been quite some time, hasn't it? Thank you for that, Mr Volcano! We should have returned to Blighty over a week ago but found ourselves stranded in the middle of nowhere, veritably marooned on a desert island. Feeling sorry for us? Hmm, you might want to reserve judgment!

So where have we been all this time then? Well, first it was the short matter of a nine and a half hour flight heading East. But we weren't there yet, oh no. Our holidays invariably involve some new and whacky mode of transport and this time, we thought how about a sea plane? There's nothing that Munchkin loves more than a new and unusual form of transport...




Eeek, I've never been in an 18 seater plane before where you're practically on the pilot's knee. Hold ooooooonnn...




Hmm, where on earth are we heading? Hope the pilot has a better idea of how to make head or tail of this.




Phew, there it is, our desert island dream...




Now things get really interesting. After a fifteen minute flight, we have to get out of the seaplane, which has landed in the middle of the sea, and wait for the speedboat to take us ashore. Yes, on that little rickety rafty thing. I need a cocktail. Please let there be cocktails. Soon.




The speedboat soon picks us up and whisks us off. They've done this before, many times, thank goodness. Ah, that looks more like it.




The jetty is in sight and wild horses will not drag me back to that grim railway station in London!




Where next? I see the important things a girl on an island in the Maldives needs to know. The reef. The bar. The spa. Let's gloss over the sports centre. Sorted.




And here is home for the next two weeks (make that three then, Mr Volcano).




The villa is the least of our priorities and we do what you just have to do first when you hit foreign shores: get your cossie on and head for the nearest beach or the nearest pool. Well, the infinity pool is handily situated on the beach so there's no need to choose. Good, because the only thing I'm choosing for the next few weeks is a cocktail from the list and a treatment in the spa!




This is the life, thinks the Munchkin.




The boys take part in a spot of unexpected bird watching. Indeed, Henry the Heron is often to be found around the island over the following weeks and likes nothing better than a dip in the pool.




Bird watching? Far too exhausting for me, I'd need to get off my sunlounger. Very important to keep hydrated whilst in a hot country (and trust me, it was oh SO hot), so there's nothing for it than a cocktail or maybe two, to accompany a spot of crafting. The colours prove very inspirational.




As do the stunning flowers. The vegetation is abundant on the island (as are the lizards - eek!)




The Munchkin has other things on his mind. He's still building sand castles as the sun goes down.




Other times, he finds it all tooo wearying and opts for munching some pineapple in a rather comfy spot.




As well as beautiful flowers, there is truly a-mazing marine life in the Maldives. We borrowed some snorkelling gear and saw some fabulous fish and corals. The coral reef was mere yards from one side of the island and you could easily spot all manner of colourful fish swimming next to you as you stood only waist deep in the sea. Oh the sea; warm as bath water and crystal clear. The best sea I've ever been privileged to see. Did I mention the sharks?




It wasn't all just laziness and cocktails, you know. One afternoon, we ventured to the nearby island, home to local Maldivian people. Ah yes, we can do cultural here at the HenHouse.




There was the predictable selection of gift shops though they were fairly low key.





Hmm, it's hardly This 'n' That in Totnes!

I think you could walk around the whole island in half an hour. To be honest, it was not particularly pretty, the shoreline was shockingly littered with rubbish, I think we were spoiled on our resort island and it was a shame to see the locals didn't seem to care to look after the island or the water round it. I satisfied myself with snapping some colourful local houses.






The island has 900 inhabitants and apparently an average home will house three families (and the houses were generally not as pretty or as big as the ones I've photographed). It was an interesting and thought provoking comparison for the lucky eight year old Munchkin. The school was a tad different from his own Victorian Gothic pile.





We were keen to head back to paradise! The island looked spectacularly pretty at dusk.





Cocktail at the Sand Bar anyone?




Ah, I miss this...




The entertainment on the island is about as lively as watching the sting rays being fed at 6.30pm each evening.




The local man has apparently been feeding fish to the sting rays for years. It was quite a sight to behold!




For Mr HenHouse and I, there were some yummy meals in gorgeous shore-side restaurants with only a handful of tables, from where we could watch the crabs scuttling along the beach.




Most evenings, it was a little cloudy but there were still some fairly spectacular sunsets to behold.




Goodbye, Maldives...




We had a truly wonderful time but of course, it's always nice to be home. Eventually.

49 comments:

  1. I can think of nothing nicer than being marooned on a beautiful island for three whole weeks with a cocktail at hand, I'm coming with you next time in case you need some company!!!lol Lucey xx

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  2. I may just have to save my pennies (and praps just a tad extra) as this looks divine, and its nice to know some good came out of the volcano, hope you are well rested. I am not the jealous type normally, but...... Glad you all had fun, Karen x

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  3. That sea looks divine, and the sand looks gorgeous, I can feel my feet in it. I adore the pics of the sun set and candles, oh and the cocktails, all looks and sounds beautiful xx

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  4. Absolutely stunning. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Nice to have you back on the blogospere!
    Z x

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  5. It looks absolutely heavenly...I'll keep buying my lottery ticket! Love herons too - you're so lucky getting that close to one!

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  6. So glad you are all home safe and sound - your photos are amazing - so beautiful. It will certainly be a holiday to remember - and how fortuitous to end up with an extra week in such a special place. (well, OK, a little inconvenient, but I'm guessing there are worse places you could be stuck!!) Thank you for the pics xx

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  7. Hi Welcome back, you lucky thing going to the Maldives. I have been twice and it really is the best place on earth. I would love with all my heart to go back but I went with my ex and I dont think Mr V would feel totally happy being there.
    Loved the sea plane experience especially the airport being a shack with sand on the floor and the pilot wearing flip flops.
    It is difficult to describe how lovely it is there but you have done a great job and I need a coffee now before I my eyes glaze over !
    Best wishes
    Sue x

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  8. The place looks stunning. Glad you are home safe and sound. Did you have an adventure getting home or did you sit it out?
    Julie xxxxxxxx

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  9. Good to have you back!

    Victoria xx

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  10. Wow what fantastic pictures!What a lovely holiday and extended too!

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  11. Hi Hen

    What can I say...A fabulous place to get stranded in! ;-))
    Joke apart, I hope it didn't cause too many problems re: cats & extra costs etc. I understand from some affected by it that insurance companies are not paying out as considered as an act of God.

    Beautiful place to go out as reflected in your photos. Shame about the locals not looking after their beach though..

    You must be a busy bee now getting ready for the V&H fair..
    Take care
    Isabelle x

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  12. Pleased to have you back - missed your posts.
    What an amazing place, and a restful holiday.
    Sand, sea and sun = bliss
    Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing.

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  13. I was delayed getting home too and have yet to put my holiday pics up the blog.(Can't quite face it yet!) Your place looks blissful, I hope it stayed blissful during the wait!xx

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  14. Beautiful pictures, the colour of the sea is amazing, so clear.
    Sounds like you had a wonderful time, Munchkin looked like he had fun. Hope the journey home didn't spoil it for you, did you sit it out or come home via some obscure route!!
    Lovely to see you back
    Linda O xx

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  15. It looks like paradise on earth! I have a friend who holidays there with her family every year,and now I can see why!Although it's a bit of a trek to get there...boy is it worth it.It must have been very hard for you to tear yourselves away from such a beautiful place.

    Do pop over..I'm hosting my first GIVEAWAY!

    Bellaboo :0)

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  16. Well Hen, you chose a beautiful spot to be waylaid an extra week...
    Your pictures are spectacular. It looks like you had a wonderful holiday...welcome home!

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  17. Welcome back!!

    What a nightmare travel has been. You could be in absolute paradise but when you know you can't get home, it's all you want to do huh!

    Glad your back and I look forward to all your blog posts to come.

    Lucy xx

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  18. Gorgeous pictures. I could really use a vacation like that right about now. Not sure if I could have flown on that little plane though. You're a brave soul.

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  19. Looks fabulous!!! An extra week too!!! Welcome back though!!
    xxxx

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  20. It looks beautiful! Welcome back x

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  21. Oh my goodness - I'm very, very jealous! What a beautiful place.
    Your photographs are stunning!
    Love Kathy xxx

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  22. Oh wow! Looks like you've had a fabulous holiday. Spectacular sunset photos! Gorgeous. Ros

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  23. wow-each photo I scrolled down provoked another 'WOW!' it looks amazing. Glad you had a fabulous time and all got back safe.x

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  24. Hen it looks devine! But I really think that, next time, you need a chum to drink the cocktails with and Munch needs 2 partners in crime! We're willing to fill such tough vacancies! ;-)
    xxx

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  25. Welcome back Hen!
    Thanks for the pretty pics-

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  26. What a great photo diary of your trip. A real bummer for you to have to stay another week, but those cocktails must have helped!

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  27. Wow what an amazing place! You certainly must be well rested now with re-charged batteries.The sea plane looked like an amazing experience. Good that you are all back safe and sound now.
    Ann x

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  28. Pleased to hear that you are back with us. I love your photo's and the Munchkin looks well cheeky in the on at the station doesn't he.
    ! Sue x

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  29. Wow! Nothing more to say! Are you still going on Saturday, I take it I will recognise you by your lovely tan and very relaxed holiday smile :-)

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  30. Welcome back! It must feel very strange to be home, it always does after a holiday! Your photos are amazing and what spectacular sunsets.... it looks like paradise! xx

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  31. Oh no! I don't want to come home yet!
    Glad you all had a lovely holiday, but it is nice to have you back ;)

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  32. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH! Looks like an amazing vacation. Welcome home.

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  33. OOOooooohhhhhh!!! That's it. Nothing more to say...sob! xx

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  34. Looks absolutely beautiful! Welcome home!

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  35. I want my suitcase to look like your banner. . .much better than sainsbury's carrier bags!
    x

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  36. So glad to see you back. Looks like you had a fab time. See you on Saturday xxx

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  37. Good you are back. We missed you.
    Alfazema

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  38. I am glad you're back safe and sound Hen. The holiday looked idyllic and hopefully you had a well earned rest. I bet you missed the furry ones!!! x

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  39. So nice to have you back, and what a lovely place to be stranded in!! The photos are beautiful, you were missed!
    hugs
    Jill

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  40. Wow! Some people have all the luck! How 'awful' to be marooned there! Glad you'll be back for V&H though.
    Lesley X

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  41. Of all the places to get stuck!! It looks amazing. Certainly a destination to put on my 'maybe one day if I'm ever lucky enough' list.
    Glad to have you back, safe and sound.

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  42. you certainly picked the perfect time to leave lucky you .what a beautiful place to be marooned and gorgeous pics

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  43. Wow! I can't believe that's all real, it looks fabulous, thank you for sharing, I'm unlikely to ever get there in person (!) but the pictures were fab, the colour of the sea was breathtaking.
    Glad you got home safely eventually :)

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  44. Amazing! Beautufl! Heavenly!
    ....and I see Nosey Mr Heron was also hanging around for a fish supper whilst the sting rays were being fed!
    x

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  45. I absolutly love the Maldives. We went there for our honeymoon. It was just purely divine. We are desperate to go back. Which island did you stay on? We stayed at Meeru Island. Ohhh these pictures are making me want to get holiday booking right now!!! xx

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  46. Looks like a great time was had by all! Lovely photo's...

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