Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Guraidhoo chill

Eid Mubarak!

And as good an excuse as any to get off the mother island and away to the south; hunting for surf, a bit of fresh seafood and some chill time somewhere a little less frenetic than Male.

We left school early, jumped in a taxi, collected our gear at the apartment and sped off down Majeedee to Jetty no.1 and the awaiting ferry. Our baggage was stashed away by one of the deckhands just as one of his fellow seaman was throwing off the bowlines and by the time we were safely ensconsed on the roof, our boat was already out of the harbour and into the open ocean. Maldivian timeliness at its absolute peak!

Both pretty stuffed after a hot and tiring week at the coalface, it wasn't long before we were both sprawled out on top deck, hats covering our faces and light sea-breeze bringing welcome respite from the searing midday sun. Needless to say, we didn't see much on our way down, apart from a very decent 2-3 foot of swell breaking off Kandooma, and arrived at Guraidhoo at 4ish. The ferry was packed to the rafters with folk coming away for the Eid break and they poured out onto the island now. It suddenly dawned on us that a spot to sleep for 2 nights might not be that easy to come by. Fortunately we were lucky enough to bump into our old mate Adam at the Surfers Shack and he arranged us a twin room at Riptides, which suited us down to the ground.

Having dropped everything off, we made straight for the jetty area, hunting for a spot to kick our weekend off with a late afternoon snorkel. There were no clear reefs around, so we threw ourselves off the furthest jetty from the main harbour and hoped for the best. Not the greatest underwater session of the year - murky and with lots of sea grass around, but the venture was made all the worthwhile when two massive sting rays drifted past us. Suddenly the immediate vicinity seemed alot more menacing and we made for the sanctuary of terra firma pretty soon afterwards. After a quick shower back at Riptides, we lost ourselves in a couple of Jolly Fatties and watched another cracker sunset settle out over the Western Front. Scant on cash we grabbed a quick Maldivian Noodle soup and a Nasigoreng at The Palm Restaurant on the harbour and headed home for the 'Shithead' Champs and a moveski.

Friday morning started late, and after trying to sneak across the lagoon onto a 4 star resort and being unceremoniously turned away by their hardcore Chinese bicycle patrol, we found ourselves perched once more in a pair of Jolly Fatties shooting the breeze and brushing up on ancient Greek mythology. The call of the wave is strong though and after a few hours with Gaia, Uranus, Zeus and Athena we had a makeshift lunch of pineapple jam sarmies and chocolate biscuits and went in search of some swell. The surf was nothing to write home about, but we had a few good laughs paddling the 300m across the channel and Hannah's debut on a board, so it was memorable. We were completed stuffed just from the paddle once back on Guraidhoo, so hit the Guest House for some kip before venturing out for our final evening on the town. With most of the local folk at friends and family celebrating Eid, the streets were empty and if our restaurant had two people in the whole place it was alot. On our way out of the restaurant we were mobbed by a youngster armed with a loud hailer and flyers for 'the party of the millenium' down at the football stadium down the road. We had to have a quiet chuckle as slotted 51st State into the DVD player later that night and wondered how many POS 51's might have been going down around the local goal posts.

The rest of the evening past uneventfully and by 7am we were back on the Male bound ferry boat, relaxed and recovered and into the final stretch of 2010.

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