Terry & Fiona
Mon 7 Mar 2011 06:45
We made the exhausting 10m journey here, tearing ourselves away from the luxurious Island Hideaway Resort. We ended up spending an average of 20usd per day on happy hour beers and had a 'snack lunch' one day. they seemed happy with that despite their guests probably paying in the region of 1000 usd per couple per night! we were offered buffet dinner at 130 usd each, very politely declined. we even got use of the pool and their internet in the library thrown in!
the entrance through this reef is wide but shallow - less than 5m. and our inexperience in coral made us nervous of the depths. what colour is ok? what colour is too shallow? anyhow we made it in and anchored in front of the village in 4m sand and occasional coral. the windlass is now operating in manual only mode after we took it apart with the help of Matt, Bernard and Murray from the kiwi boat 'Island Time'. the gear casing is severely cracked and therefore not a drop of oil in sight. they reckon on a less than 10% chance of fixing it successfully. oh dear.
so we dropped the anchor on the clutch cone and have devised a way of raising it using a chain hook, a rope and the main sheet winch.
we took the ferry from here to the regional capital, Kuludufushi mainly to get an internet sim that works. there is a large harbour there but they are reported to charge 26usd to moor. the ferry cost 100 rufiya for both of us (abt 8usd) for there and back. we were expecting a town built around the harbour as in Greece, but its set well away behind a large flat piece of land that looks as though its been reclaimed. there were plenty of shops all selling a similar narrow range of goods - canned veg, milk powder, custard powder, flip flops and a very limited range of fresh stuff - potatoes and onions, perhaps some garlic. we saw a couple of cabbages and some carrots. I bought some apples thinking they were 5R a kilo, but they were 5 each - about 40 cents. I wonder where they came from. there are no pineapples for sale, yet india has them in abundance, you'd think the Maldivans would like them too.
the local island is doing quite a bit of building - houses for tsunami refugees from islands affected further south. one of the housing areas is known as the 'chinese zone' and it does indeed house chinese origin people. the other zone is Maldivan. apart from building houses, a few boats and minding a couple of shops there doesn't seem much more to do. the streets are sand both here and Kuludufushi. there are a few vehicles here but quite a lot in Kuludufushi, we even saw a suped-up toyota, wide wheels, all the trimmings etc. I've no idea what use it was on an island with only sand roads about 2 miles long and less than 1 wide!
next stop...not sure....