Bandos to Bangkok
04.02.2018 - 09.02.2018 32 °C
Bandos, a small islands (and I mean SMALL) around a 20 minute boat ride north of Malé, the capital. 20 minutes in a speed-boat that is. Why the Maldives? I'm in the fortunate position of having to work here for the week, delivering a workshop for South Asian law enforcement, prosecutors and judges. But I'm not here to write about work...
I realise now that I hadn't given much thought to how I would spend my down-time here...local markets, cultural landmarks and perhaps some swimming along the way. Before I go on, I have to say that the beaches on Bandos are magnificent and the sea crystal clear, allowing a view of the reef that surrounds the island. Local staff are friendly to a fault and very helpful. Here comes the big, however...
However, I will not be rushing back; it takes only around 20 minutes to walk the perimeter of the island and there is no local 'colour' - one is simply trapped in paradise. There are excursions, of course, but a round trip to Malé costs around $70. An sunset boat trip looking for dolphins is $50, rental of snorkling gear a similar price. A glass of beer costs between $9 and $11, an espresso coffee, $5. We are a captive audience and pay for the privilege. Had it not been for work I would have been very bored.
As for the island itself...it's basically a bunch of holiday huts with a few bars and restaurants thrown in. Too small for an indigenous population and therefore no cultural side and certainly no local commerce.
Out of the 6 days here, 2.5 have involved rain with thunder and lightening - spectacular! But...don't get me wrong, I feel extremely privileged to have these opportunities to travel and some of the scenery here is beautiful. I won't be rushing back though!
Today, Friday, is my last full day here - tomorrow I fly to Bangkok where I will meet up with Shirley (hurrah!) and we will begin our vacation with Martyn and Rachel. Very much looking forward to catching up with those guys and exploring Thailand together.
My plan is to update this blog as often as I can, whilst experiences will be fresh in my mind and I can give honest first impressions, so to say.
Thanks for reading and I am looking forward to hearing your comments as we go along!