Trip Start Aug 06, 2011
144Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
And what were we doing in the Maldives? Granted, the Maldives are located on top of the Chagos-Maldives-Laccadive Ridge, a vast submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean, but make no mistake about it, the Maldives are a widely dispersed series of Gilligan's Islands with pristine beaches, surrounded by coral, and packed with Palm Trees
The Maldives atolls encompass a territory spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, making the country one of the world's most geographically dispersed. Its population of 329,000 inhabits 192 of its 1,192 islands. That sounds big but the Maldives is actually the smallest Asian country in both population and land area. With an average ground level of 4ft 11 in above sea level, it is also the planet's lowest country. While traveling we've made significant efforts to see a number of endangered critters in their natural environment but this has to be the first country we visited that is considered endangered as a result of climate change. Discussions have already taken place as to what to do with the populace if/when the country is submerged by rising water levels- India, Sri Lanka, and Australia are nominated host countries (Australia would be an interesting choice as the Maldives are currently a very strict Muslim country- open practice of any other religion is forbidden and liable to prosecution, and a non-Muslim may not become a citizen)
Since you could walk the entire island in about 30 minutes it's probably a stretch to say we visited the Maldives properly- our well-worn path took us from the villa to the restaurant, to the bar, to the beach, and back to the villa only to start the whole process again at the next meal time. The meals might not make our Top 10 Wow list but they certainly warranted consideration- we were starting to view Mac D's as haute cuisine so it was nice to give our taste buds a four day party.
I'm not sure I'd rush back to the Maldives, or any other beach only paradise, but it was fun to get a brief peek at lifestyles of the rich and famous...now it's time to get back to work.