Save the Beach – The Maldives

After a final night on Dhigura we had another early start and a very quick breakfast at the guest house. We then caught the 2-hour speedboat all the way back to Malé. Although we still had things to do today and another night in another hotel on Hulhumalé it felt like the beginning of a long journey home.

The speedboat made decent time and we soon moored up at the airport. Here we all jumped into taxis for a ride to the Newtown Inn which was an odd little hotel above the Bombay Darbar Indian Restaurant on the island of Hulhumalé. Here we dropped off our luggage then jumped into another taxi that took us across the Sinimalé Bridge once again and into the streets of Malé where we were dropped off at the Villingilli Ferry Terminal. Here we all jumped aboard a local ferry that took us on a very short trip to the small island of Villingili (known administratively as Villimalé). This is considered the fifth district of Malé City and lies about 2km west of Malé.

Save The Beach

We were on Villingilli to visit the Save the Beach project, a conservation and research project that is restoring and rehabilitating damaged reefs in the Maldives. We had a quick presentation from them and then all headed into the water from the sandy beach at the watersports centre. We snorkelled above a vibrant reef and over the top of some reef restoration work. We were tasked with noting the fish we spotted on a Fish ID sheet, but with so many fish around it was harder than one would think! As well as all of the fish we had seen elsewhere in the Maldives the reef was alive with lots of large Moray eels.

We had a good snorkel then headed back to get changed. After this we headed off to a restaurant for a delicious lunch, followed by an ice-pop from a local shop. We then caught the ferry back to Malé and a taxi back to the hotel. Phew, that was quite a bit of travelling for one day!


The afternoon was hot and sticky in the city but Anna and I headed out for a gentle stroll along the beach on the east side of Hulhumalé. It’s quite built up here and there were quite a few locals on the beach playing football, wading in the water and taking photos. There was someone out kite-surfing and a number of watersports centres along the beach. We walked to a channel that cuts the island in two where locals were jet-skiing, hydro-boarding and generally having a good time.

We walked back along the main road and then chilled in our air conditioned room until it was time for dinner in the restaurant below. This really was the beginning of the end now. We said our goodbyes to Zaff, tipped him handsomeley and then retired to bed. Everyone was leaving at different times in the morning. Alex and Umesh were off early, Anna, myself, Megan and Lara were off after breakfast to catch a midday flight to the UK, Ash was off at the same time as us, but she was heading off to the resort of Summer Island for a few days. We weren’t jealous at all!. Actually, we were very jealous. A couple more days at a resort would have been lovely after the action-packed Much Better Adventures portion of the trip. Alas, time and money didn’t allow luxury at either end of the trip.

Homeward Bound

The journey home was relatively uneventful even if it did feel as though it had started 24 hours ago when we left Dhangethi. We had breakfast at the Newtown Inn, a taxi ride to the airport and a painless check-in and security protocol. The flight was on time and was direct to the UK with a coupe of meals to keep us busy. The sun was shining when we left so we did get to see some iconic Maldivian islands from the air.

Goodbye to the Maldives
Goodbye to the Maldives

We were very lucky to land at Heathrow as Storm Isha was raging in the UK and many planes were being diverted back to the continent. I think our pilot wanted to get home though so gave it a go landing at Heathrow and thankfully made it even if things were a little bumpy and squirrelly! There was plenty of footage on the news that night of other planes attempting landings only to bounce off the runway and abort the landing, taking off again and re-routing elsewhere.

It was now around 7pm in the UK and felt like midnight to us due to the time differences. We had therefore sensibly booked a nearby Premier Inn for the night. Making the 5 hour or so drive home now would have been silly. After collecting our luggage we jumped on a bus to the Premier Inn where we had a pizza and a comfortable nights sleep. We then jumped on the bus back to the airport, followed by another bus to the car parking facility where we collected the car and started the long drive home. We did stop for breakfast and to charge the car partway and then stopped again in Shrewsbury for a little walk around the shops. We eventually made it home after what had been an epic holiday in the Maldives.

If only we could go back soon!

1 Response

  1. Avatar forComment Author Mum x says:


    Maybe one you’ll get to go back …..or do another adventure !

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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