Como Maalifushi Wednesday January 10, 2018

I left you yesterday somewhere over the Indian Ocean hading toward the Thaa atoll, where Como Maalifushi is located.

We flew over a resort that was under construction, just before we landed. Here you see all the over water villas along a jetty. It appears that these villas will have plunge pools also! The black areas in the water are coral reefs in shallow water. In the distance you can see the barrier atoll where the deep water crashes into the reef.

It looks like there is construction going on here also. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find out what was being built, or what the new resort was going to be named. Am I expected to know everything?

We finally landed, next to a floating dock. You can tell that this gentleman is not the pilot as he is wearing sandals!

Here is the approaching ferry to take us to Como Maalifushi. Did you think they would leave us bobbing on a float the rest of our lives?

We were greeted at the landing dock by the heads of all the departments. The staff knew the names of all of the arriving guests. I think they had cheat sheets, and each head was assigned a family to greet by name. We were met by Steve’s fishing guide, Craig. We have a good friend who is from South Africa, and his name is Greg. I think that white males from South Africa only have a choice of two names, Craig or Greg. Steve, however thinks Craig really looks like a Trevor, which is really messed up if you ask me! Steve and Craig discussed the upcoming day’s fishing and then we were escorted into our buggy by a driver and driven around the grounds. We finally arrived at our villa. Our first day we had arrived late, and my pictures were a bit dark. The pictures from this post are from the next day.

Como Maalifushi has a choice of beach villas, and over water villas. I believe all of the units have plunge pools. Some of the villas have a little bit larger living room. The two bedroom villas, are basically two villas connected. We didn’t get a chance to look at the beach villas, they are supposed to be more private as they are not attached. Steve and I thought that they might be a little more hot, as they are surrounded by trees and they might not get much of a breeze. I asked a staff member about this and he told me they were quite breezy. I’m not sure if there was a communication error there, as I can’t see how the villas would catch a breeze, nestled in the trees. Let’s go into our villa, shall we? I have skipped over the front door and entryway as I am currently sitting on the beach; not enjoying a mai tai as the pool and towel attendant is elsewhere. I did not take the picture of the front door and for that I profusely apologize. Perhaps later. Anyway, here is the living room. There are two chairs, and a table to drop your stuff off on.There should alway be one designated shit collector area in every house. Unfortunately, like most people we have a tendency to leave stuff on every horizontal surface! Every evening the room attendant would leave on the table a sheet detailing the next days activities. The hanging light over the table was hung at such a hight that every time I got up from sitting there I would hit my head. Swine light fixture! There is a lovely sofa in which I sat for two minutes to try it out. Very comfy. A huge flat screen tv complete with Bose sound system completed the entertainment area.

There was an adapter supplied in case you forgot to buy one at Target before you left home. No usb cords, but I am sure that you could get one if you asked. My key pad seems fully charged now, so I won’t need to borrow a usb cord. It seems that my keypad was not fully charged before we left home , although the literature with the device said that it was shipped fully charged.

Enough about adapters, and key pad you say, show us more of the room!

Here I show you the outside of the credenza. We were supplied with bottled water each day. They were free in the room, if you wanted water at your meals, there was a slight charge. The price for still water was $3 and $5 for sparkling water. A name brand was higher. What’s inside the credenza you ask?

On the right side was a coffee maker, electric kettle and various teas. This coffee maker was so easy, even Steve could use it!

In the middle was the mini bar, supplied with all sorts of expensive goodies. That bottle of Corona looks really good right now, and where is that beach attendant when you want him?

I don’t seem to have a picture of the door on the left, it must have held beverage glasses. We were given a plate of fruit, which rotated daily. I don’t know what the fruits that look like pears are. I’ll have to sample them before we leave. Until now I have only eaten the grapes. Which of course you can tell as there aren’t any grapes in the picture!

Here is another angle of our room, looking toward the sofa and television. It appears that we have a bucket of champagne in melted water. Hmm, the management must have left us some bubbly before we went to bed our first night, and clueless couple that we are,we didn’t notice it! Perhaps we can bring it to dinner and have staff exchange it for a chilled bottle!

It’s a bottle of Tattinger, we don’t want to waste that!

That’s enough for now, I have gone in search of the pool/beach attendant for ice water. Back home, you are likely sipping a hot tea or coffee while I am bedraggled and spritzing.

Remember to show me some love, by liking the blog, subscribing and making comments. I finally got my husband to post a like, and I even grabbed his ipad to post a comment. It’s not enough to post a comment on Facebook, I need actual interactions to see who is reading me!

P.S. Wouldn’t you know that after proofreading this post, Steve still conked his head on the light fixture!

Goodbye Gili Lankanfushi, Hello Airport? Wednesday January 10, 2018

Well I seemed to have screwed up my days a little. Originally my last post said that it was Tuesday when it was actually Wednesday morning. I straightened that all up and we are now good to go.

The management team led by David Stepetic gave us a warm good bye from the dock. David had worked at a number of great resorts and runs a top notch organization. We were impressed with the beauty of Gili, the quality of the food, and the wonderful villas. To top it off there was the wonderful staff, whose aim was to please the guest. The fancy boat there is for people who wanted to go on a fancy boat ride.

As we were the only guests on the boat we got those great seats with a view of everything. We saw lots of boats on our way to Male, many of them were these big cargo ships. The Maldives has almost everything brought to it, which is why everything is so expensive. These cargo ships have their own cranes on them. Smaller ships come up to them, and cargo is unloaded on to them and then brought to port. Some of the workers never get to land, they can be on the boat for a year! Definitely not the life for me.

After about twenty minutes we reached the dock at the airport and are luggage was hoisted on to dry land. We were a little nervous about if we were going to be met at the airport by someone who would escort us to the proper area for our flight to Como Maalifushi.

Yay! We did have an escort who loaded our bags unto a cart and brought us into the terminal.

It was fun to look at all the ferries that were taking people to Male and to other islands. It appears that a bridge is being built linking the airport to the mainland.

Here is Steve posing in front of the Maldavian Sea Plane counter. Our passports were entered into the system and we waited. While Steve waited, have you ever seen him so relaxed in your life? Go to the Maldives, after only four nights and two massages you can look like this also!

While Steve waited, I explored. I love seeing different stuff that people ship. I actually stepped into the Phamacy that I had my picture taken in front of. I had to see if I could actually consider it a grocery store. You do remember that Steve fishes on trips, and I visit grocery stores don’t you? It was a hard call to make, they had a lot of water, baby wipes, and medicine but no regular food. I looked especially hard for cookies or crackers, but couldn’t fine any.Since it was a pharmacy it did have pills that one ingests. So I decided that it would count as a grocery store, although it was definitely not a supermarket.

After our papers were processed we entered a shuttle to another terminal where there was a Como Hotels Lounge. In this building there were lounges for all the resorts serviced by Maldavian Seaplames. Four Seaasons? You wait in this room. Como Maalifushi? You wait in this room. There was a problem in that one scheduled departure of 3:30 was not going to be met as there were mechanicals and only two planes were in operation. They told us that we would definitely make the last plane of the day that was scheduled to leave at 4:30. We waited and waited. I thought that I had taken a a few pictures of the lounge, but i can’t find them. They had coffee, soda, cookies, yummy brownies and potato chips. We were a little bit nervous to hear about the mechanical, but what were we going to do?

This is a view of the Seaplanes. Finally we were called, our flight was going to depart. By this time I think it was after 5:00.

Here we are patiently waiting for our flight. Steve looks a little worried, doesn’t he?

Down the gangplank and towards our plane. Maldavian SeaPlanes are known for their barefoot pilots. I bet that you did not know that.

The plane was pretty tiny. There was not much leg room.

We were given ear plugs.

As we were so close to the Equator I was trying to get a screen shot of 0 degree Latitude, but we were too far north. The Maldives is Just above the equator. Now look at that elevation reading. Did we make it to Como Maalifushi? Did we drown? No, of course not as you are reading the blog, but I thought this was an amusing way to end the post.

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Gili Lankanfushi, Wednesday January 10, 2018 Our last day at Gili

Now that it is our last day at Gili, it is time you learn a little history and about the geography of The Maldives. We are located in the Indian Ocean, in the Arabian Sea. The Maldives is located southwest of India and Sri Lanka. There are about 26 double atolls comprised of almost 1200 islands, 200 of the islands have been leased to tourism. The territory is about 115 squares miles, it is the smallest Asian country measured by size and population which is around 400,000. Fisheries and tourism are the main industries.

Male where the Main airport is located is the Capital. It is the lowest country in the world, with the highest natural point being only at about 8 feet above sea level! It is though that the first inhabitants arrived in the 5th century. The Maldives is 100% Muslim. During out stay here at Gili Lankanfushi we could often hear the call to prayer.

On our way to breakfast we saw this ray off of our jetty. We thought he was going to bury himself in the sand. Of course since i was videotaping he divided to just flap. So we left him to his life and went off to breakfast.

I had another shot of the morning starter, a pineapple orange combination. I also tried the healthy green juice drink. I can’t tell you how much stronger, vibrant and alert i am. Ha, Ha, just kidding! I’m the same old Linda.More fruits form the fruit bar. The little white balls were quite interesting. The hairy one was different from the one that looked like fish eyes. They were both very wet, and the hairy one was a little more opaque appearance than the three to the left. It was also larger when removed from the shell All were delicious. There is that beautiful dragon fruit again, on the lower right. It looks like a purple kiwi! There is also a pineapple tart on the upper part of the. picture, but we are just going to ignore that piece of heaven. Too many calories to think about.

Steve was feeling a little sluggish from all our relaxation and insisted that we hit the gym. The view from the exercise bike was delightful, but it was a little too warm for me. I adjusted the air conditioning, but I was still a little too warm for comfort. Plus the bike was not a recumbent one, so I was eager to quit after twenty minutes of cardio. I decided to try the Pilates Reformer that was in the gym. There was an instructional DVD going on, and it was a lot of fun to try to imitate the sleek and limber model. Later that day my groin was killing me, I think I went at it a little too vigorously.

We returned to our villa, finished packing, called our Ms Friday Shazu to pick us up. We got a picture of her with her buggy in front of our villa. You were wondering what our wonderful Shazu looked like, weren’t you?

We had a lovely lunch of Chicken Caesar Salad with another beer, and waited to be picked up to be brought to Male for our afternoon flight to Como Maalifushi.

You might have been wondering about the guest make up at the resort. When we talked to our travel agent I had mentioned that I loved to stay at small resorts, and meet the other guests. He had told me that would be an unlikely occurrence. He was correct. The majority of the guests stay to themselves. You can tell the guests that are Americans as they are always friendly! I did manage to meet a lovely couple from Texas on their honeymoon, and we exchanged Instagram account names. So now I have a new friend to see again! At Gili there were honeymooners, families with toddler children, families with older children and older couples like us. Some of the guests were from England, Germany and also Russia. I chatted up the Russian couple at breakfast. He had been coming to the US for vacation for over 30 years. This was the first year that he couldn’t get a visa. So instead of spending his money in LA and NYC, he was at Gili. I asked him what he thought about Trump. He was hard to understand with his accent. So I am not sure what the average wealthy Russian thinks of him.

That’s it for now. Show me some love by liking my post, and please post a comment!

Gili Lankanfushi Tuesday January 9, 2018 Out and About

Good morning! Another day in paradise and another juice shot to wake up with. This one was orange and pineapple.

Today I decided to have waffles with fruit for breakfast. Not to mention the whipped cream, bananas, strawberries, blueberries and raspberry sauce. Why diet while on vacation?

Steve had a tasty omelette. He is not into fruits, I am. Well, they do say that a marriage made of opposites makes a happier marriage!

I’m not sure what we did on Tuesday but lets take a tour of the grounds. Here is the outdoor cinema. Last night a couple had dinner and a movie. You can arrange this also if you choose to stay her. www.Gili-Lankanfushi.com (I don’t get any credit for the links in my blog. Maybe some day I will be a paid travel influencer, but not yet!)

There was great signage everywhere.

Speaking of yoga, here is a view of the outdoor pavilion where yoga classes were held.

This is a view of the gift shop. No, I didn’t buy a bikini.

Anyone up for a game of pool? That could be done here also. Don’t they think of everything?

Lets go climb the 360 to enjoy the view. It doesn’t look too high for me to climb.

The view wasn’t much better here, in fact it was probably worse than the view from the ground as seen here.

What’s funny is that when I first saw this picture in my photo roll, I though it was from Como Maalifushi where we are staying now. The resorts all have dhoni boats that you can take a sunset cruise on. In the distance you see One Palm Island, thats where we went group snorkeling near. If you wanted to you could have a private dinner here also. One Palm Island is a different island than Two Palm Island. I am not sure if there was a No Palm Island, Ha Ha!

Besides the wooden directional signs there were Evacuation Maps also. Chances of Tsunami’s are rare, as the country of India blocks most of the deviating tsunami’s that might occur, but you never know.

This is the lovely table and chairs that were set up on the 360 platform. This was another great spot for a private dinner.

This is the beautiful vegetable garden on property. I loved the fresh green lettuces.

Back down on solid ground we go by the By The Sea Restaurant again.

Here is a lovely lounge chair to sit in and enjoy the view of the ocean and a sunset. Or perhaps you had too much at dinner, and need to take a rest?

I know, let’s try to hang out at the pool for a while. Past the Main Restaurant we go.

Shucks, some one is under the cabana. Looks like we’ll have to sit in the shade. Well, that can be arranged.

Steve and I are too old to do hammocks. Those are for young people, who can easily get out of them. Seeing the hammocks brought back fond memories of when Steve used to lie in the hammock with the kids on a weekend. Not much reading was down, but there was some tickling and napping.

Perhaps we should have some lunch al fresco, if it can be arranged. Yes, lets share a chicken Caesar salad with a beer!

Hey, why don’t we go for another massage? Yes, lets do.

Ah, the relaxing massage with the view of the coral and fish. Did you see the one with the yellow tail?

Now it is the time for our last night’s dinner. It was an Asian Buffet. We had a beautiful salad to start, where you could choose your own greens.

Followed by lots of beautiful breads.

They had many stations at the buffet. There were lots of preplated dishes.

Lots of stuff to eat that I didn’t know what it was. The lighting for photos was bad, so I can’t show you the soup, grill or stir fry stations. The dessert station was equally lovely, with lots of fresh fruit, tarts, and mousses.

That’s it for our last night at Gili Lankanfushi. Tomorrow we head to Como Maalifushi.

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Gili Lankanfushi January 8, 2018 It’s Monday!

Time to get up and start our day! Looking at the Instagram postings for Gili Lankanfushi I found this picture…

Whoa! What a beautiful pool! I didn’t recall seeing it anyway on property and thought I would ask one of the servers at breakfast how I could find it!

After my fortifying juice shooter, I inquired.

Well Madame, I am sorry to but that will not be possible.

How so? Please break it to me gently. Yes, I am sitting down now, you can tell me.

“Perhaps you might like to see if you Rosti and two egg mozzarella, mushroom, spring onion and pepper omelette is to your satisfaction first. ”

It’s “varah Meeru’, very tasty. The picture is from the Residence, and it is fully booked! Oh well.

I guess I will just have to satisfy myself with some of the fruit from the buffet.

The fruit was just so pretty that I couldn’t stay disappointed for long.

Maybe I’ll just have some more fruit from the fruit chef and go on with my day.

Look, things are looking up, Steve saw the lounger under pool canopy was empty, and we could sit there for a spell!

Now how do you say, “I am so happy?’

I could sit here and look at the boats, listen to the bubbler all day long!

Would Mr. and Mrs. Lant like a towel, some ice water, sun lotion and two bread sticks while you enjoy the shade and the view? But of course, we would!

Alas, all good things come to and end and it was time for use to get our snorkeling briefing by the resident Marine Biologist. No pictures of the pretty fish again, but we did see several different species and we even saw an octopus! There were three others with us on our expedition; the tennis instructor and two guys. I asked them where they were from. Guest C said Columbia, and Guest E said England. “Where did you meet I inquired? ” ‘Ibiza!”

Of course I asked them if they knew Gary Goldsmith the uncle of the Dutchess of Doolittle. Will and Kate had vacationed there several times. The house has been nicknamed “Chateau Bang-Bang”! Alas, they knew nothing of what I was talking about, and you probably don’t either. Guest E took some pictures of Steve and I snorkeling, but we never met up with them again. So the cute pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Lant are probably deleted.

We headed back to the Over Water Bar for lunch. There was a very interesting cocktail on the menu board. What are the odds that I would order one?

It was called the Kaashi Cocktail. Fresh coconut water, rum, Midori, Amaretto and pineapple juice. Yummy!

We had more delicious bread.

I ordered a pizza, with ground beef, mushroom and pepper.

Steve had some kind of stir fry.

Of course when we left the Over Water Bar (which I seem to have been incorrectly calling Over the Sea, or Over The Water Bar), my hat flew off and Steve had to rescue it for me! My Hero!

While we were snorkeling my favorite spot at the pool was taken. We were never able to claim it again unfortunately, as a new family of lounge hogs took over. They left their gear there even when they were lounging in the sun on different loungers and while they were at lunch! I was very disturbed, but Steve remarked that the didn’t find the low cushions under the canopy that comfortable. I ended up calming down eventually the more that I studied the family. The father was in his 60’s, the wife was in her 40’s and extremely scrawny, there was a young boy we thought was six, who the older gentleman was extremely affectionate toward, and then there was a 40 year old man who might have been the older man’s son from his first wife. We have seen that type of family on a number of our trips. I never quite figure out who the lady belongs to. However as she rarely sits near the younger man, I have decided that she is with the older guy. Anyway, that is my intrigue for the day. I never did find out who they were, who was with whom and where they were staying. I deduced that they weren’t at The Residence as the little boy would likely want to be in that pool and on the slide every day.

No more about Monday, we had more caviar at dinner on Steve’s tuna tartare, and we had chocolate with raspberry sorbet for dessert. What can be better than that?

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Gili Lankanfushi Sunday January 7, 2018 Lunch, some snorkeling and Dinner.

It’s about time I post a map of the resort. In a later posting I will give a little history of the Maldives.

We were staying in GVS30 which was off of Jetty 2. We had both sunrise and sunset views. The resort is very convenient to the airport, it was only about a 20 minute boat shuttle. I think if you wanted to take a shuttle in to Male you could, but why would you when you were surrounded by beautiful white beaches? The only draw back we could find at the resort, was that since we were near the airport you hear planes through out the day. It wasn’t offensive, but you knew you weren’t too far from civilization. This was high season, and one night we did hear the music from the resort across the way from us. It didn’t bother me, but Steve did have problems sleeping that night. We later found out the it was considered the Russian New year, and those oligarchs on vacation like to PARTY!

We went to the Over the Sea restaurant for lunch. We were given our cold towels, and then a juice shot. It was quite refreshing. Since Steve only drinks orange juice, I got to have both drinks. You can probably tell that this one was watermelon based.

For lunch we went to the salad bar. Having a green salad with a little egg and chunks of ham is always a delicious lunch. Steve had the salad bar also.

I actually had a drink at lunch. It was a Curaçao and Midori based drink. You know how I like my fruity Martinis, so I really enjoyed this!

We hung out at the pool for a bit after lunch and then…

We went snorkeling! Here I am in my full face snorkel mask. This is definitely the type of mask to get. You can breathe normally, and wear your contacts. I did get a little water in my mask, but that’s because I was so excited to snorkel that I didn’t adjust my mask properly. We learned about these masks from those people I hated in the Galapagos who were the cushion and table hogs. They were big scuba divers, and donned these masks when our boat trip stopped for snorkeling time. I had never snorkeled before and found it quite easy. We went right off our dock to explore the coral beds in our lagoon. We saw lots of pretty fish. No pictures as we didn’t bring an underwater camera or the GoPro. We also didn’t trust the water proof cell phone bags that came with the mask. You can get the masks from Amazon for about $79 each. The masks had a bright orange snorkel, so it was easy for me to see where Steve was when i lifted my head up and vice versa.

Here is another calming sunset form our Villa.

For dinner we went to the Japanese Restaurant. After more cooling towels and a juice shooter we were ready to enjoy our dinner. We started with salted Endame, they were so good!

This was the amuse bouche. Fresh seared tuna.

I had the tempura as part of the chefs tasting menu.

Steve had some beef that was quite rare and very good.

Then I had some fish, shrimp, and sushi. The fish on the bottom had rice underneath. I think that was called Nigori, usually the fish is raw, but they cooked it for me. It was very difficult to eat, I ended up using my fingers.

Steve ordered soup. He really loves soup, and would eat it at every meal if he could.

For my main I had some kind of meat pancake. It was very strange.

Steve’s main was fish. It was not strange and very tasty. I think it was on risotto. The little balls were caviar, that I got to eat, as Steve would rather the fish eggs grow up to be fish, and not caviar.

At every table there was a little Zen Garden to play with.

Here is Steve’s fine design.

These were the chopstick holders. Steve appropriately got the fish, and I got the star. Now how appropriate was that!

Dessert was another yummy chocolate treat. That plate was cleaned! Steve and I joked during dinner that we saved our selves a lot of money on this trip. I decided that I wasn’t crazy about Japanese food, and a trip to Japan (which was on our travel list) was probably not going to happen now. So we saved all that money we would have spent going to Japan!

I forgot to mention that Steve had a different glass of sake with each of his courses. Fabrice, the sommelier came over to give a detailed description of each type. My eyes glazed over during the first description, but Steve looked remarkably attentive throughout the evening. He might just be a better actor than I am!

I leave you with a little video of my dinner. No, it wasn’t live, but with the overhead fan it sure looked like I was eating something that was not quite dead yet!

Gili Lankanfushi January 7, 2018 Spa Treatments and a trip to the gym?

The resort had a jet lag special at the spa, if you booked together it was $199 for a one hour massage. As Steve and I adore massages and we were jet lagged we arranged the spa for the morning of our first full day. This is the entrance of the spa. As you could see it from our back deck, we didn’t need Shazu our Ms. Friday to bring us there.

The treatment started with a foot soak, and then a scrub a dub dub of crystals to invigorate our sore feet. We were in heaven already!

We entered the room to find the normal massage tables. In the floor were cutouts so you could watch the activity below the spa! It was so much fun to see the fish swim below. I think all spas should do this, just put a television on the floor and cover it with plexiglass!

Here is a video of the experience!

After the massage we went upstairs to the second floor of the spa. Here Steve is pointing out something to me, what it was i don’t remember. However as you know I love a good posed picture I thought I would share it with you.

The lovely ladies gave us some orange slices, almonds, cold water and hot ginger tea to refresh us after our treatment. The ginger tea is supposed to help energize you and aid in the elimination of toxins. It sure was spicy!

This lovely lady gave Steve his massage. She delightfully posed for the blog.

On the way back from the massage we decided to see what the gym looked like. They had two Pilates reformers, a DVD constantly going with a Pilates session. There were also yoga mats, although each room was provided with their own yoga mats. There were free Yoga sessions daily, although we didn’t attend any. They were held outside, in the morning and afternoon. The gym was air conditioned, and had treadmill, ellipticals, a bike, free weights, and a few weight bearing machines. There was a refrigerator with cold towels in it also. If you forgot your gym shoes, you could borrow some at the spa.

Look at this view. Well it’s a lousy photograph, but it really was nice to look out the window. We quickly said goodby to the gym, who wants to ruin a good zen with a workout?

This was the outside of the gym entrance. Above is where the Japanese restaurant is located.

We head back to the our villa and think about what we want to do next. Here you can see the water cisterns conveniently placed to cool feet. Steve saw one of the resort’s workers refill them. He just dumped out the old, and put new water from below in them. Although you could probably figured that out on your own now, couldn’t you?

Here’s a calming video for you to enjoy. This was taken from our deck. I’ll have to stop now as we have a cocktail party to attend at Como Maalafushi where we are now.

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