167 gym sessions, 65 mosquito bites, 37 hangovers, 15 coral cuts, 5 coldsores & 3 ear infections later Louise is has left the Maldives.
How quickly the months have passed since I first landed in Male back in Oct 07. After a quick break back to the UK the end of November this will be the first time again that I set foot out of the Asia-Pacific region back into the realms of the Atlantic, well for a short time anyhow.
The diving has been out of this world, and I know I am going to be hard pushed to find anywhere in the world where the diversity and abundance of fish & coral are as plentiful as in the Indian Ocean. As a marine biologist I have been spoilt here and indeed a reality check will be in-store wherever I don my wetsuit next! Not sure where I am going to find white-tips, black-tips, grey reefs, lemon’s, grey nurse sharks, Napoleon wrasse, huge tuna’s and jackfish, manta, eagle & sting rays, barracuda’s, remora’s, batfish the size of dinner plates, and eels the body diameter of that to rival a tree trunk.
It’s taken me time to adjust to the Maldivian culture where the people are in my humble opinion generally really difficult to work with! Those who’ve worked overseas are more accustomed to discipline but the locals whom 99% of the work force constitute are hard pushed to do anything. They lack the motivation to do anything at all, and rather like me when with a hangover they would rather be lazing in the shade than getting down to the daily grind!
So I left the sunny isles three weeks ago and via Dubai to see a mate where I got searched ( could it be my cleavage hugging top which pissed the conservative young filly`s off – hmm that was yes.London to briefly see my family for one night and the states where I am for the time being I am ready to go to Fiji for the summer / their winter!
Lucky girl I am as I willbe working for a company for the next few months leading some shark study courses....finally coming true.
Feels like I spent the last two years of travel building up to this - my dreams seem to consist of sharks, water and me. Hope there are no omens to be read from this!
almost didn`t make it due to pulling my upper back when lifting a cylinder a few weeks ago - I was bed bound for a week, drugged up on muscle relaxants and needed an MRI from Male hospital. Happy days but fingers crossed -hoping all will be ok next week. As long as the sharks do not move fast she says......
Am currently in NYC as we speak - I love this place, has to be one of my favourite places in the world, from what I have seen so far. It`s been the hottest for 14 years, and our hostel was feeling it under the heat. Accommodation is top dollar here, so my mate unwittingly under STA recommendations booked us into the YMCA. Shocking and just as well we were able to laugh, as two people could not move at the same time in the room - planning was needed to `work` the room, in addition to the plastic covers they put on the beds. Funny how the hostel was only full of naive Europeans, I don`t think much emphasis is placed on the hostel system here - hence the prison cells style rooms. But nothing that a dose of `Mr. Big` from the new Sex in the City film couldn`t cure, along with a few ice cold Peroni`s that lived in our fridge. Thank god for small saviours.