Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Exploring Addoo atoll

On 27th we got a local guide onboard to reconnoiter the local Islands for possible beach parties and barbecues. The locally called “Bushy Island” up north proved very difficult to approach and so we settled on the Mulikolhu Island in the south of the atoll that had recently hosted one of the “Survivor” series seasons with Icey teaching the urbanites how to open coconuts and to catch fish.

Addoo beaches

Our local man "Icey"

Same afternoon I lent from Icey and Matty a pair of scooters and headed with Jessie North to explore the northwestern side of the atoll. First I had to stop and change some dollars to local currency for any expenses. It did not take long to discover the scooters needed more fuel so we stopped on Maradhoo Island on a prominent fuel station to fill our vehicles. At same time I discovered Jessie was on a scooter saddle for her first time of her life but she handled it pretty well.

Riding past trees planted by the English


From Maradhoo we continued onwards and passed the commercial port.  I could see ships anchored to offload oil for the local power station and refrigerator ships to load some tuna that seemed to be the common term for “fish”. Then there was some local shipyards that were repairing dhonis and Gulf Crafts, all vey small and compact operations.

Jessie on her "hog"

We passed the power station with its gorgeous trees planted by the Brits on the way on Maradhoo Island and went along to Hithadhoo Island by the western seaside to Koattey were there was supposed to be ancient ruins of a Fort.

Maldivian jungle

We looked for the ruins as far as we could go by road and reached the sea. We parked our scooters and took a swim in the Indian Ocean with the northern swell pushing us back onshore. I cautioned Jessie to stay close to shore as the local currents might be treacherous. The swim was refreshing but the beach really rocky with dead corals so it was not a nice place to walk on.

The northwestern swamplike inner side of the Addoo atoll

After drying ourselves we took a shore path resembling more of a trial track and eventually met a party of local Maldivians and after querying for the Fort they told us the ruins were long gone during their grand father’s time, oh well, so much for the guide books advice.

Coconut juice break

The inside of Koattey

As we were motoring up and down every treaded path we could find with Jessie we stumbled upon a local man who was cutting down coconuts. After some initial sign language he opened a coconut each and we whetted our whistles with the tender sweet juice. After emptying the shell he cut it half so we could get at the meat. I rewarded the man with 50 US cents in local currency for his efforts. He did not show any emotion if it was insufficient or not so I reckon he was happy. After this it was getting dark and we started back south as Avnish had set a dinner date with me.

Hithadhoo

This time we motored straight through the Hithadhoo center main road and saw the various businesses lining the streets along the residential houses. Many were built by coral bricks, i.e. pieces cut out of the surrounding coral reefs.  On the way we passed many dissecting roads that showed us the sun as it was descending lower and lower. So when it was really nearing the horizon we made it through the brush and stopped to admire the sunset. After this I got a call from Avnish enquiring of our whereabouts so we jumped on our scooters and headed for the Maradhoo Island for the “Citybend” restaurant.

Almost sunset again

At “Citybend” we met Avnish and Nina and had a delicious dinner with local curries and other delicacies. Anyway after dinner, we got on our scooters and drove them back to the Icey’s resort on Gan Island. 


No comments: