Monday, 27 February 2012

Walk on Hulhumale'

Kalizma at anchor

I guess among Addoo atoll and Male' Island, Hulhumale' is the only other residential Island where foreigners can mingle or at least see how the local populace lives. On resorts you hardly find any Maldivians let alone get in touch with their culture, food, customs etc. 

Our walking path beside the road

Boulevards of Hulhumale'

Resorts are just fantastic artificial make believe places with no other meaning than to make money out of the hapless tourist, or in case of Maldives usually just married couples or couples in general. Yet many people return to these places year after year. maybe the surrounding is so off their usual turf that it somehow inspires people to come or recharges their batteries. I for one would never pay to come to Maldives, it is just not worth it in my eyes. 

Coming from Hulhule Island you are greeted with this sign

The guard post in Hulhumale'

Maybe I could consider a liveaboard dive boat as diving is my passion, but staying on an Island where everywhere you go you need to whip out your wallet for anything you do (or pay yourself halfway into debt for an "everything included" vacation). I'd go mad in a few days. Either way I'd develop cabin fever as discovering any resort Island does not take more than 10 minutes, tops. 

The Ocean side beach

Local road

I still recall the looks on the tourist faces on Addoo atoll when they came cycling back from their daily tour. The faces were long and drawn and far from happy looking. Later I heard they had booked into the resort for 2 weeks and I think the daily room rate was abt 400USD/ night. If you don't dive or fish you run out of options in less than a week or perhaps some people can lie in the sun for days on end, not my cup of tea.

BA chart 3323, inset

From the already built buildings the whole plain is planned to be built

Well, that was my rant about resorts, lets get to Hulhumale'. The Island is quite large and is evidently planned to have a huge residential colony there. I could also see some industrial estates there as well as garbage handling too. The roads are pretty wide and will cater for any traffic that may be due in the future. In the bay we are staying is next to the landing jetty for the Male' ferry, you get a ticket for 5 MRF one way, the journey takes 20 minutes.

1000 units project, of course Chinese business men have their finger in the pie

The municipal swimming area

Upon landing at the Hulhumale' jetty we started walking south along the coast with Dubey. After a while you'll end up to a causeway connecting to the airport Island Hulhule. This Island was in olden times considered haunted by several "jinni". The causeway has barriers and a guard preventing anyone entering the Island I suppose on unnecessary grounds. One would not want the local populace or even the guest workers going to the airport bar and get sloshed and then wander back late at night and raise hell in the sleeping colony.

Someone's Fukuoka but driving on a spare tyre

"Please don't dump garbage"

Anyway, we continue past the Causeway on the Ocean side of the Island, now heading North. The beach is heavily fortified against erosion, a heavy duty mat has been placed on the sand and on top it something that looks like hardened cement bags. After a few minutes walking we enter the area under development and also pass a municipal swimming area. Dubey tells me that this area is usually full during Thursdays & Fridays (muslim weekend). Then we come to the northern end of the Island and there is a communal BBQ area and a view to the neighboring resort. 

The communal BBQ area, Club Med in background

Pine trees of Hulhumale'

We walk around the northern tip and on the lagoon side is some big construction project going on and soutwards towards the jetty is actually the nicest part of the Island. The whole area is taken up by pine trees that gives a look of some greenery and nature. Finally we arrive to the point we started from and see that we spent about an hour walking.

The pine lined local jetty

At the jetty women are warned about wearing bikinis

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