Saturday, 3 March 2012

Walking in Male'

Saturday night fever and nothing much to do we decided with Dubey to walk around Male' Island, the Capital of Maldives. Said and done we took the ferry over and from the landing we headed straight South. First we passed some park like area with a communal swimming pool connected to the sea and then we came to a beach called Surfers Paradise. I guess this is the only place where the waves break in order surf properly.  I could see some boys on boards far out catching the waves that rolled in. They broke their surf quite far away from shore and I don't wonder why as the shore was not sandy, it was sharp coral edges galore, not for beginners...

Surfers Paradise

Monument to honor the Japanese for sponsoring the Southern Breakwater (?)

Public swimming area on South side

As we strolled on we came on the South side of the Island and the road was lined with stalls selling areca nuts, tender coconut and other refreshments. I saw Red Bull was all the rage with the locals. The walking on the seaside was not bad as the pavement was wide, not like inside the Island where some places there were no sidewalks at all. Then we passed the powerstation of Male', I could hear the engines churning electricity. At same time we passed the southern port where I think the bunker barges fill up or vice versa for the power plant, at least there was a big manifold at the jetty and numerous bunker barges tied up in the port.

One of the older bunker barges

Male' Prison

After this we passed the Male' prison, I guess they nowadays need one as in olden days they had just banished the criminals to outlying Islands. Anyhow, the building was not very big but had those big metal clanging doors that you see in movies. After that we passed a big mountain of rubbish, I would think the highest point of the Island. Nearby was a recycling center. The stink was there despite the sea breeze. Further down the road we came to boat jetties taking passengers to other atolls, people were lining up for departing dhoni's. On the other side I think there was a military building as it was fortified like the jail but there was no sign saying what the building was for. It was bigger than the jail.

Rubbish recycling center

Male' main port

After this we started turning up North and approached the Male' main harbor that was packed with big and small cargo dhoni's loading goods for various destinations. I could see some of the dhoni's were actually owned by the resort. It takes a big operation to keep them going with staffs running in hundreds on the bigger ones. After the port we came almost full circle and passed the main market for fish, fruit vegetable, everything.

Cargo dhoni loaded with two 20' containers and other provisions

Northern entrance to Male' Port

Once the market was behind us we started passing the administrative facade of the Island on the North, the main mosque, President's Palace, major business buildings etc. On the seaside were more ferry jetties dropping off and taking on passengers for various destinations. Soon we were back where we started and had spent 1h 15 minutes walking and we bought our 5 MRF tickets back to Hulhumale'. What an exciting saturday afternoon.

Luxury apartments in male' with a seaview

Main market of Male'

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