logo Aroha's Maldives & Chagos tour
Date: 05 Aug 2009 12:21:28
Title: Gadhdhoo Day 2

Helen writes...It was great to catch up on some sleep last night and we
all felt fairly refreshed this morning and were ready to start exploring
Gadhdhoo. The population is quoted in lonely planet as 2,600, so we
expected a reasonable size village/town, but Gadhdhoo is surprisingly
small. We had pretty much covered the island in under an hour. Not
really anything too different or exciting in comparison of what we have
seen on other atoll islands. Lonely Planet had mentioned that the island
is famed for the woven mats made from reeds on the neighbouring
uninhabited island of Gan (not to be confused with Gan in Addu Atoll).
Despite our best efforts we spotted nothing that indicated the presence of
these mats. We headed back to the harbour and Bryan struck up
conversation with some of the locals to get directions and within a few
minutes we were following one young guy (a computer studies student) to
find the local women that weave them.

Our young student guide took us on quite a goose chase as he went from
small hut to hut trying to find an example to satisfy our curiosity and
after a few changes in direction ended up at a local woman’s house and she
showed us the loom on which she works which contained a half finished one.
The mats are woven from very thin grass like reeds and are coloured black
or yellow or left in the traditional wheat colour. The mats (table mat
size) take about 2 weeks to produce. We asked to see any that she had for
sale and soon made a purchase of what will be one of our unique reminders
of Maldives.

Just as we were leaving, we were offered some coconuts from the tree
inside the yard. These coconuts are unlike the ones we were accustomed to
in Chagos. The ones here are much yellower in colour and the milk was
very sweet and delicious. Once we had drunk the milk, the husks were then
hacked open and the soft white flesh was quickly consumed. Our student
guide seemed keen to leave by this point (guess we were looking a bit too
settled).

It was just as well we set off when we did, because within the few minutes
that it took us to get back to the harbour, a big rain squall began to
blow in and Aroha had swung 180 degrees and was consuming rather more of
the small harbour than was safe or wise. As we got back to the boat, the
heavens opened and within an hour we had caught enough water to fill our
completely empty forward tank (showers again yippee!!) We then took
advantage of the new position the boat was now sitting in and took some
lines/ropes ashore to tie to the quayside and hold us in a more
predictable position. Bryan seemed to gain some kudos from the locals in
the process of doing this - Not only for diving into the harbour water,
which seemed to impress them, but also for securing the new ropes. The
wind has settled again now, but even if it blows up again, we are not
going to move too far. The only disadvantage is that the stern of the
boat now faces directly onto the harbour wall, which seems to have a
constant gathering of locals keen to see as much of us and the boat as
possible (we must be better viewing than the local TV channel!)

We will leave here early tomorrow morning and head further north, though
still within the Huvadhoo Atoll, and should reach our next anchorage
around noon.

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