We left Kolumafushi and the Huvadhoo atoll on Friday and sailed (well
motored) overnight to arrive in Laamu atoll yesterday mid morning. Our
experiences in Huvadhoo had been largely positive ones and most islands we
visited extended a warm welcome. A pair of brothers had be-friended us as
soon as we arrived in Kolumafushi and within an hour of us arriving had
bought us some treats as "welcome" gifts. These included fresh coconuts, a
local crisp made of bread fruit, and some deep fried crunchy fish balls (so
crunchy you could loose teeth with them!).
Arriving at the new Gan (many place names seem to be repeated), we found the
welcome to be somewhat more muted. We found a spot in the local harbour
without too many problems and attracted the usual level of interest.
Stepping ashore, however, we were approached on a couple of occasions to ask
if someone was looking after the boat. They advised that there were thieves
around. We are not quite sure if this is a reality, or if this was simply a
means to get some money from us for "watching" the boat. Needless to say,
we felt a little unsettled as we set out to explore the 4 islands connected
by causeway on the scooters that we had hired.
We needn't have worried about staying out too long, as we soon discovered
that the causeway (some 12kms) has little of interest along the way. Long
stretches of sand road and short patches of tarmac, with few buildings or
signs of life along the way. We eventually found a small cafe where the
menu at least extended to fried rice or noodles, before heading back the way
we came as rain clouds threatened.
We are preparing to leave Gan now and will set off in an hour to the next
atoll - another overnight hop. The weather is overcast and humidity is 73%
with very little wind. The rains seem intent to continue on and off and the
weather predicts more of the same over the next 10 days.
Next stop has some islands where local jewellery is made so should be
interesting and we will then be just one more overnight hop to Male. Once
at Male, me and the kids will head back to the heat of Dubai and Bryan will
take his new crew on board. Joff is flying in from Dubai and my brother in
laws friend Nic is flying in from Bristol, UK. Quite an international jet
set crew for the return leg!!