15th January 2015 – Maafushi, Maldives
Paradise is not permanent, as my passport can tell you. And neither is Maafushi, or any other part of earth. Soon, these islands will be erased from the world map, But evolution is a bitch. For new paradises, there is never a dearth.
It is with a sad heart that I had to leave Maafushi. Especially knowing the fact that this island may not always be there. Maldives is already the lowest-lying country on the planet, and the rising ocean level poses a real and tangible threat for the existence of the country. So much that the government of Maldives is now in talks to buy land areas in India and Sri Lanka, to repopulate their people if anything drastic were to happen to the island. And going by scientific estimates, these beautiful islands are all set to vanish in anything from 50 to 200 years.
The morning began with clicking the kite surfers against the sunrise. If there is anything that one can learn about travelling, it is from the kite surfers. They go where the wind blows. There is no set travel plan or duration, and the true traveller is one who keeps adapting as he goes ahead. I learned this last, when I received the response from Bahrain embassy for a visa application. I had booked flights going in and out of Bahrain, and even hotel bookings. But the visa application was rejected.
I had to adapt. I applied for refunds for all the airline tickets, and visa application, and quickly changed my plan. I was to go to Bahrain first. But now, I would go back to Sri Lanka for 5 days, and then fly to Turkey. I already had a Turkish evisa, so this was no risk.
Leaving Maafushi is a point that needs to be mentioned. Our flight out of Maldives was late night, but there is only one ferry from Maafushi to Male. At freaking 7.30 AM! And arriving at Male by 9 AM, you have no idea how to spend the next 14 hours in the capital city, where there is pretty much nothing to do. There is an artificial beach, and a fruit and fish market, where we hung around taking some pictures. And after a very (deliberately) slow lunch, we took the airport ferry from Male to Hulhule.
And then we worried about how to spend the next 8 hours in the airport.