Two Trips, Two Months, Too Good!There must have been a four-leaf clover in my mixed greens recently, because I lucked into two overseas surf trips in the space of two months. The first was to Bali, my old faithful. She never disappoints. But with back-to-back trips planned, I doubted that my second destination could live up to the simple pleasures of the first. After the effortless enjoyment of my familiar Bali haunt, I was off to a foreign destination, somewhere I had only seen in the surf mags. I was now being given the opportunity to experience it for myself. Welcome to the Maldives!
There are some key differences between Bali and the Maldives. The one that smacks you in the face first is the 24 hours of long haul travel it takes to get there, as opposed to the casual six hours it takes to get to Indo.
Exhausted and stale, we finally arrived in the Southern Atolls and stepped out for our first taste of Maldivian living. While I expected to be greeted by a tiresome throng of hawkers, Bali style, the Maldivian people didn’t seem too fussed by our arrival.
And herein lies the second striking difference. In Bali the constant offerings of good deals from massages and trinkets to Rolexes and taxis, keep you on your toes, while in the Maldives the lack of hustle lets you turn off and really relax. Of course, when I say relax, I actually mean surf all day until you can barely lift an afternoon beer to your lips.
Everyday we surfed, swam, surfed, filmed, photographed, surfed, and capped it all off with a little late surf and few cold beers. We surfed breaks on the outer edge of the atolls and the channels acted as aquatic highways for all kinds of marine life. Most days we were kept company in the lineup by turtles and dolphins, in stark contrast to the plastic bags and sewage that often frequents Bali breaks.
As we sat around our bonfire on a deserted island I had the chance to think about my past two months. While Bali will always be my second home, I think I’ve found another favourite place; a pristine paradise; a place where you can go with your mates or loved one to really relax and unwind. Ah, the Maldives!
I must thank a few people who made this experience possible, particularly to Franck and all the boys for having me share this fortnight in paradise with them. I hope my photos can give all you frothing Beasts out there a glimpse of this absolutely amazing place. It really is worth the effort.