Spring break finally arrived! We’d been planning for our trip since January or so. It was starting to feel like it would never get here. But, finally, it did and that meant we were heading to The Maldives!!!
We made reservations for a place to stay through Booking.com. In the days leading up to the trip, we tried contacting the guest house where we had our reservation. We had to make sure we had a way to get there. Since The Maldives are a string of atolls, you fly into the main city, Male, and have to take a plane, speedboat, or ferry to the island on which you stay (in our case, Maafushi). We tried email. No response. Email again. Again, no response. We tried calling. No answer. No return calls. Jim feared we would have no way to get to our island. I figured we’d be able to find someone with a boat to get us there.
We left Bahrain at 10:30 PM, flew through the night with a connection in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and arrived in Male, capital of The Maldives, about 8:00 AM. As we dragged our luggage (and our sleep-deprived bodies) around the airport, we must have had “that look” because a speedboat captain approached us and asked if we needed a ride.
When we arrived at Maafushi, after a very bumpy ride, we were met at the dock by people from the guest house where we were planning to stay. They hauled our luggage across the dirt roads of the island, rickshaw style.
The hosts brought us to the guest house. They smiled the whole way, made small talk, joked with our boys. They brought us water and juice after seating us in the lobby. They had us full out the registration paperwork.
After all of that they told us, “There’s a little problem. We are overbooked. There’s no room for you.” Little problem? LITTLE PROBLEM!?! No. That’s a BIIIIIIG problem! How could there be no room? We had a reservation!?! (this Seinfeld scene flashed in my mind.) It isn’t like there’s so many rooms they can lose track of the ones they’ve booked. The place has a dozen rooms. They said, “No problem. You have a room at another house. Belongs to our relatives. Very nice.” I was skeptical. I asked about the cost and was told it’s the same price. They told us they’d bring us there, it was just a 2 minute walk.
They hauled our stuff (and the boys) to the other guest house. The room was small and somewhat rundown. The bathroom was minuscule. The mattress felt like it was made of cement. They brought our luggage in immediately, as if to give us no choice but to accept. We had reserved 2 rooms, but only one was ready. We were guaranteed the other would be ready at 4. We decided since we were hungry, we’d go hunt around for some lunch. We left our items in the one room (what choice did we have?) and went to find a meal.
We returned after lunch, which was also after 4pm. The second room was still not ready. We were expected to pay the rate at a much nicer place for this room and they couldn’t even get the second room ready? Did they not realize they were dealing with exhausted parents and nearly-delirious children? I told Jim, “There have to be other places available. Let’s check.” So, we each went in our phones to see what we could find.
After an internet search (and an old-fashioned foot search), we hit the jackpot! We found the Kurumba Villa, a guest house that had opened in January. They had rooms available at a great rate, breakfast included! We went back to the first guest house to inform them we found other accommodations. We were told we’d have to wait for the manager. After 20 minutes of waiting for a manager who never showed up, we went back to the second guest house, gathered our things, and headed out. I’m sure we looked a sight as we dragged our luggage down the sandy road, but we were determined to get to our third (and final!) guest house before we fell asleep in the street.
This vacation started in true New Griswold style. As for the rest of the week… I had some reservations.