Ok, hereís the educational bit for those of you who donít know very much about the Maldives...please feel free to skip the next paragraph!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

1190 islands are spread over 26 atolls, ringlike coral formations enclosing a lagoon, which gives the Maldives its unique appearance. They stretch for about 820 km from North to South, 130 km at the widest point and do not exceed a length of 4.5 miles or an altitude of 6 feet above sea level. 99% of it is covered by the sea. No more than 200 islands are inhabited, the rest includes the 90 or so tourist resorts and uninhabited islands, some of which are used for drying fish or other agricultural activities. The capital Malť, the seat of government and the centre of trade, commerce, business, health and education, is located in the middle of the atoll chain, and this small island is home to about 75.000 people which is about one third of the population. Male is home to the main airport, where we flew into. One of the reasons we wanted to go the the Maldives was the fascination of somewhere that was always at sea level, and also the fact that the bulk of it may very well not be there in a few years time due to rising sea levels, and we wanted to see it before it went. You may have seen their underwater cabinet meeting on the news a couple of weeks back, drawing attention to the fact that if that happens these people will have nowhere to live. The government is trying to save money to buy some land to move the people to if necessary.<o:p></o:p>

Anyway, Komandoo itself is only about 100 metres wide by 500 metres long. It is surrounded by a lagoon and a reef. On the photos you may see some walls in the sea; they have been built around many of the islands and they are there to act as a seabreak, helping to stop the tide from wearing away the shore and the coral, and so prolonging the life of the island until a better solution is found. You can walk around Komondoo about 20 minutes if you are strolling. We sometimes did this on the morning to watch the sunrise, before anyone else was around

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There are only 65 rooms on the island, and quite a few of them are water villas where the people stay on there most of the day, so the place feels very quiet, never busy. Most of the time the beach looked like this...



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...and you had the sea to yourself. <o:p></o:p>
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And the view from the bar was very relaxing....watching the fishermen bring in their catch or the divers going out for the afternoon was almost exhausting! :D

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Oooh, I just popped in again to edit this, as I have spotted something in the picture above...you see the funny dark patch in the sea to the left of the picture, below the sea wall? Well that is a shoal of thousands of little fish, just a few inches long. You see the circular gaps in that shoal? Those gaps are the black tipped reef sharks herding them up and eating their fill! More on the sharks later :D
I donít know if it is possible to get bored of blue sky, turquoise sea and white sand but if you do please say stop! Guess I'll have to post some more!


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