Thursday, 3 November 2011

Paradise Lost

This is our third trip to the Maldives, the wife and I, and funnily enough, it also happens to be our third honeymoon.  This time we booked through Expedia, rather than Trailfinders, who we normally use, and that might have something to do with the difference between where we've previously been, and where we are now.  To cut to the chase, it's not that great.

The flight with Oman Air was excellent.  The economy class seats have plenty of leg room and the movies on offer are new and selectable at any time, so they're not stuck in sequence.  Thor was the best.

The first leg to Muscat was 7.5 hours, 8.5 if I include the hour delay leaving Heathrow, which left us 10 minutes to catch our connecting flight to Male.  Once off the plane, we felt we should probably rush, but needn't have bothered as they held the plane for us.  Nice people the Omanians.

Standing at the gate, waiting to greet us was a guy I hadn't seen in years, since leaving school or even before that, so it was a shame we had to rush through.  Wayne is a pilot with Oman Air, and as I now felt connected, I was expecting to be called up to the flight deck by our captain, but he never called.  Strange that.  I was thinking a 6 pack of Tayto wasn't a good enough bribe, but there's always the return leg.  Fingers crossed.

At Heathrow airport, I was looking to pick up some duty free cigars.  Unfortunately though, the only outlet in Terminal 3 sells them tax free, not duty free.  They are a little bit cheaper than normal, but not much, and some brands were actually more expensive than C-Gars Ltd, which I was using as a reference.  Cigarettes are duty free, but not cigars, which seems a bit unfair to me.

Anyway, mustn't grumble as I picked up a 5 pack of Cohiba Siglo IV's and a 3 pack of tubed Montecristo Open Masters.  We also spotted Richard Branson smiling and waving at the peasants as he made his way to the Indian Grand Prix.

The Cohiba's were excellent and the Monte's weren't bad either.  I'm not a big fan of Monte's normally as I find them a bit harsh but the Open's were lovely and so I'm giving them a thumbs up.

When we arrived at the resort, we were greeted with a cold towel and a sugary cordial.  We were then left to wait for ages, until we were eventually told our room wasn't available until tomorrow.  To make it up to us, after we complained, we were offered a seafood dinner.  We accepted and were lead to our substitute room, which was horrible.

Not a great start.

To be fair to the place, and I could go on about it's faults, the staff are great and all the place needs is a refurb and some investment.  That includes the food.

The please forgive us meal was lobster, which we had to argue to get, as it was going to be a mix of all sorts of fish, cuttle fish for example, but we got the lobster which was lovely.  The rest of the meal was lovely too, even the Californian wine was alright.  I do like my Californian wines but I think they keep all the good stuff for themselves.

One thing that stood out straight away, and this is not the resorts fault, but down to certain national stereotypes that live here for a week or two.  Some leave their towels on the sun loungers, and others sing vodka fueled drinking songs and bring their Grandmothers with them.

I don't mind the drinking songs, although it was a bit aggressive, but the towel people bother me.  Bringing your own towel to Paradise is bad enough but to leave it on a lounger while you are off doing God knows what, just seems chavvy to me.

Anyway, I'll let it go for now.

The wife bought me a Partagas Serie P No.2 recently which I brought with me.  This is a new cigar, and although it was good, I wasn't that impressed by it.  It's not fair to judge it on one cigar alone, so I'll need a few more.  It's possible the heat and humidity had a hand in it.

I did have a big monster of a Partagas that we got in Dublin a while back.  Now this cigar was excellent from start to finish despite the heat and humidity.  This was my Jimmy Saville tribute cigar and it was a worthy tribute to a cigar lover and unique individual.

Now then.  We have three days left in Paradise and I have 7 cigars left.  Should be enough.

Abandoned but not forgotten


Well earned rest

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