My internal body clock is a little confused with all the time zone crossings, but we’ve finally made it home and nearly finished unpacking. The number one question we’ve been asked has been whether Lady M’s injury ruined our honeymoon, and I can honestly say that it hasn’t.
What it did do is force us to have a very different honeymoon from what we had sort of planned in our heads, where t’other half could get some quality diving done while I got on with my writing. Instead it forced us to slow down, stop and enjoy the weather, the views and the sheer beauty of the island. Our days fell into a routine of breakfast, soft drinks in the sun at the bar or on the beach for a while, then back to the bungalow to cool off. Lunch then rolled round, and the afternoons were taken up with reading, writing, sunning and cooling off as the mood took us. Every now and then I’d go cool off in the waters out the back of the bungalow. With temperatures usually running at 30C, taking a slow approach to the day made sense, and we could be a little more active in the evening once we’d rested up a bit. A pretty idyllic way to rest up and recuperate, and coupled with the amazing food and drink and cheerful staff and fellow travellers along the way we really found ourselves reluctant to come home.
Would we go back? Absolutely. We’re already looking at plans to return over the next few years before the resorts ramp the prices up. Quiet rumours are that there’s a general push to overhaul many of the resorts to six star status to try and capture the lucrative Saudi market to make enough money to offset the rising sea levels that seem likely to destroy many of the islands in the next twenty years. Plans to build artificial islands are being knocked about, but only time will tell how this cheerful culture will survive, thrive and adapt – and whether they can keep their soul intact at the same time.