WELCOME TO THE LATEST TRAVEL BLOG. DUE TO SOFTWARE LIMITATIONS I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO POST ANY PICS THIS TIME AROUND. HOWEVER, PHOTOS WILL BE PUBLISHED IN THE MALDIVES 2012 GALLERY ON NEWS MUTT’s FACEBOOK PAGE. ENJOY!
Day One : 24th March. On a train.
Holidays rarely have a glamorous start to them, but this one is probably up there in the Top Ten of my least ever glamorous beginnings to what is meant to be a luxury break.
OK, I’m used to the good bus drivers of Nottingham stopping just one stop away from Broadmarsh for what seems like an age so they can simultaneously change shifts and leave the doors open to the freezing elements for the rest of us. I’ve even experienced the acrid smell of brake fluid emitting from the rear wheels whilst the driver says nothing but simply points to the replacement bus in front.
Today, however, we had the extra special treat of a maintenance man stepping aboard to listen to the driver explaining that his money chute had broken. “It’s the bolts on the hopper, mate. Every time you turn the engine off you have to remove the whole thing, put it back in and reboot it all.”
In time-honoured fashion, as anyone who’s ever visited a garage will know, Maintenance Man hit the hopper a couple of times, stroked his chin and said in a resigned manner, “There’s nothing I can do. That’s an engineering job,” before shouting much the same into his radio. “We’ll get a replacement bus out on your next run.”
I love technology, I really do. This very blog is being brought to you courtesy of the late Mr Jobs, combined with a free wifi connection on a train. But honestly, a whole replacement bus because the change machine is broken? And, of course, being Nottingham, it’s exact change only. Why do they need a special machine to collect it? What happened to those little plastic bags from Barclays? And the ever so slight, geeky moment when the cashier gave you a bag from a different bank. OK, just me.
Anyway, this tedium of coinage storage is the perfect prelude to this year’s Big Trip. Regular readers might remember my American adventure this time last year, taking in New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and New York. It was two weeks of whirlwind travel, during which I got a true taste of the Deep South and one of the greatest cities on earth.
So this year I thought I’d do the other end of the scale and go to the Maldives.
I suspect that most of my blogging will be based around moments like this. Transport. Trains. Airports. Seaplanes. The island I’m visiting, Meedhuppuru, contains nothing but a fairly small holiday resort. This won’t be a case of meet the locals. Or will it? That’s the one thing I love about travel. The unexpected. Even in a a quiet beach retreat, anything could happen.