The first sight of the Maldives as you approach from the sky is like something out of a dream. Circular mini reefs are laid out like jewelled halos in the sapphire blue sea, the sandy, pear shaped atolls appearing like tears of the gods.
The island resort of Kurumba itself is a slice of paradise within paradise, with sand so fine and milky that it resembles cookie dough or vanilla ice cream when the crystal white water hits it. Never mind the renowned restaurants, like the Japanese grill or sumptuous Middle Eastern or even the sunset drinks at the many bars – it’s the snorkelling that becomes an addictive daily activity, like an underwater safari.
We spy on fish every colour of the rainbow, plus ambling sea turtles, skulking reef sharks and frightening, evil looking moray eels that use coral as their lairs. Laid out before us are schools of tiny silver fish that breeze past like a single shimmering cloud, while others look like large black plates, sullen and gangster-like. Some fish are as blue as the sea itself, camouflaging babies that look like its fins. Black and white zebra fish congregate in a wallpaper like array, while black fish shimmy past, the point on their heads looking like a pointing finger. There are silvery needle fish that slide like knives, while clown fish dart feverishly around their anemones.
Some move slowly and grumpily, others swish aggressively past like busy commuters, with an appointment they can’t miss, while others still dance together in loving pairs, embodying the romance we were seeking when we came here. Coming to the Maldives is luxury travel for sure, but the peace you find when you’re part of that underwater world, even momentarily, is priceless.