Maldivians have a phrase that covers any activity designed to stave off the boredom and hunger that comes during daylight fasting – roadha kuru kurun (shorten the fast).
Today, our friends in Kolamaafushi invited us to shorten the fast by island-hopping around their neighbourhood in the northern reaches of North Huvadhu. So, armed with post-6pm snacks, we headed off.
Thinking we would distract ourselves with a couple of beaches and a few crabs, we in fact ended up seeing a rare nesting site, a resort that’s not yet a resort, and an old shrine to a dismembered king.
After being chased off the first island, Lhossa, by territorial clouds, the ocean spray finished what the rain had started, leaving us soaked by the time we went past Maarandhoo – which we’re told has been leased to become a Chinese resort. Currently, it’s still occupied by a couple of expat workers, who may now have switched from agricultural work to guard duty.
Next stop was Hithaadhoo, one of only two islands in the Maldives where the Lesser Frigatebird is known to nest. The birds’ wingspan can be up to two metres, and they hovered over the island like kites without strings, looking for fish.
After this, with the sun setting behind us, we sped off to Rinbidhoo to see the remains of an old ziyaaraiy which is said to contain one-seventh of a king. We’re still working on the final details of the story (and will write it up,with the pics, when we do), but we’re not holding out much hope of finding the other six parts.
Speaking of six, we’d succeeded in shortening the roadha so much that we barely had time to hop back to the uninhabited Hurendhoo to fix ourselves a breakfast snack (tuna sandwiches, donuts and juice) and sit – with the crabs – to watch the last of the sunlight as the prayer call sounded over the water.
Shortest roadha ever!! Maybe a boardgame or something tomorrow.