Ok guys and girls I promised you a video on my recent holiday adventures.
Click here to watch video “Cape Town to Singapore to Maldives – the good and the bad”
I know some requested a vlogging style video but alas after the first 2 vlogging sessions wife and kid was not impressed with me, so for the sake of a happy holiday that idea was shelved!
But since I am a keen photographer I took a LOT of photos. I actually got a new venture, my stock photography site where there is also some muscle photos of me, but mostly about nature and stuff. Those that wanna go and have a look, here is my stock photography site link: MEDIAX.PHOTOGRAPHY
So, flown Singapore airlines. Much of the sameness compared to other airlines with the main difference being better inflight entertainment system (larger screen and better quality picture) and off course the flight attendant ladies are really beautiful!
Dude, but the flights are long…our comeback flight was a nightmare but more on that later.
We flew from South Africa directly to Singapore.
It was my 2nd time in Singapore. It never fails to impress. From a South Africa perspective what impresses most is that everyone is doing his/her job effectively. There is no lazying around, no beggars (!) and you do not have to worry about getting robbed. That feeling of safety goes a long way making you enjoy your stay.
First 3 nights in Singapore we stayed at the Marina Bay Sands.
It is one of THE hotels in the world. Was my 55th birthday so was a special occasion. Beautiful architecture and a hotel with its own shopping centre and many activities. The infinity pool on the roof is an amazing beauty but I did not go in once…for a guy coming from wide open spaces in South Africa, there was simply too many people to close to each other! I need my space!
On the night of my birthday we ate at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at the hotel, Bread Street Kitchen.
Off course bloody expensive (especially when you earn South Africa Rands), but food was great although I must admit our top restaurants in Cape Town easily holds its ground.
We stayed in the 3rd tower of the hotel and had the family room option. All good no complaints and we had a incredible view from our balcony.
We also had a short visit to the famous gardens next to the hotel and visited the flower dome as well as tropical dome.
Both very interesting and worth to visit. But expect a LOT of walking. We averaged everyday 10-15km.
After that we downgraded to a four star hotel close to Orchard road (the main shopping centres road). Functional but you only want to sleep in and nothing else. So, we hit the shopping centres, endless shopping centres. We expected things like electronics and stuff to be cheaper than in South Africa but alas, pretty much the same price.
One quickly gets enough of shopping centres, especially if you do not have a lot of money to spend. So off to Santosa island. Off course we did Universal Studios. Good waste of time for a day or so. Lots to do and fun rides. We visited the aquarium and the evening lightshow, both, time well spend.
During my trip to Singapore I met up with two of my followers in Singapore, Brian Koh and Vijay Rajaram.
Two awesome guys. Brian is facing difficult odds but is pushing through and a true warrior. By the way Brian, the coffee mug you gave me is my favourite mug! Thanks buddy!
Vijay is an avid fitness guy. We had quite a long chat and he is the type of guy I would not mind as a training partner. GO FOR IT BUDDY AND GROW!
So off to Maldives
What did I think of Singapore, the short and sweet version? LOVE the fact that theft and violant assaults/muggings is non-existant. Clean beautiful city with lots of worthy attractions. But alas…not a place I want to stay. Coming from Africa’s with wide open spaces and people few and far between, Singapore is a clausterphobic environment for me. Short visits only! The house I got in South Africa is close to a biollionaire’s house in Singapore! And in South African terms it is slightly upperclass, nothing special! Singapore is an expensive place and they definitely need to come and have a look at the desserts we got here in South Africa! I truly missed a good dessert with my meal!
The flight to Maldives (Silk Air) had no in-flight entertainment but the food was better than Singapore airlines.
This was my 3rd time in Maldives and this time to secluded small island in the north – Rheeti Island (4 star resort).
After landing at Male (Maldivian Capitol) we had to take a small propeller aircraft to a northern island (nice, but slightly nerf wrecking experience). We only got a single sweet on the flight – eish!
Then a boat ride and then we arrived at our destination.
Rheeti is only a 600m long island with only sandy shores. A truly stunning place. Although I have not been to Borra Borra (yet!), for me, Maldives is as close as one can get to this “heaven picture” one has in your head. Truly awe inspiring.
Food was good but nothing special. Drinks was sooooooooo expensive we had no choice but to rather buy the drinks package. We did not plan this because we brought 2 bottles wine per person (South Africas finest) in our suitcases all the way from South Africa to Singapore and to Maldives! But alas they quickly called us out between all the other people on Male airport. I think we just LOOK South African and they know these people like their red wine. Apparently in Maldives it is not allowed to bring in any form of alcohol into the country. Probably to protect the local tourist industry. Anyway, they confiscated our precious cargo and kept it in safe storage which we picked up when we got back. Was a sad moment! (but must admit they were very lenient about the whole thing – they could have fined me).
The drinks package although expensive is nice because one can visit any of the multiple beach bars and just order whatever you want.
So, me and wife went strolling for photography often and had fun at the beach bars. I took a lot of nice cocktail photos for our new stock photography site. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT MY MALDIVES PHOTOS FOR MY STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY SITE.
Even on this tiny island of 600m we walked in excess of 10km per day! All for photos and snorkeling. Talking about snorkeling…absolute awesome. Few places beat certain islands in Maldives for snorkeling.
So, what about bugs and mosquitos? Amazingly not one bite (quite different from last years Thailand trip!). They got this eco control system with a pond in the centre of the island with mosquito egg eating fish. So, the buggers lay the eggs but the fish feed on the eggs. It works great!
There were a few times in Maldives that I actually went to gym. Up to this point it was nearly 4 weeks of NO working out. But everyday a LOT of walking. Also took a little footage while working out in the local small gym on the island. Bodyfat slightly higher after the 4 vacation weeks but walking helped here and off course shape a little less pronounced. It was awesome to work out on such an secluded tropical island and afterwards walking to your bungalow by the beach without a shirt! Off course wife took some muscle photos…the background was just so crazy beautiful, we had too!
But all good things come to an end.
What did I think of Maldives?
ALWAYS an awesome place to visit…but choose your island carefully. Nothing less than 4 stars resort. Some places have extensive reef damage already. The BIG negative which bothered me quite a bit is the Maldivian people. In South Africa we are friendly especially to our tourists. In Maldives it looks like everyone is forced to help you against their will. Friendliness are hard to find. Many (nearly all) places we felt unwelcome. Shops, restaurants, everywhere. For that reason alone, if I find a place equal in beauty, I would rather go there instead of Maldives. That bothered me…
Now the nightmare to get back home.
Listen to this…
We had to do the following (all in a span of 36 hours):
- Boat trip from our small island to a larger one with an airfield.
- Propeller aircraft from North of Maldives to Male in the south.
- Silk Air flight from Male to Singapore.
- Singapore airlines flight from Singapore to Johannesburg.
- Flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
I felt like a zombie. My brain simply stop working. I could not finish my sentences.
This was not fun…NOT in economy class!
And so back in Cape Town…man it felt good…this is what I missed and took this footage soon after back. The wide-open spaces, the nature, the friendly people, this is my place and I LOVE it! Sure, we have major problems (corruption, violence, theft), but I believe there is enough love and goodwill to push through all of that…with some pain.
Two days after I landed, I was back in gym and man it felt great to work out again.
The holiday damage was mostly added body fat (not much the walking kept it in check) and off course a little less shape. Usually 1-2 months more than enough to wipe out the damage.
Next year we plan Italy and maybe Namibia. Bit early to say.
If any of you wanna know more about my system for the older guy - check here: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/
Happy training everyone…and grow!