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HJ and Pam's Grateful return to Paradise... 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:30 pm Reply with quote
Humble Jim
Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 6202
Location: Leeds, UK
Just a bit of context first. In April this year my Pam underwent a very delicate procedure to remove tumour material from her pituitary gland. This tumour stuff had caused a number of physical problems for Pam, Cushings Disease the whole thing is called, and lately it was becoming a real threat to her. Long story short. The op was not without risk to her life but she came through it successfully. One strange side effect has been she's lost the love of chocolate which is something some of us would wish for given all the choccie temptations on Meeru!

Since April, without trying at all, she has shed over 11 kilos in weight. She felt renewed...and given a second chance at life. She felt she could appreciate another holiday on Meeru Very Happy!

On 30th September we flew out with Etihad Airways. A first for us this. We live in the North of England and with First Choice Airways no longer flying from Manchester we had to find another way to Meeru. The advantage of FC was that the flight - when available - was direct, and with Etihad we had to split at Abu Dhabi. But this turned out to be no bind at all, and Etihad was brilliant (according to Pam they had a slight edge over Emirates). To top it all we were actually flying for free too. Yes, really. Earlier in the year Pam had won a competition and got 1500-00 of holiday vouchers. These neatly translated into two 740-00 return tickets to Male from Manchester. So we only paid for accommodation and airport transfers this time...

On arrival at Meeru we soon ran into Helenpea (Helen and Glenn), plus Freckles and entourage (Tubby Hubby, Freckles sister Bre and Mike). And within a day or so we ran into Lisa and Graham who tended to dine adjacent to us at the Maalan and who we spent much time chatting to. We regularly met up with the lovely couple who were honeymooners Angela and Gareth from Wigan and we shared their company often as well. They were staying in the highest 700 (the one facing away from the island). As ever it was really great seeing familiar and meeting new faces but inevitably we also missed - and so regularly toasted - all our absent friends.

There are many ingredients to a great stay at Meeru, not the least of which are the staff there. As ever they did not disappoint. Notable mentions must include Walter, Solah, Yovan but I could add so many others too from the top of the organisation downwards. Big thank you to all of them for looking after us all. And Pam would like to give her own thanks to the Spa folk too. The treatments she had significantly helped joint aches she had been having since her operation.

Weather was very good. Humidity was low, for there. Rain was mostly at night and one day we had a torrential downpour while we were in the Infinity Pool. We stayed there as the torrent increased, why not as the water was warm after all, and for a while it was like swimming in a swarm of living diamonds. Yet another delicious Meeru moment.

But now to look ahead a bit rather than back.

Coming Soon

The new Dhoni Bar to be opened in circa a month will feature a Meeru Cafe function. This will include a "frozen Teppanyaki" feature i.e. a custom ice cream system. Rather than a plus several hundred degrees hotplate there will be a minus thirty degrees marble slab affair on which you'll be able to have designer ice cream combos made up with lots of flavour choices and additives available. The ice cream system will not be part of AI but I'm told that it will be deliberately priced to be easily affordable. It will be fun and most important it will be cool - ice cream is just a perfect treat in the tropics Razz.

Coming later

Not of direct interest to most guests I know but even so the power plant at Meeru is to be replaced. The building to house it is currently going up adjacent to the current plant building within the semi industrial area at the heart of the island. This new building and plant has been carefully designed to fully limit any noise emitted by said plant that could be carried on the wind to rooms very nearest to it . Estimated time of completion for this work is circa 6 months from now. When the switch over to the new plant happens the original building will become a useful covered workshop.

A statistic for you by the way. Meeru's power plant can handle a peak electricity demand of circa 2 megawatts, but has the capacity to deliver 3 megawatts. The power plant generates electricity for the island generally and also for the running of the desalination equipment. Incidentally as of now a brand new sewage treatment works is already up and running . And that's probably enough you want to know...if you're not a water engineering sort Laughing.

SOME PHOTOS NOW...

Because I usually get asked the "what camera did you use question" I'll tell you up front that I employed a Canon 5D MkII DSLR for what follows. For some close up photography I took along a macro lens (180mm). In my bag was also a 90mm medium telephoto tilt/shift lens, and a 16-35mm wideangle zoom lens. All Canon gear.

Note that:

1) You should click on the links below each photo for large and original size versions of each photo
2) "Original size" can be very large and might take a while to display
3) Clicking directly on a photo will take you to my Flickr photostream (>1000 photos there mostly to do with Meeru)
4) I am happy for anyone to take copies of any of my shots for personal and non-commercial use (i.e. for a PC desktop image say or a print for yourself).
5) If you want to republish any of my images elsewhere then just PM me with details of what you propose. I don't charge fees, nor need crediting as picture author, but normally insist that Meeru is explicitly described as the photo location.


We stayed in room 521. Our view from it was like this most days Cool.

Brolly

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For original size CLICK HERE

During afternoons when Pam was in the Spa, which seemed like most afternoons(!), I would wander off with camera and see what might present itself as a photo opportunity. Sometimes there were surprises and sometimes....the surprises were at a very small scale. Consider this shot below that I took of a grass like plant. I barely noticed the little bug at first, it was maybe only 3mm long. When I eventually looked at this picture in detail I saw that its antennae were huge compared to its body length.

Bug-U-Like

For larger CLICK HERE
For original size CLICK HERE

I had some success shooting flowers too...

Flower1

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Flower2

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Flower3

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Flower4

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Pam and I had two evening Wok meals (both included those astoundingly good spring rolls they do). By day we visited the Wok too and here's a couple of photos I took there:

Wok

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The view of the sea from the Wok can be stunning.

Wok Window

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At the opposite end of the island I spotted staff replacing the emergency float rings with new versions. I presumed they were Sea Department staff as they carried these to the North end of the island by speedboat rather than walk Laughing.

Rings

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On Sundays the restaurants lay on the bubbly at breakfast for guests either to have as is or maybe to mix up as a Bucks Fizz. I took a couple of the glasses outside and shot this off the edge of a table. It made a good effect but I don't know which couple got trapped in the left hand glass Shocked.

Glasses

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Some rather more random pics now.

Palm Stem

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Heron

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Palm

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Jetty

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I take a keen interest in the environment of the island. One fine day a strange ring started to form in the clouds.

Ring Cloud

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The end of the day is a good time to take pictures. You need to look carefully below but you should be able to spot that there's an air taxi flying above the Sun. Must have been a stunning view from up there.

The Sea Plane and Sunset

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And one day as the Sun was coming down one of the Watersports Centre staff just drifted by the Uthuru bar on a surf board.

Worth A Punt

For larger CLICK HERE
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As some of you know though I have a special soft spot for the Dawn experience. It can be a real effort to get up at around 5:30am but normally it's super peaceful then. So imagine my surprise when I got up early one morning to find a storm charging headlong at the Sun rising in the East. It was really like a battle of giants, the storm trying to squidge the Sun away.

Storm At Dawn

For larger CLICK HERE
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But in the end...the inevitable happened Smile.

"The storm fought the Sun but the Sun won..."


love from

HJ and Pam Cool


Last edited by Humble Jim on Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:58 pm Reply with quote
sams
Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 1632
Location: Scotland
As ever a great report and photo's HJ, the storm and the sun one is amazing, thank you for sharing it all with us...I really missed being there this October.

Also would like to say I hope Pam is well now, im sure a holiday on Meeru was just what the Docor ordered Smile

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:28 pm Reply with quote
lboylesl
Joined: 15 Aug 2012
Posts: 48
Have to say your pics are stunning. We are not going till March but they make me wanna be there now. Hope your wife is on the mend, sounds like she's had a hard time of it lately.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 8:59 pm Reply with quote
Ann & Forbes
Joined: 01 Jan 2010
Posts: 271
Location: Jersey
HJ, first of all can I say that you are a true artist, these amazing photos portrait Meeru in all its finest!

It's also great to hear your Pam's good news that she is on the road to recovery and that life for you both will be great again!

Lastly though, thank you so much for another brilliantly worded trip report...........hope one day to have the pleasure of meeting you both on lovely Meeru!

Ann & Forbes

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:04 pm Reply with quote
Graham&Lisa
Joined: 23 Sep 2012
Posts: 5
Cracking photos Jim.

Hopefully our report will be half as good as yours.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:20 pm Reply with quote
kite1953
Joined: 14 Feb 2012
Posts: 165
Thanks for a lovely report, and pleased Pam is getting on the mend. Life can be to short enjoy it while you can.

I expect you felt comfortable in Meeru, is life a second home.

We have just come back from our candian adventure. I will do a short report.

Pauline
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:31 am Reply with quote
Meeru Dreamer
Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 75
Location: Oxted, UK
Thank you so much for your beautiful photographs and report. The flowers are so clear and detailed. I loved all the photos.

It was very good to know that your Pam had successful surgery and that you both had a relaxing and lovely holiday.

All the very best to you both. Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:11 am Reply with quote
helen m
Joined: 30 Oct 2005
Posts: 633
Location: Liverpool
Thanks for a great report and once again some amazing photos!
So sorry to hear about Pam's health problems but really good to hear she's now on the mend Very Happy
Looking forward to trying the ice cream experience in February.Shaun adores ice cream so some serious dieting is going to be needed between now and then to ensure there's plenty of room for expansion!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:32 am Reply with quote
helenpea
Joined: 13 Feb 2007
Posts: 1133
Location: Cleveland
Hi HJ & Pam,

I've been waiting for your report to see your fantastic pics and as usual they are outstanding.

So nice meeting up with you both again and perhaps next time it might be on that Rockies train eh Pam? Wink

Take care both,

Helen & Glenn Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:46 pm Reply with quote
rickc
Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 326
Just to add our best wishes to Pam, and our thanks for the report James. Excellent stuff as always. Hope to meet you both again on a future return to Meeru.

Rick and Lin
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 3:50 pm Reply with quote
ivorfatarse
Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 795
Jim as always a pleasure reading and looking at your photos,gutted that we was not there to share some of them. October has felt a bit empty with no Meeru in it. Glad you both had a great time.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:59 am Reply with quote
Casey Jones
Joined: 30 May 2008
Posts: 1477
Location: Cumbria
Nice synopsis of your latest trip to Meeru HJ. As for your pictures, well that little montage brings home the beauty of the place for sure Very Happy
Best wishes to Pam.

Casey Cool

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:31 am Reply with quote
karyn
Joined: 13 Apr 2011
Posts: 398
Location: Derbyshire
Thanks for a fabulous trip report and amazing photography HJ.

After everything that you and Pam have been through, it's fantastic that she won that competition - nobody more deserving in my opinion.

It was a pleasure meeting you both in February and I hope that our paths will cross again sometime in the future.

Best wishes and I hope that Pam's health continues to improve.

Karyn & Roy

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:21 pm Reply with quote
Kath
Joined: 26 Mar 2012
Posts: 92
Location: Scotland
Thank you for a great trip report and some more fantastic photos.
Very pleased to hear that the trip was a good contributory factor to Pams recuperation.

Kath
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:21 pm Reply with quote
Chas & Maxi
Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 448
Location: Greenford, Middx.
Hey James .... I always look into this website from time to time to see if you have posted a new trip report. So sorry to hear Pam was poorly but also very please to hear she's recovered & you were able to take her back to your second home.

As usual, loved your inspirational pictures.

I'm going back to stay on the the Yasawa Princess Liveaborad in the Maldives in Jan 2013 armed with my Canon 650D & Canon S100 for my diving pics. Will share my second experience on my return.

Give my love (and hugs) to Pam & tell her Maxi says hi. Alisha (who is now 15) still remembers you both but Dillan (now aged 13) has a brain like a sponge (boys will be boys).

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