Washed up on a desert island, with scant prospect of rapid rescue, I wasted little time in engaging my hunter-gatherer instincts. “You look for shelter, I’ll find food and fuel,” I barked at my girlfriend, Sophie.
My half-hour scouring of the tiny speck in the Indian Ocean turned up a mixed bag. Just one coconut, and a few hard, green, fruity things I didn’t dare even nibble.
But there was a likely looking rock pool – perfect for spearing tuna, or at least cornering a few minnows – and the place was positively crawling with crabs. Bag a few, light a fire, and we’d be dining like kings before sundown.
I gathered fuel (a few chunks of wood and palm leaves) and an armful of vines (they’ll come in handy for building a raft, I thought) before stumbling on an old plastic container (perfect for collecting rain water). Best of all, I’d found an enormous conch, a la Lord of the Flies – though with no Piggy to bend to my will, it looked like Sophie would be the only one getting bossed about.
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They'll Come And Fetch Us If It Rains
Just then the heavens opened. I smugly stood the container upright, rather impressed at my own survival skills, and marched off to find her, eager to see what shelter she’d found and to get my firewood under cover.
She’d surpassed my wildest expectations. I found her reclined on a giant round bed, shrouded by a mosquito net, sipping fruit juice and reading a novel.
“The hotel just called,” she said, waving a mobile phone. “They said they’ll come and fetch us if we get fed up with the rain.”
OK, so we weren’t quite stranded. We had a bed, a hut with showers and towels, a loo, a cooler packed with drinks, snacks and little cans of Evian face mist, and a faithful resort rep ready to whisk us back to unfettered pampering at a moment’s notice.
No, the Castaway Experience, offered by J A Manafaru on a recently renovated island resort in the northernmost atoll of the Maldives, wouldn’t frighten Ray Mears. But it’s about as close as you’ll get to solitude there.
Staff drop you off by boat on the tiny neighbouring isle after lunch and will pick you up at sunset, or even the following morning if you feel intrepid. After a few days being waited on hand-and-foot, it makes for a welcome change of pace – and a nice opportunity to play Robinson Crusoe – or, for Sophie, to finish that holiday novel.
Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to The Maldives.
Oliver Smith was a guest of J A Manafaru Hotel.
This article was written by Oliver Smith from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.