I arrived in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night to be greeted by Rebecca. She flew to Seychelles the next morning for 3 days of work. I was booked to fly to meet her on Monday, July 15th but in my jet-lagged state, I slept right through my alarm and flight. I felt like such an idiot! I was able to fly on the Tuesday flight, but that was 1 day of sun and sand up in smoke.
Seychelles is a 115-island country spanning an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, some 1,500 kilometres east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar. It’s sort of in the middle of nowhere. It was originally uninhabited by humans but later became a hideout for pirates and traders. It was initially controlled by the French then passing hands to the English so the main language is Creole.
I met Rebecca on the largest island, Mahe, at the hotel on Beau Vallon Beach. That evening, Rebecca, her boss, and I had a nice dinner on the beach.
The next day, I made an attempt to go diving as Seychelles is a renowned diving location. However, the dive company would not allow me to dive because Rebecca and I were flying to the second largest island of Praslin that night. So I tagged along in the dive boat and did some snorkeling with the others who were down below.
I met Rebecca at the domestic terminal at the airport (which is very, very small) after she finished work. We boarded a DHC-6 Twin Otter-300, which seats about 20 people, for our shortest flight ever, just 15 minutes. There are ferries that run to Praslin, but the water is quite rough this time of year and when you have a wife that works for an airline…you take the flight! We sat right by the cockpit, mostly because we were the last to board and it seemed no one else wanted to sit there. The flight was pretty bumpy, but it was neat to see what the pilots were doing and see what they see. I don’t think Rebecca liked it too much though.
Once on Praslin, we rented a car and started our drive to Cote D’Or on the other side of the island. The roads are impossibly narrow and have next to no shoulder. To top it off, they drive on the left side of the road. All cars on the island are tiny and we had a little Kia Picanto.
On Thursday, Rebecca and I drove up to a remote beach called Anse Lazio. There, we saw some Aldabra Giant Tortoises, snorkeled, and relaxed on the beach. After lunch, we decided to hike to another beach, Anse Georgette, which is only accessed by driving all the way around the island in the other direction and negotiating with the exclusive resort to allow you access or by hiking in like we did. It was a little more of a hike than we were expecting, but eventually made it there. It was a beautiful beach with great viewpoints along the way. On the way, I walked through the nastiest spider web and then saw its owner…the biggest spider I have even seen in my life. We made it back to the car before sundown and got back to our hotel. That night, we had an excellent seafood dinner at a cool place called Cafes des Arts just down the beach from our hotel.
The next morning, we set out on a driving tour of the island and ended up at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vallée de Mai National Park. The park is home to several endemic palm species including the Coco de Mer, which bears the plant kingdom’s largest nuts (which are shaped like a woman’s pelvis). The male trees produce a 2 metre long catkin thought to resemble the male equivalent. There was an old myth that the Vallée de Mai was the Garden of Eden and the Coco de Mai the Tree of Knowledge.
That evening, we were back on the Twin Otter, to Rebecca’s chagrin, and heading back to Mahe. We connected in Mahe for our flight back to Abu Dhabi. The beaches of Seychelles are so beautiful and life goes by at a much slower pace than anywhere else.
This is our 100th post and we want to thank everyone for reading!