So far we have had an amazing vacation. Even the little bit of rain has not dampened our spirits. It seems we were overdue for “one of those days.” Yesterday, it came.
there are three main islands in the Seychelles that are both inhabited and frequented by tourists: Mahe (where we are staying), Praslin and La Digue. Many visitors choose to split their time between the three islands, but because we wanted time to relax and be together we hose to spend our entire week in one room, on Mahe, and avoid the hassle of traveling nd packing and repacking.
Still, we want to see of the islands, so we planned a day trip to Praslin. We bought ferry tickets (high speed catamaran) and planned our itinerary. Wake up at 5:30, shower & breakfast. Catch 6:15 bus to Victoria. Get off at bus station, walk 10 minutes to the waterfront in plenty of time for 7 am boarding of our 7:30 ferry. Which would have been perfect. Except the bus did not come at 6:15. It did not come at 6;30 or 6:45. We were starting to try to flag down passing cars, hoping to beg for a ride. Then at 6:55, it arrived. It is a 20 minute ride to town.
So we got off the bus, all but ran to the waterfront nd boarded the ferry 5 minutes before it was scheduled to leave. I hate rushing. But at least we made it.
Now the bus did not actually drop us t the a. It dropped us about 1km away. Not difficult. Except once again, to get the beach, we had to climb right up a massive hill, and then back down. It was nasty and unexpected, as we were carrying our gear for the whole day. But what else do you do? We walked it. Happily we were able to recharge with Fanta at the bottom of the hill.
The beach was beautiful, again. The water was the most amazing turquoise. The snorkeling was phenomenal. We even had some electable burgers at one of the two restaurants set up just off the sand. We were assured by staff that taxis visited the lot very 15 minutes, and we could easily get a ride to our next destination for a mere 250 rupees (about $22). Perfect – and it saved us the walk back up the hill, a 20-40 minute wait for a bus, then 20 minute bus ride, switching buses (and another wait, likely) plus another 15 minute bus ride.
Except the taxis did not come. And when one finally did, he said he was too busy to drive us a far (about 15 k). He called his friend, who was also too busy. So we waited for another. 20 minutes later, there was still no other taxi. Once again, we were attempting to flag dow cars. We had just given in, and decided to walk and bus, as originally planned, when we were rescued by a lovely Austrian couple, who offered to drive us to the bus stop, and then changed their minds and took us all the way to Bai St. Anne.
There we caught a bus to the stunning Valley du Mai. The Valley du Mai is a National Park, and the only remaining habitat of the rare and erotic Coco de Mer palm tree. The female plant produces a coconut that looks startlingly like female genitalia. And the male grows a remarkably phallic cone of flowers. Naturally, a must see. We also viewed a number of other endemic tree and plant species, as well as birds, lizards and tree frogs! It was a eco-girl’s dream.
After a far too quick visit, we taxied to the marina and caught the ferry back. We were surprised to find our tickets had ben upgraded to the lower, air-conditioned cabin. Which should have been a luxury, except that someone decided to play the movie “The Hamptons” loudly over the internal entertainment system, and also while I generally like boats, I sometimes get seasick when confined indoors. Sigh. 50 minutes I will never get back, taking deep breaths, staring mutely at the horizon through the window, willing myself not to vomit, listening to unnecessarily crude and generally terrible humour from the TV.
I have never been happier to see a hotel room as when we returned to Beau Vallon. I was asleep by 9 pm. All in all, Praslin was lovely, but if I ever did it again it would not be day trip!