Spring Break!!! We found ourselves arriving in the Seychelles at 8:00am Sunday morning, with absolutely no obligations until after departure at 10:00pm on Monday. Two glorious days in paradise. And it is. The Seychelles (115 islands of which about a dozen are populated) are a former British & French colony blessed with lovely beaches (and coral reefs nearby), high(ish) mountains, lovely forests & gardens – and not much else.
So they’ve set themselves to become a pleasant tourist destination, and succeeded. The vast majority speak English (to one degree or another), French (ditto), their local creole, and smiles (in which they are fluent.) Nice handicrafts, good food, great scenery, a goodly supply of taxis, surfboards, scuba-gear, snorkeling, glass-bottomed boats, etc. A few pleasant historical sights and attractive French-ish architecture (think French Quarter New Orleans) add to the pleasant atmosphere. We never left the island of Mahe’, which contains the port and capital city – Victoria. Two days sufficed to taste its pleasures.
We started with Mass at the Katedral (95% of the population is Catholic) which was said in a mix
of Creole & French, with a dash of English thrown in. The city was shut down (it’s Sunday, after all) so we hired a taxi for the day. Our driver showed us the whole island – with a curious twist. Turns out there is a law requiring free access to all beaches, and various high-priced resorts would prefer to keep out the riff-raff, and our driver was engaged in a monitoring exercise to ensure that the access was in fact open. So we saw the sides of every walled resort (and there are many.) The Island is beautiful, full of animals and delightful birds,
as well as the marine life on the coral reefs. Prices are high (true of every island where everything must be imported) but not excessively so – except within the walled resorts. Everyone we met was friendly and seemed pleased to see us. We ended the day sun-touched, exhausted, and totally relaxed, so we went to the (reputedly) best restaurant on the Island – Le Corsaire. Half-timbered, and decorated so you could imagine you were dining in the Captain’s cabin, but subdued rather than blatant, and the steaks were magnificent, with a pleasant (Italian) wine. The next day we spend cruising the town, seeing every site and museum and market, shopping for mostly little things that make life more pleasant, and enjoying ourselves.
A delightful interlude, and now back to work. Mid-term exams before we reach Cape Town. David.