A lot of people had been asking about this blog. The sole reason of the delay is that I’ve been working on a video to put in it. My husband knows how lazy I’ve been in putting the video together. I am almost finished but never really had the right moment to finish it. So finally, I decided to just blog about our Seychelles experience without the video before it becomes stale. Judging from my inability to hold out details whenever I write a story, I know this is going to be a long blog so I’ll divide it in three parts. Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish the video before posting the second or third part of this blog entry.
The main purpose of this blog is to try to answer all the questions people ask me about Seychelles.
Why the Seychelles?
I have never heard of Seychelles until a year ago when Luke and I went to the Bride Show in Abu Dhabi. I was handed with brochures of the country with unbelievable photos. I’ve seen many great photos in National Geographic but the photos of Seychelles are just beyond imagination.
I dismissed Seychelles not long before that because judging from the incredible beauty of the photos I’ve seen, I knew I could never afford such place.
After our wedding, Luke and I began starting to save up for our real honeymoon. We had a couple of choice countries but it was not until we had saved enough when we sat down and decided where to go. We knew it should be a beach because we did not want to spend our days walking around pavements and looking at old architecture and stuff during our honeymoon (but we definitely want to do that in the future). Luke brought up Seychelles again. We prayed and planned until we cut our shortlist to Maldives and Seychelles.
We were about to book for Maldives because there was a promo in Etihad. Something told me to hold the booking. I told Luke that we’ll sleep on it. The next day, the promo was gone. After a few hours the promo for Seychelles came up. We knew it was meant to be.
The Seychelles is a country comprised of small islands east of the African continent. It is in the northern part of Madagascar. The islands are so tiny that you would not be able to see it in Google Earth unless you zoom it in twice or unless you Google it. Hehe
The Seychellois (the people of Seychelles) is the most diverse group of people I’ve ever seen – only next to the citizens of US – in terms of their physical appearance. Imagine a mixed ancestry of French, British and Africans coming together, white skin with curly hair, brown skin with beautiful ash brown hair, dark brown skin with green eyes… they’re a few of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen.
If you think that Filipinos are warm in nature, the Seychellois is more than warm. They are blazing hot in hospitality. It almost felt like I’m amongst old friends when I was in their company.
The weather in Seychelles is a dream. It’s almost like in the Philippines in May but with less rain and no storm, making it the perfect summer getaway anytime of the year.
Day 1, 30th November 2012 – Flight and First Impressions
Our flight was delayed for over an hour. It’s a drag especially if you’re beyond excited. Luke and I met a wonderful Australian lady, Yvonne, an English teacher in one of the schools here. I like meeting nice people on the plane because the small talk always keeps you entertained.
The touchdown to the main island of Seychelles, Mahé, is extraordinary. Once the plane is low enough, you’ll be greeted by a small mountain range with a beautiful rock formation. The international airport is small, neat and humble. It reminds me of the domestic airport in Puerto Princesa.
The immigration process is simple. All you need to show them are your hotel booking and your return flight booking and you’re good to go.
The first thing one would notice about the Seychelles is the weather. It makes you want to hit the beach instantly. It’s hot but the breeze is cool. The surroundings is a mix of vibrant green, brown and blue hues that makes you feel like you’ve been transported back in time when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Char.
We rode a cab going to our hotel at Beau Vallon which is located at the northern tip of the island. The cab driver, Frankie, was jolly and accommodating. Apparently used to tourists, he answered gladly and patiently answered all our questions.
The fare from the airport to Beau Vallon is approximately €30. If you take the bus, it will only cost about 5 Seychellois Rupees (SCR) or about €0.30. Most establishments and cab drivers in Seychelles accept Euros other than SCR. Most of the time though, when you give them Euros, they give the change in SCR.
We stayed at the Coral Strand Hotel which, if I am not mistaken, is one of the two beachfront hotels in Beau Vallon. I can’t say that the hotel has exemplary services or facilities but I just kept in mind that we paid for the beachfront and the room service. One night’s stay at the Coral Strand is about €250 inclusive of tax.
What I love about Beau Vallon is that it is dotted with some of the nicest restaurants in the island. Once freshened up, Luke and I walked to one of the famous restaurants in Seychelles, the Boathouse, to grab a late lunch (it was already 4pm at that time) before hitting the beach. I had the most sumptuous and the freshest grilled tuna steak there. If my memory serves me right, the food there is about €8*.
We hit the beach right after eating. I’ve never seen saltwater this clear before. The waves were perfect and the temperature was just right.
After swimming, we tried the Seybrew which is the locally brewed beer while watching the sun hide behind one of the mountains. It’s a bit of a rip off because we wanted to see a “perfect sunset”. We did see one though, but we’ll come to that later.
One bottle in the hotel is SCR 13* I think and outside it’s only SCR 7*.
For dinner, we went to another famous restaurant, the Baobab Pizzeria. We heard that the pizza there is cooked in a pugon or a brick oven. When we went there, true enough, there was a brick oven and one person was in charge of that oven. He creates the pizza from scratch – from kneading the dough to putting all the home made ingredients and waiting for the pizza to be cooked.
The problem is that the oven could only accommodate three pizzas at a time. The bigger problem is that there’s a couple of dozen of customers who order one pizza each! We had to wait for over an hour for them to serve our pizza. By then, I was famished. The pizza was gone in less than 5 minutes.
Don’t get me wrong, the pizza was magnificently cooked but I’ll remember to be prepared next time. The pizza costs €13*.
Days two and three of our visit to Seychelles are pretty exciting. Luke and I went to Praslin, the second largest island in Seychelles (next to Mahé). We also hiked to see one of the most secluded beaches in the island of Mahé. We swam with the fishes and saw the most interesting nut in the world. That will all be on the second part of the blog (peg ko lang na maraming sumusubaybay sa blog ko LOL).
*my memory isn’t so reliable so these prices may be indicative or way off. I apologize for that.