Seychelles - Sunday 2010/11/28
After breakfast on board we were already able to catch the first glimpses of some islands of the Seychelles. At 08:30, almost an hour ahead of schedule, we landed on Mahé and were welcomed with comfortable warmth. After getting all entry formalities behind us, we were greeted by a tour guide and brought to a bus for transfer to our hotel. And as a special welcome we also experienced our first short, but heavy monsoon rain.
During our bus ride to the hotel we were able to see some parts of the island Mahé. The nature is beautiful - the trees, the mountains, very impressive. Unfortunately we were driving on a road, which was lined with houses on both sides. We will have to get away from the big streets to fully enjoy the nature of the island.
On the way we saw Eden Island, which is an artificial peninsula where foreigners can buy villas. It looks quite ugly despite what advertisements show you. Next we came to Victoria, which is the capital of the Seychelles. It seems very crowded and not really like a place we would want to spend much time in, even though it's still better than many other "big" cities.
From Victoria the bus took the steep and winding road through the mountains to Beau Vallon on the other side of the island, and after dropping off some people we went north along the coast to our hotel, the Sunset Beach Hotel. There we received a friendly welcome with a (non-alcoholic) fruit cocktail and a nicely smelling flower garland for Anna. Our room was also nicely decorated with fresh flowers everywhere. The room (No. 2) is situated on the left side of the hotel above a rocky shore, and we have a nice view on some palm trees and the sea.
Soon we met our tour guide Hubert, who was born in the Seychelles but lived in Germany for 17 years, so his German was perfect. He told us some things about Mahé, like what to see, where the next shop is, and how to get around the island with the buses. We also talked about some of the trips that Mason's Travel was offering.
After that we took a short walk across the nice, small beach which is right next to the hotel, and then we went to the shop to get some mineral water and juice. Walking along the street can be dangerous because there isn't much room for pedestrians and there's a steep slope on one side. And we still had to get used to left-hand traffic.
With our fresh supply of water we were ready to hit the beach and the sea. The water was nicely warm and the waves were rather high, which was okay as soon as we were far enough inside as not to be caught by breaking waves. "Riding" on the high waves is a lot of fun though. Even without snorkelling we were already able to see a lot of fish in the sea, and on a rock near the sea we found some funny rockskippers.
During a short rest in our room someone from the staff offered to bring us some coconuts to drink, which were nicely decorated with (inedible) flowers and tasted nice.
After a short walk on which we found a ripe, yellow mango (there are mango trees everywhere) which tasted delicious, we went back to the beach for some snorkelling and testing our underwater camera. The number of different fish we were able to see is amazing, and we didn't even have to swim that far away from the beach to see some rather big fish as well. While we wanted to get out of the sea, Anna was suddenly attacked from behind ... by a small, ripe banana. As a punishement the banana was eaten right away.
After showering and getting dressed for dinner (long trousers are obligatory for men), we went out to watch our first sunset at Sunset Beach, which unfortunately was rather cloudy. We were able to watch some rockskippers and crabs chasing each other down on the rocks though. And we found cute geckos on our balcony when we returned to our room.
Before dinner we tried to upload a few first photos to share, but the internet connection was so frustratingly slow that it took us half an hour to upload 5 small photos. We decided not to try that again and wait until we were home for the rest of the photos...
Dinner that evening was in the form of a buffet with a big grilled red snapper as its main attraction and various different salats, curries, side dishes and desserts.
Since we had a long day behind us we were already very tired when we fell into bed. But we were woken up soon after by a loud, heavy monsoon rain pounding down on the roofs. After a short while we were able to fall asleep again though...