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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: -25.9664, 32.5713
We sailed into Port Victoria in the Seychelles about 7am on January 27th. This is more like the tropical islands we know. The green hills rose in the centre while around the shores we glimpsed white sand. Port Victoria is the capital and is on the island of Mahe. Rain was forecast and it was very humid. We disembarked the ship about 8-45am and walked into the town. This took about 20 minutes. We stopped along the way to take a picture of a large model of a tortoise outside the Library. Giant tortoises are native to these islands. We also stopped at a square where three white crescents represent the three main peoples of the islands, African, Asian and European. We planned to hire a car so found a Hertz shop in the main street. However, all theirs were rented and they suggested we enquire at the Tourist Office across the road. Here we had more luck and, after a short wait, our car was brought to us. We signed the paperwork and then walked to the car park across the road where we took possession of a small blue Hyundai.
We left it parked there while we further
explored the city. We walked back past the tourist office and stopped at the Pirates Arms arcade. Here the MAKI shop had original locally made handcrafts including T shirts and dresses but we didn't buy anything. Further along, at the intersection with Francis Rachel St is a clock tower, a mini Big Ben all painted silver. Near there is a bust of Pierre Poivre or Peter Pepper, who brought many varieties of trees and plants here and set up the spice trade in the islands. We then walked up Market Street, enjoying the many small craft and souvenir shops. Market St is very colourful and at the end is the Sir Selwyn Clarke Market. Here there was a great variety of fish as well as many varieties of vegetables and fruits. From there we walked back to the car passing by a huge flag set in a very pretty garden. There was a carving of a book containing words of the declaration of their independence in it. Very impressive.
Back at the car we set off to drive around the island. We headed south following the road towards the airport. Here there is some reclaimed land separated from the main
island by a lagoon. On this land is a large housing and hotel development called Eden Island. Very modern and no doubt very expensive. Past the airport we came to the outer villages and were impressed by the standard of housing. Not too many shanty towns here. The beaches we could glimpse through the undergrowth were beautiful and we stopped several times to take a walk and photograph the palm lined white sandy beaches. It started raining and the road was narrow but we couldn't drive all that quickly anyway.
Along the coast were some resort hotels but there were also many self-catering accommodation advertised. We turned west and cut across the island to Tamaka where they make rum. Heading north we saw two beautiful bays where we stopped to take photos, Anse La Mouche and Baie Lacare. We continued on to Barbarons where we turned east to climb back over the mountains to Victoria. It was a steep climb through rainforest and misty cloud, stuck behind a bus for a lot of the way but quite atmospheric. Coming down from the heights we stopped at a Lookout which gave a spectacular view over Eden Island and the harbour.
We drove back
through the town and then headed to Beau Vallon the most popular beach on the island. This is lined with resort hotels and is the best place to swim. We parked and enquired at a couple of restaurants if they had WiFi but we were out of luck. We had a great fish and chip lunch at La Fontaine, a small outdoor restaurant overlooking the beach. We tried the local beer, Sey Brew, but that was rather bland so had a nice French white instead. The rain had been continuous but during lunch it stopped. I was determined to have a swim, so while Fletcher watched I plunged into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. There were a few waves but it was very refreshing.
From here we drove north, admiring the coastline and stopping at Glacis, another beautiful beach. The large granite monoliths that frame the beaches certainly add to the spectacle. We came back down to Victoria. By this time it was about 3pm and we had to drop the car back at the port by 4pm. We were also low on petrol. There was a petrol station marked on the map so we drove southwards looking for
it. By this time the traffic was heavy with school coming out and we couldn't find the station. After getting directions from two or three locals we finally found it by the Sports Stadium. Once we had topped up we returned to the port. It was too late to try and find a WiFi hotspot so we went back to the ship. Having given the car back we were walking to the ship when Fletcher realised he had left the camera in the car. Running back I found a representative of the car hire company and, after he made a couple of calls, our friendly car hire man brought the camera back for us.
We returned to the ship, damp, tired but having had a wonderful day in the beautiful Seychelles
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