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Published: July 17th 2017
July 16, 2017 - This morning I had to wake up at 5am, so of course I was waking up all night long to check the time, and finally got up at 4:56am. I finished packing and had a little bit of breakfast - some toast with butter and jam - at Harry's. He drove me to the airport, leaving just before 6am, which I was sure was too late for a 7:30am flight. I checked in quite quickly, and then had to get into a long line for passport control. It was twenty minutes before boarding , and I was getting nrevous. As I stood there, I saw Reese, the kid I met yesterday, wandering around and looking at the line. His flight was at 7:05, and there was far more concern that he would miss his flight. He got in line with me and when we got to security the line broke into four and was moving faster. He asked a guy who worked there if he would make his flight, and the guy said yes. He left after security, and I'm sure he made it.
Once through security, I sat and waited for about ten minutes before
they actually started boarding. I was in an exit row, and there was only one other person in the row, with no one in the middle seat. Strange, since all the seats looked booked when I was checking in last night. The flight from Reunion to the Seychelles was a little less than three hours, and I spent the time rereading the guidebook, thinking of what I would do with my time on each island. I also chatted a bit with the guy in my row. He's from Austria and had just done a tour in Reunion with a group. He actually flew around in a helicopter for an hour long flight, including over the volcano that was erupting. So cool. And today he was meeting his wife and some friends, and they were renting a catamaran that his friend would drive around. So it will be quite a different week for him than my time here will be.
For landing, I thought I had packed everything right, including my camera. But being in an exit row, I had to store my bag above for the flight, so I did not get the pictures of the islands as they
came into view.
I landed on Mahe, the largest of the three main islands. I will have four days here, and four days on Praslin and La Digue, as well. It might be a bit too long, but I'm hoping there will be time to see everything I'd like to see, or discover new things to see that I wasn't aware of.
Once we arrived, we sat on the runway for twenty minutes or so, as there was another plane parked in our spot. The airport is quite small, so it may be that there is only one gate. My luggage was in the last set of bags to come out. Once I had it, I found an ATM to get some money. I'd considered actually changing some cash, but the rate didn't seem great. From there I went outside, walked across the street, and caught the bus to Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles and it's only actual town, from what I understand. The fare cost 5 rupees (about 30 cents) and the smallest bill I had from the ATM was 100. I felt like a douche, but it was the only money I had. The driver
accepted it, but told me they don't normally accept big money like that.
At the bus station, I had to take another bus to Glacis, the northwestern part of the island where I would be staying. It took about twenty minutes for the bus to come, and the ride was maybe twenty minutes. The island is small, but everything takes longer on public transport. And here, we are back to driving on the left. And an English-speaking nation!
The driver dropped me off at the Bliss Hotel. I am renting a detached studio kind of room from someone, but his friend owns the Bliss Hotel and it is close to his place. I went in and asked if someone could call Damien for me, but he was there waiting for me already. He showed me around the hotel, as I could use their beach chairs and access. He then drove me to show me where the shops are and a couple of beaches, but as soon as he did that info was gone. I barely know where I am in a new place, let alone where other nearby places are. The road to his house is right across
from the Bliss and goes straight up. At least, that's how it felt when I walked back later.
At his place, he showed me my room and I met his dad, Claude, who is quite the talker. Once I got settled in a bit, and sent my nephew Cristian a birthday message, I went for a walk to the shops. There was a small one where I bought a small bag of Doritos and some water, and a larger one that was closing, and I got some ramen noodles just in case. The beach and the natural area here are amazing, but there is nothing else really within walking distance, which kind of sucks. There is a take-away place, but it is closed on Sunday. Claude gave me some fruit, which was nice.
After the shops I headed to the Bliss hotel, thinking I may as well try this lying around at the beach thing. There is a deck with loungers and some bed-type things to lay on, but they seemed strange and were mostly being used by couples. In fact, all I saw were couples. This is a romantic beach getaway destination, after all. I did manage
to stay there for about an hour and a half, and I read a little, but mostly took pictures of crabs and stuff. There were all kinds of awesome sea life, including what looked like fish that were living on the rocks and jumping from place to place. I need to do some research to see what they are. I splashed around in the water a bit as well, and I felt like here no one would steal my things. But I'm struggling to see what is fun about sitting in the sun. It's just hot. I am closer to the equator and that is obvious. I am starting to miss winter, which is a bad sign. The good news is that this island seems to be full of the large fruit bats I love so much. I saw individuals flying around all day, just one or two, but there was almost always a bat around. They have light colored fur on their heads and look blond.
When I got up to leave, I asked at the hotel reception about getting to a few places, and they gave me some ideas. They also said to rent a car, but
I don't think I'll be doing that. He also said since I had my backpack, I could walk up the road next to the church, which was just a short walk away down the main road, and I would see a good view to the sea. I decided to do that, because it makes sense to me to be doing something. I walked up to see the view, passing a cemetery along the way, and then kept walking up. After about 30 minutes, the road started to go back down, so I turned around and went back. But it was an interesting walk, and it kept me busy until sunset. I passed many fancy and expensive looking houses, but there were also a lot of hovels if I looked into the trees a bit. An interesting mix.
When I got back, I went to Bliss to watch the sunset. There were some clouds and it was quite beautiful. I walked home and took a shower, and then made some ramen noodles for dinner. Not very exciting, but tasty enough. I had written to Jeroen to tell him I would try to skype him after I ate, but then the
internet was down. Something tells me I better get used to it. In Praslin, it's meant to be worse. And I have no internet access where I'll be staying in La Digue. I'm trying not to freak out in advance.
My room is hot and only has a fan. Hoping sleep will come easily. But with no internet to distract, it should be easy enough.
Tomorrow I think I will go into Victoria to look around and talk to the tourist information, and make my plans for the next two days here. I also need to buy my ferry tickets to get between the islands.
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