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Published: January 6th 2011
“Mesdames et Messieurs, 10 seconds to 2011...5,4,3,2,1 – Bonne Annee!!!”. A romantic restaurant by the beach, champagne, good company, great conversation... New Year’s eves don’t come much better than this. And not for the first time since my arrival on the Seychelles did I feel I had landed in paradise.
A few years ago I saw a picture of Praslin in a travel magazine – huge boulders strewn on a white sandy beach, turquoise water, gently leaning palm trees... Ever since then I had dreamt of coming here. But who would have thought that one day I would actually be living and working in this picture postcard?
I am going to be a volunteer for a marine conservation project based on Mahe, and we were told that with all the diving and studying there wouldn’t be much time for anything else. So I decided to explore some of the other islands beforehand. Remembering the picture in the travel magazine, I put Praslin at the top of my list; and I was not disappointed – Praslin is beautiful: lush green hills sweep gently onto stretches of soft, sandy beaches, which in turn spill into the azure sea. The people are
Anse Source D'Argent, La Digue
probably one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to
a friendly mixture of Creole nonchalance and French savoir vivre; there are few cars on the island, and no showy promenades or noisy bars. And even nature is quiet - instead of the deafening screeching of cicadas the crickets here chirp a soothing lullaby, reminiscent of balmy summer evenings back home in the Black Forest...
La Digue, a short ferry ride east of Praslin was next on my list. As soon as I set foot on the island I was enchanted – La Digue oozes tranquillity and charm. La Passe, the picturesque main “town” consists of maybe a dozen flower-overgrown houses, B&Bs and shops. The rest of the island is a mixture of lush hills and deserted beaches. Colourful cottages dotted around the countryside; people going placidly about their daily business; ox cards serving as taxis; bicycles instead of cars; unhurried; laid back; and improbably beautiful. La Digue is a dream and I could happily have whiled away many days here. But duty called – I had to leave for Mahe to meet up with the rest of the group...
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