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Published: July 23rd 2017
July 23, 2017 - Last night I didn't sleep that well. I woke up several times, and at 4 am I woke up thinking about a message from the guy in charge of the airbnb that I'm staying in. The family who own the house is very nice, but some of the information in the description is incorrect, so I wrote the guy they use to deal with the online portion an email saying he should fix it. He wrote back saying that Italian women are never satisfied and that's why Italian men have started going for Seychellois women. What a jerk. It was hard to get back to sleep, but I think I did for a while.
I got up at 6:30 am, checked the internet, and had my cereal with a banana, which was a little better than yesterday. I was leaving at 8am to go to Fond Ferdinand, a nature reserve, and my housemate Angelique was coming with me. We left a little before 8am, and we knew that we might have to walk there, as the buses run less frequently on Sunday, so we started walking, thinking we could get a bus if it came along.
It did not. It took us an hour to get there, and we arrived about 40 minutes before the first tour at 9:30. There are only three tours a day, and we didn't want to miss the first one.
We spent a few minutes looking around the "museum", a hut that had info about the site. It was owned by a family before being sold to the government for conservation purposes. It is a much larger tract of land than the Vallee de Mai, and also has coco de mer trees, but the area is much more open than the jungle of Vallee de Mai. It has a very different feel and I'm glad that I went to both. This one is a lot cheaper, and comes with a guide, but it would be a shame to miss out on Vallee de Mai.
The guide was names Clifford, and he is a hoot. He does all the tours and is pretty hilarious. He thinks people should skip the Vallee and only come to him, and the Austrian woman in my group said all the German speakers know to skip Vallee because of a tv show. Sorry Germans, but
you are missing out.
Clifford told us all about the coco de mer plants. It takes 25 years for us to know if they are male or female plants, when they develop flowers or coconuts. The nuts, once pollinated, take 7 years to reach maturity. After six months, they can germinate. When they germinate, they produce a root that comes from the coconut. The root grows into the ground, and then the plant grows up nearby, once the root is established. He showed us examples at different stages and it was really cool.
We then started the hike, saw some geckos, and walked on a trail that took us ever higher, until we were at the viewpoint that allowed us to see several different islands, including La Digue, my final destination, where I will go for the next four days. It was really beautiful. At the view point I got some advice about what we could do for the rest of the day. On the way back, Clifford introduced us to his "pet" eel in a little stream in the reserve.
When the tour finished, Clifford gave us each a bunch of bananas from the site. The
bananas here are the tiny ones, and so adorable. It was perfectly timed, as it was lunch time and we didn't have food with us and there was no time to really stop with our new plans.
We got the bus at 12:15pm to Mt. Plaisir, and from there we saw the whole south and west coast. When we got to the last stop, we asked the driver how to get to the Anse Georgette. It's a beach off a gold course at the Lemuria resort. You're supposed to call ahead a day or so to make sure they have room for you, or apparently you can take this trail. He showed us the start of the trail, and a boy offered his services as a guide, but we said no. We followed the trail and eventually took a left, when there was an option, as the driver had said to stay left. The trail got progressively harder to follow, until we were sure it was wrong. So we had to backtrack, and eventually got it right, though at the end we only found the last bit because we could see the shirt of someone through the trees.
We made it onto the gold course, and I figured we were going to be kicked out straight away, as it's a five star resort, but we weren't. We asked two kids if they knew where the beach was, and they explained in French, but it was easy to follow. It's supposed to be one of the nicest beaches on the island, and it was beautiful. I was so proud of us for getting there. We sat down and I eventually went into the water. It felt so good to just float there, and feel like I could stay all day. Then I got slammed down by a huge wave, thought I would die, and just like that, I was done swimming for the day. We didn't stay long, and got going by 3:15pm. The goal was to take the trail back to the bus and then to Anse Lazio, which is supposed to be one of the nicest beaches in the world.
There was a sign leading back to the bus, and it was different than where we had come from. It was easier to follow, and eventually joined back up to ours. By the time we got
to the bus station, I wasn't sure if we'd have enough time to get to the other beach and then get a bus. But someone said it was only 20 minutes. We decided to go for it. It took 25 minutes, and the beach was deserted. BUT, it was empty because it was high tide and that means the sea is basically on the beach. It's amazing how the beaches disappear. But we got a few photos and then had to get back to the bus. We had planned to go to a different bus station, but it might be that you'd have to get to the other side of the beach for the path there, and that wasn't going to happen. We got back at 5:25pm and there was a bus there. It felt good, because I wasn't sure when the last Sunday bus was, and I didn't want to get stuck.
Made it home a little before 6pm, drank copious amounts of water, showered, washed salt water out of my clothes, and made pasta for dinner. I skyped with Jeroen, packed what I could, and called it a night.
Tomorrow I take the ferry to La
Digue, the last place I will stay before heading home. I'll be there for four nights, and will have no internet. I'm a little bit freaking out. But it's a tiny place and I'll rent a bike for the four days, so I can check out the island. There are not many cars, so it should be peaceful. Everyone who's been there loves it, so I'm looking forward to it. It should be a real opportunity to try out this relaxing thing. I'll let you know how it goes.
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