Friday, May 30, 2014

Seychelles Adventure: Day Trip to La Dique Island

The Seychelles is a collection of many islands. We were staying on Mahe for the week, but were advised not to miss a trip to La Dique and Praslin. This post is about La Dique and I'll write another for Praslin, even though they were both part of the same day tour.
Coming into the harbor - it was a perfect day for the trip. And since we were visiting in rainy season, we felt quite lucky for such a sunny day.
There are very few cars on La Dique as they are trying to preserve the natural  way of living. So, this ox cart was our transportation around the island - don't worry, we didn't have very far to go!
Not to be morbid, but it would be a lovely place to 'rest in peace' don't you think?
Feeding the tortoises.
Tiny island, but still really diverse with some nice rock formations in island.
Unfortunately, the tide was out so we didn't get the view (or the dip in the ocean) we would have liked. Even so, a nice relaxing spot to kick back for a while.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Seychelles Adventure: Takamaka Rum Factory

Hmmm, a Rum factory? Of course we're going! We actually had a nice tour of the place - very small - and then got to taste some of their rum. Unfortunately the restaurant wasn't open for lunch as it was a really beautiful setting and would have been nice to hang out there for a bit and enjoy.
This is the waiting area for the tour. A cute little house with a fancy sitting room.
They grind all the sugar cane by hand. It hardly looks like enough for the operations, but it's a small outfit.
This is the raw sugar cane juice before getting filtered and distilled.
They store the rum in French oak barrels like this one.
Takamaka makes 5 varieties (and we got to taste them all!)
Out behind the 'factory' they have a large garden with a bunch of different herbs and spices and a historic ruin (can't remember what the ruin was - a house I suppose).
The forgotten ruin . . . literally.
And this guy is a fruit that has lots of good healing properties but smells absolutely vile! Kind of like gorgonzola cheese left out in the sun.  Even our guide wasn't willing to touch it with her bare hands for fear they would smell the rest of the day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Seychelles Adventure: Island Tour

We decided to start our adventure with an island tour - in part to get our bearings and to get some local flavor. We signed up for a tour with Discovery Agri Tour based on ratings from Trip Advisor. While not exactly what we expected, we did have a great day exploring some of the lesser known parts of the island and learning tons about the flora and fauna.

This is a skink - very tiny, cute little thing that looks a bit like a lizard. I think the name is cool.
I wish I could name all the beaches in these photos, but despite our guide's constant quizzing, I don't remember. In hindsight, I should have asked Brad to guest-blog as he probably remembers them all! :)

Yep, they really are that beautiful. And half the day was cloudy so that makes the photos even more impressive.

A trip to the local market - now that's fresh fish!!

Okay, this guy, not so cute, but pretty impressive. from leg to leg, he's about the span of your palm. We were told he isn't poisonous.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Seychelles Adventure: Indian shops and getting lost

Last December, we spent 5 days in the gorgeous Seychelles with our best friends. It was hot, steamy and oh so green (especially coming from the sandbox!).

We arrived and picked up our rental car - a small, boxy thing that barely fit the four of us and our luggage. Confident we could navigate the small island, we set off in search of lunch, a sim card for the phone and our villa.

Shortly after leaving the airport, we found a little area of  town with some shops so pulled in to see if we could find a sim card. We were told to go to the "Indian shops" and they will have one.

Indian shops? What exactly does that mean? We looked for a group of shops named "Indian" but of course found nothing of the sort. Eventually, we figured out that these were little corner shops owned by Indians. Well, we found one, but they didn't have the right size sim card so no luck there. We did eventually visit the local Telecom office and get set up. Only to find out that internet service was down . . . across the ENTIRE island! We just laughed.

The other funny moment was as we were driving around, we saw "a bus station?". We all speculated on what the terminal looking building was until one of us finally realized it was the airport!! We had made a complete circle and were right back where we started. Things were not looking good!

But we did find some lunch and eventually our villa, which was gorgeous and overlooking the beach. Settled at last, we broke out the cards for a game of 500.