Our first dose of Seychelles’ main island was in the form of Eden Island – a transit midpoint between a flight landing at 10.30 and a ferry leaving at 4.30. The cab from the airport got us there in 15 mins. Though it’s hyped as a major shopping destination, it’s actually quite a small place with a few eateries and shops. On a Saturday afternoon, the place had quite a lackadaisical feel to it. It seemed to be quite a yacht docking location though.
We had earmarked a couple of lunch options earlier, but ended up in a different place called Tamassa, which looked to be more lounging-friendly than the others. Our first lunch in Seychelles was excellent – mussels in a thick coconut milk based gravy, and some delicious octopus! Then, after some Tiramisu ice cream, D did quite a bit of window shopping as I people-watched. A cab dropped us off at the ferry to Praslin, another 15 minute ride away.
We landed back in Mahe a couple of days later from La Digue. Since the check in at Bliss was only at 2, we had decided to have lunch in Victoria first. We were early for that too, as the ferry from La Digue reached Mahe just after 10. Luckily, the restaurant we had planned lunch at – Marie Antoinette – agreed to keep our luggage as we walked around in Victoria. D did some shopping, but in general, this isn’t really a great shopping destination. The restaurant had an old world charm about it, and indeed, it had been around for a very long time, serving authentic Creole fare. It had a set lunch for two that was fabulous – chicken, different kinds of fish, and superb mango and papaya salads. We also managed to find the dish we had been looking for – fruit bat meat! Lots of bones, and meat that tasted vaguely like chicken, but much softer. We washed it all down with some excellent house wine.
After lunch, we made our way to Bliss at Vista do Mar, Glacis. A place that really lived up to its name! Right from the iced tea welcome drink onwards. Our sea view room had a ton of decor elements that practically screamed some really talented artistic soul behind it. The thing is, these weren’t complex or ostentatious, they were just extremely intelligent use of naturally occurring objects – the hand woven basket with all the thoughtful things inside, the rock/shell ‘curtain’, and so on. There was a thoughtfulness about everything around. The view was everything we wanted, and I sulked every time D made me step out.
After a nap, we decided to take the bus (a really helpful time table was provided in the hotel) to Beau Vallon, about 15 minutes away. D did some window shopping, and we then walked along a nice tree lined avenue by the beach. Though we had initially planned on La Plage for dinner, we found the restaurant of the Coral Strand hotel along the beach, and the menu appealed to us quite a bit since the assorted fare – from sushi to pizza – was different from what we had been having the last few days. We eventually had both of that, washed down with hot drinks- one rum based, and the other wine based. Both excellent, with a fantastic view of the sea. This was our other contender for the best meal during the vacation. Alvin at the restaurant was super friendly and even got us a taxi back to our hotel. We fell asleep after watching the sea for quite a while.
After breakfast, I tried to excite D with the possibility of just lounging around in the restaurant area itself (they had beds that looked out to the sea, sigh!) and exploring the property a bit. We did that, and then D bullied me to take ourselves to Victoria for.. what else, shopping!
I resisted until lunch, which was planned at La Plage. We took the bus to Beau Vallon again, and got ourselves a nice table overlooking the sea, and a delicious meal of pork and red snapper wrapped in banana leaves. The rum I ordered was supposed to be from nearby Mauritius, but I suspect it was local arrack. It gave me a headache till late evening!
After lunch, we took the bus to Victoria, and walked around the market area. It confirmed my existing perception – the place is at a rudimentary level of shopping experience. Maybe it’s a choice they have made, but that didn’t sit well with D. 😀 We wrapped up in an hour and went over to the bus stand to take the bus back to Bliss. This time, we chose a bus that went along the Northern Coast and passed by the northern most tip of the island.
In the evening, there was a sea change in behaviour as I had to coax D to go to the beach to catch the sunset. She had been sulking because the sun had been refusing to give us an Insta friendly setting. The one on the last day wasn’t the best we had seen, but it was relatively better than the previous days.
Dinner was at the Rockpool – the other restaurant in the hotel. Like the rest of the hotel, this one is a looker too, and is run by a very courteous gentleman who fed us some scrumptious pasta, followed by a superb tiramisu. This was another lovely meal, watching the sea.
And thus ended our last day in Seychelles. The flights back on the next day were largely uneventful, also helped by the fact that my monitor in the longer of the two flights didn’t work. Just like the flight attendants, who I think had put the service button alarm on mute. All I wanted was to have my food tray removed before the flight ended. They managed that just in time. We also had a take off delay in Colombo, thus restoring my faith in the consistency of Sri Lankan Airlines experience. Meanwhile, D attacked the shops at the Mahe and Colombo airports with a vengeance. I had a mini scare on account of one of my precious duty free bottles being broken, but it turned out to be a false alarm. I’m yet to solve that mystery!
Just as the Uber got to Whitefield close to midnight, D decided to raise the adventure quotient of the trip by asking me if I had the keys to the house. A very silly question since no one, including myself, would trust me with any house’s keys! A few tense moments later, she proclaimed that she could feel the keys in her bag, but couldn’t see it. I took a closer look, but there was no smell of alcohol in her breath. Turned out that thanks to a few stitches coming off, the keys had opened a doorway into the innards of D’s cavernous handbag!
The trip cost us about Rs. 2.5L including everything. We had arranged everything ourselves – it’s easy to book hotels and do your own research in terms of taxi fare, places to eat etc. A meal would cost you anything between 500 and 1100 SCR and taxis range from 150 to 600 depending on distance. You could save money by eating at takeaway joints and by renting a car to drive around yourself.
Seychelles is a lovely, pristine place, and all you need to do is allow yourselves to soak in the beauty!