The Creole Tales (Seychelles) – II

Tripoto
17th May 2018
Photo of The Creole Tales (Seychelles) – II by Subhayan Bhattacharyya

After a fulfilling experience on the beaches of Mahe, we decided to go for a hike in Mahe. Thanks to the topography of the Island, there are many trails and each one of them ends with a mesmerising view of the ocean. After speaking to a local guide in our hotel, we decided to go for the Copolia Trail in Mont Flueri. Why I chose this particular hike after talking to the local? Simple: it’s the safest, has medium difficulty and at the end of the trail you will see the best view a hike has on Mahe. It is best to go there as early as you can in the morning while temperatures are cool. The hike will take between 45 minutes and one hour and you will need ample water, anti-mosquito repellent, good hiking shoes and a cap. There are spiders on the trail but they are harmless. The view that you will discover at the top is magnificent. Victoria, Eden Island, The Airport, St Anne, Cerf Island, Moyenne and Round Island can be seen from Copolia Platform. You will see also Khalifa’s Palace on the right which is the most impressive building on Mahe. As a bonus to the view you’ll have also the carnivorous pitcher plants which grow at an altitude higher than 600 metres. Amazingly in none of the forest hikes will you encounter any animal which in a way is certainly safe but disappointing for those who seek some thrill.

Day 3

View from Copolia Platform

Photo of Mahé, Seychelles by Subhayan Bhattacharyya

After the descend we rested for a while and then were on way to idle on a beach, the best thing that can be done in Seychelles. This time we thought to venture further ahead on the South coast road and reach Port Glaud. On the way we grabbed some snacks and beer. The road to port Glaud is full of twists & turns and at some places the view of the ocean along with small islands is so mesmerizing that one cannot avoid stopping and take a snap of the landscape.

The view from South coast road.

Photo of South Coast Road, Quatre Bornes, Seychelles by Subhayan Bhattacharyya

On reaching Port Glaud beach, we were disappointed again as we encountered sea weeds. But surprisingly the beach was deserted even at noon time. We spent little time in the shades and clicked snaps of the surrounding to take back home with us. As the place was devoid of any activity or people, we went ahead to a beach called Port Launay.

Port Launay with gorgeous scenery, calm, shallow water, and plenty in the way of activities and attractions provided us the opportunity to spend the whole day here. The calm ocean surface lends itself well to swimming and snorkelling, while the numerous rental options mean that visitors can try their hand at surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, scuba diving, fishing, sailing, or even kayaking and canoeing. Such a variety of activities is rare in Seychelles, making this beach a great option for the more active Seychelles holidaymaker. That’s not to say that one can’t relax here either. The beautiful sandy surface and ample shade ensure that long, laid-back days relaxing in the tropical sunshine are just as rewarding as days spent surfing or scuba-diving.

Port Launay

Photo of Port Launay Marine Park, Seychelles by Subhayan Bhattacharyya

As a protected marine reserve the snorkeling here is excellent – both along the rocks to the right of the bay and around the cross marking the mouth of the bay. We snorkelled along the bay and were amazed by the variety of fishes which were different in size and colour. After coming out of the water we had lunch. There was a takeaway van by the road, though sadly it was of the burger and chips variety and not Creole style rice and fish. We got burgers from there, laid our beach towels and gulped down the food along with beer we had got and then spent the afternoon gazing at the view in the front and reading books. After that we went to the market in Victoria.

Built in 1840 the market is in the centre of Victoria – known officially as the Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market, but more widely as the Victoria Market. Victoria Market is a great example of blending the old and new Seychellois way of life. It’s a great place to buy local fruit, vegetables, spices and fishes. The smell of fishes is something that cannot be denied while walking around the market. It’s pretty impressive to see the huge array of fish on offer in the market from parrot fish to barracuda. There is an array of boutiques and shops selling a variety of souvenirs, clothing and local work of art that further complement the lively atmosphere. We stepped in one of them and collected some memorabilia to take back home. The sunlight was fading now and it was time to catch the sunset at Beau Vallon.

Fishes up for grabs in the Victoria market

Photo of Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market. Victoria Market, Victoria, Seychelles by Subhayan Bhattacharyya

We reached just in time to catch a glimpse of the sunset from Beau Vallon beach with North Island in the background. Next day we were moving to Praslin: Home of the Coco De Mer.

Sunset @ Beau Vallon with North Island in the backdrop.

Photo of Beau Vallon, Seychelles by Subhayan Bhattacharyya

Travel Pointers:

Seychelles is a hiker’s paradise. The hikes one can do in Mahe besides Copolia trail (1.5 hrs, easy) are; Anse Major Trail (1.5 hrs, easy, the only way to get to Anse Major on foot), Morne Blanc Trail (45 min, medium), Morne Seychellois (5 hrs, difficult, takes you to the highest point on Mahe at over 900m above sea level).

When going for a hike carry ample water, apply mosquito repellents and wear hike shoes.

To taste Creole food don’t forget to stop over at Marie-Antoinette. It isn’t just a restaurant; it’s an experience, especially at dinner. It occupies a beautiful, if somewhat dated, wood-and-iron colonial Seychellois mansion. Bring an empty stomach – the menu (set menu of the day) includes fish and aubergine fritters, grilled fish, chicken curry, fish stew, rice and salad, and it hasn’t changed since the 1970s. It’s off the road to Beau Vallon.

The other places to try authentic Creole food in Mahe are: Boat House @ Beau Vallon, Del Place @ West Coast road, Anchor Cafe @ West Coast road, Chez Plume @ West Coast road and Lai Lam takeaway @ Victoria.

For those interested in diving, there are two places in Mahe: Big Blue divers & Blue Sea divers; both are PADI certified and are located in Beau Vallon. For list of dive sites click on the following link: https://www.bigbluedivers.net/divesites.html

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