Seychelles 2018 Day 11 & 12 – Home Sweet Home

Transit day back to Singapore started at 230am. Dazed from the lack of sleep, I was up brushing my teeth while and mommy woke thereafter. The activities that went past were just about packing and preparations. I have brought everything up into the car and the last and hardest was K. Mommy carried him and tried to minimize disturbance to his sleep and managed to have him continue sleeping in the car while I drove 30mins plus to the airport. Roads were quiet most of the time at this hour and by the time we arrived, it was already 430am.

Called the rental company staff and heard a sleepy voice over the phone, knew that he didn’t wake up to meet me at the airport, mentioned just to leave the car. So I left the car at the airport carpark with the key in the glove compartment and sent a picture of both the key and the car location to him via WhatsApp before loading up all the luggage. Then I carried K to the checkin while mommy pushed the luggage.

K was asleep until he woke up at the check in counter. Nouvobanq was amazingly open at this unearthly hour and I took the chance to change back 1450rupees to 80 Euros. Then we checked in at the business counter as I had successfully upgraded our seats via bidding for 175USD per person, and received the business class tickets, the continuing economy tickets to Singapore (which bid was unsuccessful) and invitation to use the lounge.

Queue even in the wee morning.
Nouvabanq forex opened too.

We went through the checks and immigration which invited some questions over our leaving dates as it seemed like we were supposed to leave on the 15th reflected on the stamp. After this, we proceeded to the second floor where the lounge was and took one of the cushion benches to rest and have some breakfast. Luckily our 530am flight was delayed and thus we had some time to enjoy the lounge. The rest of the shops weren’t opened anyway so we maximized the lounge usage. K even fell asleep on the couch.

All the shops still closed.
Lounge invitations.
Sri Lankan lounge.
Lots of seating spaces.
Buffet spread.
Food from the lounge.

620am and the boarding started. The lounge staff went to inform the passengers about boarding and I carried K trying not to wake him but upon reaching the plane, he woke up. Getting into the business class section was easy since there were lots of space for people and bags. Mommy and K sat on one aisle while I sat alone at the other side. Though I felt that the luxurious part of the seats weren’t there when we first flew at the start of the trip, it was still a lot better than squeezing in economy.

Business tickets!

There was a welcome drink and warm towels for us. The headsets looked sturdier with noise isolation features but we couldn’t watch anything since the screens were all within the armrests. Once we took off, we could use the tablet-like interface.

At business class.
Sturdier headsets.

I took out my camera to capture the view of Seychelles from the skies, managed to catch a circular rainbow as the plane got further away from the beautiful island, at the same time when the morning sun was rising up from the horizon. The end of a holiday.

Circular rainbow leaving Seychelles.

What followed was more food in the form of a breakfast, and I finished the omelette and whatever there were served to me. Mommy was full from the earlier breakfast and fed K his omelette that he got from the economy planned child meal (there weren’t any child meals in business class). I was typing away on my phone of the events in the last two days while charging it plugging in to the screen and watching Bladerunner 2049. Mommy fell uncomfortable due to the bumpiness of the plane from turbulence and asked me to swap places so that I could get K to sleep. K went to sleep after a while and I continued my typing and show.

Kids meal.
Adult ones.
Earl grey with milk.

Time flew past and a short while after the show ended, which I found quite confusing about the plot, partly because I wasn’t fully focused on watching it, the pilot announced our arrival and the landing would be taking place soon. I prepared K’s seat, blocking all the bright lights with pillow so that K remained asleep and managed pretty well as he remained sleeping right till we were about to exit the plane.

Long coast of Sri Lanka.

Carried him to as far as the transit office and he woke up. I checked at the transit counter if we could change the reservations from the Catamaran Beach hotel to the Serenediva hotel inside the airport and he informed that it was not possible and we had to pay separately to the hotel if we chose not to accept the free accommodation as per the time we first flew in. Mommy wanted more rest time and so we chose to go to the newer hotel on the 2nd floor.

We checked with the reception and it was USD120 for a 12hr block. I paid with credit card and it was then I realized that I have left 2 important things in the luggage. One was my own Singapore SIM card, which meant I remain uncontactable by mobile until Singapore and the other was Sri Lankan currency and SGD!

Serenediva hotel.
Hotel room.
Seating area and dresser.

We were given a room with a double and a single bed and in a much better room than what we had in Catamaran Beach hotel. Used the free WiFi and tried to look for pasta as K wanted to have pasta. Coffee Bean had pasta so we proceeded to it for K’s lunch.

fLunch at Coffee Bean.We had initially thought of getting out of the airport for food after K’s meal. Checking with the visa personnel, he said we could just go through immigrations because we were Singaporean. Powerful Singapore passport! But the more we find out what to expect outside the more we decided against going. My plan was to go see the Dutch fort, Dutch canal and probably walked around that area in Negombo where there were also some church and market. But the costs one way by taxi was in the region of 2800LKR which was about 25SGD and thus the whole trip could be already 50SGD. From the TripAdvisor tips, those places didn’t looked like it’s worth the trip so we gave up.

Ended up shopping at the airport instead while mommy bought some coconut oil since it was commonly produced in Sri Lanka, I was confused by the 4 brands of tea stores, not sure where to buy from.

We returned to the room and while K entertained himself with the toys that we brought along, the parents had some time on the mobile phones. Gave K his packets of milk and after some storybooks, he got into the single bed with me and I coerced him to sleep. He developed the strange reasoning of not liking the pillows and insisted on sleeping on me. So for a good 1hr, I was immobilized and also took some time to catch some rest.

I got a chance to find out a place we could get some Sri Lankan crabs and at the same time near to the airport. TripAdvisor number 1 was Mermaid food court and on Google map, it looked pretty close.

Managed to convince mommy to head out for dinner and once everyone was up, we left the room to first finish our purchases at the duty free, with mommy getting her spa stuff and me topping up the food to bring back, like Cashew nuts and Zesta tea bags. Left all the purchases in the room before we went through immigrations, which was smooth with no questions asked.

Zesta tea boutique.

Once out, mommy went to exchange SGD50 for about 5800LKR at one of the many exchanges that all had the same rates. We then proceeded to walk to the main road after checking with one of the airline staff who was also leaving the airport, on where to get a Tuk Tuk ride. At the entrance the touters approached us and upon showing them the Google map and naming a street near it, we were quoted 700rupees, in which I asked for 300rupees. We ended at 500rupees to get to our destination.

Tuk tuk.

It was an amusing ride for K as he sat together with us on the Tuk Tuk and we arrived shortly at Mermaid restaurant after 10mins, with me guiding the rider using my Google map.

Mermaid seafood restaurant.

We arrived at a modernly designed restaurant by the lagoon and was shown the location on the lagoon for the seats. Although it wasn’t really bright enough under the twinkling stars, it was sort of better according to the owner as there was more windy and had less mosquitoes. Crossing a tiny bridge, we made ourselves comfortable on the bench and long table.

Inside Mermaid restaurant.
Mermaid statue.

The food came after some 30mins of BBQ on the grill, two crabs and 4 prawns, a prawn fried rice and chicken macaroni. There was juice and vanilla milk shake too. We enjoyed the food thoroughly and though I liked the grilled taste of the crab, mommy thought than the Singapore version where crab with sauce tasted better since BBQ made the meat dry. The other food was tasty too as K liked both the fried rice and macaroni. All these only for 3750rupees. The owner even helped get us a Tuk Tuk back for 400rupees.

Fried rice.
Vanilla milkshake.
Sri Lankan crabs!
Neighbouring restaurant.

It was the same route back on a street with still some traffic even at almost 10pm. We arrived at a gate meant for Tuk Tuk drop off and after bidding farewell, it was back to a rather crowded and busy airport. We went through security checks twice quickly since we only had 2 bags and immigrations had a short line too. Returned to the room and quickly took a bath before taking a really short nap. Somewhere at 1215, a call came into the room to wake us up, asking us to check out.

Day 12

Got up and did whatever final packing before carrying the napping K in my arms. We returned the room card and proceeded to the basement gate R1 to go through the final security, which involved taking out the shoes. This was so troublesome that my movement woke K up. After that, a short wait at the gate, we had to take a bus to the plane. Got up the plane which ended up as a pretty full flight.

The flight back was just tiring as the lack of sleep hit us. After watching his same favorite show of Little Pony and teletubbies and eating some meal, K couldn’t get to sleep quickly. Both mommy and me was already nodding off after our chicken briyani and it was not until a long while of tossing and turning did he managed to doze off. We landed with no drama after but again I had to carry the napping K off the plane which woke him up. It wasn’t really a good flight timing looking back.

Sunrise enroute to Singapore.

This CNY trip was planned to take full advantage of the very long weekend that we had and at the same time, visit a non-Chinese and not cold country. It was also to fulfill one of our bucket list country to visit. The visit met my expectations to say the least, really one of the destinations with nothing much to do except to chill and enjoy the beaches. I probably missed out the lot on water activities such as snorkeling and visits to the islands but I guessed it would be more enjoyable for K to have less seasickness on the boat rides and less mosquito bites. However, in terms of beauty, Fiji seemed to take our breath away more probably because of its exclusivity as a really small resort island but close behind was the Beau Vallon beach that we visited and loved on the last day.

Seychelles 2018 Day 10 – Beau Vallon beach

Our last day in Seychelles started at 8 when K woke up for milk and didn’t want to return to bed. We decided to go to Beau Vallon for breakfast and some beach fun. 5mins drive and we arrived at a carpark opposite Coral Strand Resort. Then it was a short walk to the car free path to the beach. Only realized a much closer carpark that was close to La Plage restaurant upon walking on the street.

Morning view from the villa.
End of the road for the cars.
Walking street along Beau Vallon beach.
Carpark opposite La Plage restaurant.

There was supposed to be a bazaar but since it was still early there weren’t much stalls up and running. We walked past a few restaurants that were still closed until a La Plage restaurant that had brunch available and a beach side sitting area. Ordered an egg benedict, fruit platter, a bowl of honey pops and yogurt and iced macchiato, all for a restaurant price of 512rupees. The food quality wasn’t the best, the cereals had bugs and were not crispy.

La Plage restaurant.
Fruits platter.
Egg benedict.
Iced Macchiato.
Book containing the invoice.
What we see from the table.
Beau Vallon beach pano.

After our breakfast that took awhile, almost 30mins of waiting, we proceeded to the Beau Vallon beach. The beach was long and had a lot of people but still there was plenty of space to run about. We liked the low water height even until a distance from the beach, the level was only waist high. At the same time, there were waves coming in that K thoroughly enjoyed crashing into them. Not much fishes we could see but as expected from a human dominated beach. There were enough shades, the sand was soft and slightly moist, good for sandcastles. Close proximity to food. We thought this was one of the best beach in Seychelles!

Panorama view of the Beau Vallon beach.
Nice day at the beach.

When K had enough of sand play and water, we went to the nearby burger stalls to takeaway a burger and chips for 50rupees and another to buy fried noodles for 50rupees too. Then we went to some stalls selling souvenirs to see if there were anything interesting before we went back to our car. The town was just starting to wake up but we need to go as there seemed to be a storm coming.

Packed noodles for lunch.
Burger takeaway.

On the way back, K fell asleep but awoke when we tried to bring him to the bed. After drinking milk, he wouldn’t return to sleep so we had lunch first. Then when we were done with all this and went to bed, he wouldn’t sleep. It was kinda hot as the aircon didn’t seemed to work so well since the place was too huge to cool down. After struggling for an hour or so, we decided to just go Eden island for a visit. On the way there, I filled the gas to full with 300rupees so that there was no need to top up before our red eye flight on early Monday morning.

Chicken and chips and fried noodles.
Chicken burger

Driving the car to Eden island too half an hour but K fell asleep soon after. I parked the car in Eden Plaza carpark and went down myself to check out the place. However as it was Sunday, nothing except the SPAR supermarket, a yogurt store and a minimart was opened. I explored the surroundings and took photos of the yachts parked at the water front and returned to the car. We were unable to get packet milks as these weren’t available at the supermarkets.

View from the drive to Eden Island.
Eden Plaza.
Lots of yacht parked at the waterfront.
Waterfront living next to the yacht.
Eden Island panorama.

Mommy decided we should visit the most northern point and so we drove along the east coast. There was STC hypermarket that we passed but it was closed as well by 430pm so we just continued on our joyride. Along the way, we saw a couple of nice beaches and people were all just enjoying them, spending time on the beach and water, family and all. I guessed this was what Seychelles was all about.

Scenery on the drive up north.

While we crossed the northern tip, K woke up and was feeling good. We went back to the apartment and spent some time utilizing the hammock overlooking the sea, welcoming the setting sun while role playing pirate ship. It was just fun time, precious moments before returning to harsh reality of rat race Singapore.

After taking a bath and peeling myself away from the beautiful sunset right presented on the veranda of the apartment, we drove back to closer carpark near La Plage restaurant and got off to look for dinner. Didn’t know if there was any restaurant but ended up buying street food, first ordering banana chips (50rupees per packet) to bring back home to Singapore and then BBQ fish for dinner, with rice and noodle and chicken on a stick for (200rupees). Mommy went back to La Plage restaurant to takeaway a scoop of vanilla icecream as promised to K and we then returned to the apartment.

Sunset view from our villa.
Twilight at Beau Vallon beach.
Walking street at night.
Fried banana snack stall.
Grilled fish.
Choices of fish to choose from.
Other supplements from the store.
Ice-cream in a plastic cup takeaway.
Unwrapping the fish.

Fed K his dinner after his icecream treat in the car and we had our fish which was really fresh and delicious and really worth it.

The night was spent packing the luggage and a day back for our transit in Colombo and more moments of pirate ship on the hammock before we called it a night. It would be a very tiring return beginning with a 530am flight to Colombo, and then a 1am flight on Tuesday morning to Singapore. K couldn’t get to sleep and I thought it must have been the heat. The overhead fan didn’t provide any comfort and was mostly useless against the mosquito net. Brought the standing fan over and finally the fidgeting stopped and we drifted to dreamland.

Seychelles 2018 Day 9 – Mahe and The Magic Circus of Samoa

Mommy woke up early to prepare the meals while I made some milk for K before returning to bed. The next thing I knew it was 8 and everything was put on hyper mode.

We had a plane to catch at 955am to Mahe and I rushed to pack the luggage and got K prepared and dressed. Then I loaded the luggage into the car first before mommy and K followed behind. Returned the beach towels and the umbrella and as the lady tried her best to settle the final invoice, she wasn’t sure if there was anything extra to charge. There was supposedly some extras but technically we didn’t ask for an extra bed and therefore shouldn’t have any charges. Finally after struggling with the invoice for 10mins, mommy signed off a receipt and we left.

Then it was a 20mins drive to the airport in Praslin. Supposed to return a full tank for the car, in the end we skipped pumping gas all together and arrived at the carpark of the small airport at around 915am. The staff for the Capricorn car rental was there waiting and upon checking the car conditions and the fuel tank, charged me 200rupees before we bade each other farewell.

Check in was done upon entering the front of the airport and we were given our tickets before we proceeded to the left for the gate 1min walk away. At that time, we were the only people at the gate waiting and there were 2 shops opened, one was a jewellery store and another selling souvenirs. Our plane hadn’t arrive and we spent the waiting time window shopping and having our bread for breakfast.

Check in counters.
Departure gate.
Waiting area at the gate.

Soon the propeller plane arrived and we walked through the gate with another 5 people to board the tiny plane. This was a first propeller plane ride for K. The take off was smooth and swift as the runway didn’t have the length to allow a long takeoff. The 20mins journey was smooth, and mommy felt this Air Seychelles flight option was even better than the Cat Cocos ferry ride, for almost the same price. Once we arrived in Mahe airport, we had to make a dash to the building as the skies drizzled.

Propeller planes only.
Inside the domestic flight.
Praslin small airport
Leaving Praslin.
Arriving Mahe.

Immediately past the doorway was the luggage reclaim area. There was no physical belt and people were expected to pick up direct from the staff at the door. We were surprised to find many unclaimed luggage, not sure if the people realized the location of luggage reclaim.

Luggage reclaim spot.

Called Absolute Cars rental staff and again he was late and would need another 15mins. So we took a break ourselves ordering some drinks from the cafeteria there while the rain continued to pour outside. Met up with the staff who then waited for us to complete having our drinks before driving to the pickup location to handover the car. Since the paperwork was completed on the first leg of our tour, it was just a quick check on the condition and the fuel and we took over the car.

Route to domestic airport.
Tortoise statue with wings.
Eating place at the airport.

We first drove to the town center of Mahe, Victoria. There was a carpark next to Sir Selwyn market and by the time we arrived after going through a busy town jammed with cars, we couldn’t get a carpark after waiting for a bit. Asking the attendants there didn’t help as they asked me to park by the road if there were any available. So we drove around town and somehow we ended up at Francis Rachel street where we found a parking lot which was pretty empty.

Saw a clown on stilts.
Much bigger alternative carpark.

We walked past Nouvobanq and wanted to exchange more Seychelles Rupees but they were closed by the time we arrived as it was a Saturday. We proceeded to go around town, taking photo of the Seychelles Big Ben. Then we walked to Sir Selwyn market to take a walk and mommy bought some vegetables. There were some shops on the 2nd level selling clothes and stuff but we didn’t get anything else.

Victoria Clock tower, aka Big Ben of Seychelles.
Sir Sewlyn Market.
Inside the market.
Stalls selling vegetables.
Big fishes for sale.
Above the colourful umbrellas.

We walked around and found a toyshop called Toybox and bought a wooden horn for K and a shaker for a niece back home. After we exited, the shop closed for the day too. A quick walk to the Hindu temple for a photo shot before we returning to the carpark. On the way, we entered a Taste of Italy cafe to buy pizza and pasta for takeaways and exchange money at Money Stretcher for 1euro to 16.8rupees. By the time we got onto the car, the road had less traffic and we were on our way to Marquise Villas. The weekends really turn the main town into a ghost town.

Toybox selling French brand toys.
Hindu temple, Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinayagar
Chinese architecture in the background.
Street in Victoria.
Taste of Italy.
Inside Taste of Italy.
Italian cuisine choices.
Money Stretcher for forex.
Church in Victoria.
Statue in some compound in Victoria.

30mins drive to our accommodation for the last 2days of Seychelles and I slowed down upon arrival at the location showed on google maps. The apartment staff came to the car and guided us into the private carpark and shielded us from the rain to the doorstep of the apartment with umbrellas. While they did an introduction of the apartment, another staff helped bring down all the other barang barang.

The apartment was just next to the sea, sitting atop some boulders where the waves crashed against just below. There was a nice veranda with a hammock and a bed and some sitting area. A compact but complete kitchen, dining area and living room with cable tv and a modern designed toilet. There was aircon near a king size bed. The apartment staff was very friendly and gave us a local phone to contact them if we needed help.

Dining area and living room.
Open air compound attached to the villa.
Toilet with shower.
Mirror and sink.

We settled down for our packet lunch and then it was nap time for K. K was already feeling tired and going to sleep took only a while. The staff told us that the beach just opposite the Vimal shopping center was a good location for snorkeling and so I left for it, borrowing the snorkeling gears of goggles and flippers found in the apartment.

There were some locals fishing and selling big fishes by the road. I left my slippers on the rock and proceeded into the water with waves coming straight at the beach. I took a gulp of sea water after a while in the water as I was really rusty in snorkeling but later get the hang of it, trying to take some photos with my waterproofed camera. There weren’t a lot to see and my camera was behaving weirdly so I didn’t stay too long.

Little beach near the villa.
School of tiny fishes.
Sea urchins.
More fishes.
Occasionally bigger fish, and my chin.

Upon return to the apartment, found mommy preparing meals while K was still napping. Took a bath and sunned the wet clothes at the lines at the veranda before joining K in bed for a rest.

Around 6plus, K woke up and I got him dressed quickly as we were going to the Samoa circus. As the sun have set, the streets became dark illuminated only by sparsely distributed street lamps and many cars on the road in both directions.

We arrived at the circus at 7plus for the 7pm show and parked along the main road as the inner carpark seemed full. Purchased the cheapest tickets for 225rupees per adult and 125rupees for kid. There were better seats available but we didn’t go for that.

Samoa circus.
Circus tickets.

We bought some food at the counters just after the entrance and ordered 2 hot dog buns for 80rupees. Presented the tickets to the staff on the inside and were showed some empty seats. We were lucky to get the front seats of our category. Fed K in the often dimmed lighting after we downed the hot dogs and watch the show at the same time. Also bought K a wand that he was so amused with, for 25rupees. There was an intermission at the 1hr mark where we could get out of our uncomfortable benches ( the most expensive seats came with back rests) to walk about before returning for the remaining hour. It was a new experience for K who hadn’t seen a circus show before, one that had clowns, acrobatics, aerialists, magicians and death defying motorcycles in a ball cage.

Snack stores.
Balancing act.
Human fountain.
Another balancing stunt.
Human caterpillar?
Clown on a rope.
Motorcycle sphere.

The show ended at around 930pm where there was a chance for audience to take photos with the circus crew for 100rupees but we gave that a miss. It was then a 30mins drive back, similar to the drive there difference only with less cars.

We returned back to the apartment and started the night routine of cleaning up and preparing for bed. It was after 11pm that we slept.

Seychelles 2018 Day 8 – Curieuse island, Giant Tortoise and Anse Lazio beach

The day started early as we had a boat to catch. Mommy woke up as early as 630am to start meals preparations while I lazed in bed. Closer to 8am, i tried to wake K up as he seemed to be still sound asleep. It took a while before he woke up, fussy. The trip till date must have gotten everyone tired. We changed into new clothes as it was the first day of the Lunar New Year, including new socks.

Praslin sunrise.

As it was almost 9 before we left for our boat, K skipped breakfast. Reference to the poster that was sent to my FB messenger, it said that the Sagittarius boat taxis was located next to Paradise Sun. As we drove into Paradise Sun and after checking with the reception, they could be reached via the beach. Since the carpark was full, I was told to park in a corner except for blocking the main entrance so I left the car near the roundabout and we walked through the resort to the beach.

Compound of Paradise Sun resort.
Loungers beside the beach.

The Sagittarius boat taxis was housed in a hut and there was a short queue already with people requesting different boat trips. The lady actually kept a record of us coming and we paid 50euros for 2 adults to go to Curieuse Island. We were given a kids size life jacket and boarded a speedboat together with another couple. The speedboat needed to be boarded from the beach and so I took off my sneakers and walked barefooted to board.

Sagittarius Boat Taxi hut.
Queuing at the hut.
Pano of the St. Pierre beach.
Boarding our boat in knee deep water.

The couple dropped off at a tiny beautiful island of St. Pierre, surrounded by turquoise waters that seemed like a great place for snorkeling. There were another 2 boats that were there for groups of snorkeling people.

Small St. Pierre island.
Stand up paddler.

Next the boat zoomed across the calm waters and in 5mins we arrived at the beach front near the tortoise area. The boatman helped us to pay the 200rupees per person island fees and as we informed that we would only take two hours, we were then told to meet at the beach at the Doctor’s house at 1130am.

Arriving on Curieuse island.
Panorama view of the beach.
Free roaming tortoise near the beach.

For the first 1hr, K was quite fussy upon arrival but slowly warmed up to the free roaming giant tortoise walking around. We saw some baby tortoise at a small sheltered area and later went to a group of tortoises under the tree shades to try to feed them. It was fun to see them and to take photos with them and to try to feed them.

Giant Tortoise….

Then it was time to walk to the other beach which the boatmen told us would take about an hour. So after washing my feet with the water tap, I put on my socks and sneakers before carrying K and started to trek on the path towards our rendezvous location.

The trek was easy if we were walking without load but this was quite challenging when you have a carry a 12kg boy all the way. The path wasn’t straightforward, as some of the path up and down the hills were rocky and uneven. We took about 45 mins to get through, with some stopping on the wooden path to look at crabs and K doing some slow walking on the bridge coupled with one or two rest points.

Sign showing directions either to tortoise or Doctor’s house.
Rocky path
Wooden bridge at mangrove.
Crab seen on the mangrove sand.
Tortoise wanting to cross the bridge too?
Sandy path.
Panoramic view of mangrove.
1.7km between the 2 beaches.

Immediately upon arrival at the Doctor’s house, we left the barang barang with mommy on a bench while K and I went to look in the Doctor’s house. The 1st floor was an exhibit on the history of the house and island that I didn’t spend any time on as K wasn’t interested while the second floor had some display associated with the wildlife of the island.

Doctor’s house.
Mosaic on the wall.
Level 2.
Map of Curieuse island.
Level 1.

The boatman arrived a couple of minutes after 1130 and we all boarded the boat as he pulled it closed enough for us to get onboard (after I signaled for him to come closer as we were not dressed to get wet). Then it was a short 5mins boat ride back to Cote D’Or beach on Praslin.

View from the boat taxi.

We thanked the boatman and the lady who helped us off the boat (the boatman also returned the island fees tickets to us which should have been returned earlier) and went to one of the showers to wash off the sand (K had a little bit of fun scooping pool water) and proceeded to drive back to the apartment. I got off to return K’s meals containers and mommy brought back slippers for us to change us and we were then on our way to the best beach of Praslin, Anse Lazio.

Receipts for island fees.

The drive there was supposedly about 20mins but there were a couple of curves up and down the hill. We passed through a couple of beaches that looked pretty too but didn’t have time to stop. By the time we arrived, we saw a parking lot and a sign that say that we should park here as the lots near the beachfront would most likely be full. So as an obedient tourist, I did.

Anse Lazio parking.

As K had fallen asleep, mommy carried him and I took the rest of the barang barang. We walked a short 5mins walk to the Bonbon Plume restaurant, passing by another carpark lot that looked almost full but I would have gotten a lot if I drove in. We also passed by a small fenced area where there were giant tortoises and one was making out so loudly (2nd one I saw this trip) that must have woken K up.

Parking lot closer to the beach.
Tortoise enclosure near Bonbon Plume.

The restaurant was right in front of Anse Lazio beach and therefore the price came with it. We ordered crab curry and catch of the day and these came with a big bowl of rice, basket of bread and a small bowl of lentils. I was out taking some photos and arrived back to find the plates covered with my towel as mommy didn’t have hands to wave the flies (again!) away as she fed K.

Bonbon Plume restaurant.
Inside Bonbon Plume.

The fish was soft and nice as usual and I found the crab quite meaty and soft too, a little different from the crabs we had in Singapore. Mommy found it an issue to deshell and eat the crab but that was the only problem I guessed. The whole meal came up to 1025rupees as we had mango juice, apple juice, a coconut that didn’t taste sweet unlike those in Singapore, and scoop of vanilla ice cream that K loved.

Bread starters.
Fish fillet.
Curry crab.
Coconut juice.
Anse Lazio beach.

I brought K out to crash into the waves for a couple of times before we went to the toilet to clean up. Was warned by the staff there not to use the sink and was questioned if I was one of the restaurant guest in which I answered in a not so friendly manner. I asked for an alternative in which she brought us to the shower at the back and turned on the water for us to wash up. “Asked and we will show you.” Yup, got it.

Anse Lazio panorama.

Brought K back partially wet and used the beach towel to cover him as we drove all the way back to the apartment. Immediately we washed down all the sand in the bathroom and got ourselves ready for the afternoon nap.

All three of us knocked out soon enough but the evening part was more of the same old same old routine, since there was no real night life in Seychelles. Mommy had cooked her dinner and after all of us took a bath, we proceeded out for dinner. Thought we could get it from the takeaway mobile but it appeared to have closed so we returned to Pirogue Restaurant . This time there was a band singing slow happy beachy songs while we had our meals. I made my way to KKT supermarket to buy a bottle of mineral water so that we had enough to cook K’s meal the next day, before meeting mommy and K at the restaurant.

Band in Pirogue restaurant.

We ordered pasta for dinner, mine curried flavor with seafood while mommy’s seafood with spinach, but because the cheese turned her off, we had to switch (since curry flavour covered cheese well). She spilled her lime juice and we shifted table so that I could eat better, suggested by one of the kind staff.

Super cheesy rigatoni.
Coconut shake.

While K had fun with the steering wheel there, we finished the dinner in peace (more or less). With the addition of a mineral water for mommy to drink and my pretty nice coconut shake, the meal cost 605rupees.

We returned to the apartment for the routine night stuff with the addition of packing as this was the last night in Praslin. What made the night slightly more exciting was that we saw spiders in the room, not the common small ones that we were used to in Singapore, but those with the legs spread out reaching the size of my 3yr old son’s hand. Not one but 2! Thankfully these crawlies were just as afraid as we were of them, they quickly ran out of sight.

After K’s night cartoons of Messy goes to Okido and Jarmies, I struggled through 2 books of storytelling before we all went to bed.

Seychelles 2018 Day 7 – Valle de Mai and the Coco de Mer

Everyone slept in late and only woke up after 8am. Mommy woke up to prepare lunch for K while I stayed in bed with K who woke up 8 plus. I sent a message via FB messenger to ask about the boat schedule to Curieuse Island, to plan for the activity for the day. After we washed up, I went to the reception to ask about breakfast and they mentioned that breakfast will be served at the apartment itself. So I agreed to that at a cost of 15Euros per adult.

Soon one of the staff brought a tray of fruits and bread and a jar of fruit juice and tea. She also made used of our kitchen to cooked 4 sunny-side-up. K had a bowl of cereals. The birds here were very fast, and while we didn’t realized, I found them already on the table about to dig in before I quickly shoo them away.

Breakfast on the table.
Using the kitchen to prepare our eggs.

I realized the accommodation also offered boat trips to Curieuse at 50euros per pax inclusive of island fees. This was about 10Euros more than what Sagittarius boat taxis were offering but they hadn’t reply. Starfish boat charter have 2 timings of 9am and the other at 130pm.

We decided to visit the Valle de Mai today instead, and before driving out, I got the message reply saying that we could come in anytime. We would check them out the next day and drove our way to the UNESCO forest of Valle de Mai.

Before reaching, we stopped by ISPC supermarket to see if we could get any mosquito spray but it wasn’t sold there. Then another 10mins drive up the curvy road before we turned into the carpark of entrance.

ISPC supermarket

We met one of the guides that mentioned that she would be taking people into the forest for 150rupees per adult and so we agreed to follow her. Mommy went to purchase the tickets for 700rupees and a mosquito spray from the shop there. After using the restroom and applying the repellent, we walked with the guide into the forest.

Valle de Mai entrance.
Ticketing counter.
UNESCO heritage.
Entrance to the forest.

The 1hr guided walk was pretty informative and we definitely learnt a lot more from her information of the many different species within the forest, the Coco de mer plant and how it germinate, how to determine their age. At a certain point in the forest trail, she left us to complete the remaining 15mins back to the exit ( there was a much longer one but as it was repetitive and K was getting fussy, we took the shorter one). The repellent seemed to work against the mosquitoes. Everything seemed well until K became fussy and wanted to go home. He became uncooperative even with my handphone. I quickly stole a shot with the famous coco de mer seed before we exited the forest. It must have been the humid weather and him being bored. Bought a souvenir from the shop there, and a tee for K and visited the small museum opposite the stall that had some exhibits before we took the car and returned back to the apartment.

Male tree.
Female one.
What’s left of the tree after death.
Lizard carrying the pollens.
Nice walkpath in the forest.
Different parts of the tree.
Museum display.
The only black parrot we saw.

On the way back we stopped by a meat store Rosebelle store that sold meat and some other things like vegetables and drinks. We bought some pork and drinks and carrots and got back on the road.

Rosebelle store
Meat on sale
Shelves of other foodstuff

After we parked at our apartment, I entered the cleaned up apartment to place the stuff we bought in the kitchen while mommy brought K to the next door for lunch, at La Goulue.

Mommy ordered a prawns with chips and I had curry fish. The food was overall decent but the flies flying around trying to sneak a landing on the food were quite annoying. We ended the lunch in the hot weather with a nice scoop of vanilla icecream, for 545rupees.

La Goulue restaurant
Prawns and chips
Curry chicken
Vanilla icecream

Back at the apartment, we took a short shower and changed into something comfortable to take an afternoon nap. It was already 3pm plus coming to 4 when we all fell asleep.

About 2 hours later, the night routine started with mommy and her meal preparations while I entertained K with his toys before we got out to the Cote D’Or beach before the sunset.

It was low ride and we played around in the calm waters and small waves. I carried K walking towards the sea trying to find fishes to see. There were really tiny ones and no sea cucumber which he wanted to see. Suddenly from our backs, two boys were saying something like “No shark”? That got me startled a little but as the water was clear, we didn’t see any sharks. As they got closer in the waters they started to throw lines with a attached bait and I asked if they were fishing for sharks. They replied affirmatively but I wasn’t sure if they understood what I meant.

Cote D’or beach pano.
Kids that were fishing for sharks.
After sunset.
After sunset at the beach.

After a couple more water plays and photos of the beach at sundown, we went back to take a nice shower and dressed up for dinner. Took a quick look on TripAdvisor and there was a Cafe des Arts nearby that was high in position and so we drove there. It was a small street that seemed to led into village rather than the beach but on reaching the end of the road, there was a parking space.

A security guard stood nearby and asked if we had reservations but we didn’t. He told us to park the car first and as we got off, he said that there was a dress code and took us to walk through the beach entrance instead of through the resort itself. From a distance to the dining area, he signaled to a lady staff who came over and I asked if we could have dinner here. She said that the restaurant didn’t cater for kids and pointed us to Pirogue Restaurant & Bar lodge instead. Too bad.

Cafe Des Arts
Cafe des Arts restaurant

The guard led us back the same route and explained that the restaurant could be reached via walking but for a car, we needed to make a turn back on to the main road and a left into Cote D’or esplanade road, the same street where we had our lunch on first day, closed to our apartment.

Drove there in less than 5mins and parked just opposite the restaurant, that also belonged to Pirogue Restaurant . The restaurant was pretty packed but we managed to get a table.

While we waited for our meals of chicken and mushroom spaghetti and sweet and sour pork noodles, plus tomato soup, a cooler drink and a banana milkshake, K ate his pasta with the boiled pork mommy bought at the meat shop in the afternoon. The pork was tough though.

The chilled tomato soup was something different as we were expecting a warm one but it was nice, cool and slightly spicy. Then the large plate of spaghetti and noodles came and we already knew that we would be well fed this meal. The mains were ok but mommy thought that her pork was more sweet than sour, typical of the foodstuff here and very tough meat too. K was well behaved throughout, focused on completing his dinner so as to return to the apartment to watch his new favorite cartoon called Messy goes to Okido.

Pirogue restaurant
Path to the restaurant
Basket of bread.
Chilled tomato soup.
Noodles with pork.
Inside the restaurant.

We paid the bill of 759rupees and drove back to the apartment. While we all prepared for the night, washing and cleaning, K stayed in front of the Telly for Little Ponies, Messy goes to Okido and Jarmies before we go sleep with a storybook and a bottle of milk.

Seychelles 2018 Day 6 – Valentine’s on Praslin

It was a moving day with a ferry booked at 1030am to Praslin and as usual, we woke up early to pack and prepare K’s meals. K woke up close to 8 and I had to motivate him to get prepared by bringing him his toothbrush and changing his clothes. After some persuasion, we got out of the room to have breakfast at the same dining area as the day before.

After we spent some time at the fusball machine, the staff served the same drinks we had yesterday. I asked for sunny-side-up this time around and that came soon after the fruit platter of mango, banana and papaya was served. The toast this time came with a small dish of jam and 4 slices of ham.

Fruit Platter


Sunny side up
Ham and butter

We finished our meal at 915 and went back up to the room to bring our luggage down. Couldn’t find the landlord initially but she appeared and we handed over the keys. Was informed of transport arrangements when we first checked in but we thought we would just push the luggage to the jetty since it was 935 already.

The short stroll with K seated on top of one of the luggage drew friendly attentions from few of the locals as they rode by on their bicycles. We soon reached the jetty office and learning from the initial boat trip, I brought my printed paper to the Inter Island Boats office at the jetty. After queuing for a bit, the counter staff told me to go direct to the jetty as the company was different – Inter Island Ferries. I knew that the companies were different but that was the closest I could find and I tried my luck.

Inter Island Boats office

Walked to the jetty and asked one of the staff there and he informed us to just push our luggage there and wait for the ferry and handover the paper to the staff later on. Much simpler than what we had in Mahe.

Back at the jetty office we sat on the benches while K entertained an Angmo mother and her daughter with his stories of his wooden giant tortoise and roller coasters. It was quite amusing to see the chatty boy going on and on with strangers.

When the ferry pulled in at the jetty, we made our way to lined up behind a short line of passengers while those onboard disembarked and had their luggage unloaded. Then we boarded by handing over our luggage to the staff who loaded into the boat immediately as I handed over the paper. There were passengers who paid on the spot for tickets.

The ferry to Praslin.

We went on to the second level but under shelter and enjoyed the 15mins transfer to Praslin. K didn’t feel unwell and that was great, compared to the first boat trip to Praslin!

A far away tiny island view from the ferry.

Once we disembarked, we found a lady holding up a name board with my name on it. Immediately we approached her and was welcome with a handshake. She helped with one of the luggage after it was unloaded and we boarded her taxi that took us to the Capricorn car rental 5mins drive from the jetty. In the small office, we were once again welcomed by the staff who proceeded to carry out the paper works and introduction of the island with a map and then charged 180euros for 3days of i10 grand rental (excess 3500euros). A car check later (luggage already loaded in) we were on our way to the apartment 10mins drive away.

Praslin ferry terminal.

We arrived at L’Hirondelle guest house at around noon and went to the reception to check in. The place looked nice and was near the beach just across the road. Although we were early, the room was ready as we waited and sipped on our welcome drinks. We were given a apartment on the ground level with open concept living room and kitchen. The bedroom and bathroom looked nice but didn’t come with a tub.

L’Hirondelle apartments.
Welcome fruit juice.
Our ground floor apartment.
Opens directly to the living room and kitchen.
Huge bed.
Small dresser.
Spacious toilet.
Lovely towel swans.
Powder sand at Cote D’or Beach

We then drove around in search for lunch, first visiting the stretch of road with restaurants and shops along the Cote D’or esplanade. Didn’t see anything striking and proceeded to drive further north but didn’t expect to not find anything after Raffles so we made a Uturn. By this time K had already fallen asleep so we returned to that steet to find a restaurant Les Lauriers, but didn’t realized that they close on Wednesday’s. Since K was sleeping we decided to drive to ISPC supermarket that we had past along the way from the car rental to get some groceries.

Parked in front of the ISPC supermarket, mommy went down to get the food while I looked after K who had by now woken up from the transferring from mommy to me. He became grouchy until mommy came back and we drove back to the apartment to put the supermarket stuff ( there weren’t much choices in the supermarket and they were expensive) in the fridge. We later drove back to an Italian restaurant Da Luca pizzeria to have our lunch.

ISPC Supermarket

Ordered an Octopus curry and Penne allo Norma, a beer and mineral water for 610rupees. The octopus curry was really delicious I thought. Although we would like to have ice cream for dessert, there weren’t any ice cream for sale.

Da Luca restaurant.
Octopus curry.
Inside Da Luca restaurant.

We went over to the KKT supermarket nearby to get more foodstuff like milk and water. Then proceeded across the street to get 2 fresh fishes direct from fisherman who should have just returned from the sea, for 75rupees. He then prepared the fish for us while we went to get plastic bags to bring back the fish. Mommy also bought some fruits from the fruit seller nearby.

KKT supermarket.
Inside the supermarket.
Frozen octopus in the fridge.
Getting fish from the fisherman
Descaling in progress.
Fruits stall.

We returned to the apartment and prepared K for the afternoon nap. This was when we found out that due to the open concept design, it could get really noisy. Our neighbors were talking really loudly and the noise permeate through the vented doors and into the bedroom. Thankfully K managed to fall asleep. I did for a while but the beer was giving me a headache.

Mommy started the meal preparations at 5ish, cooking the fish that she bought which she claimed was really fresh. K woke up at 6, and we all took our baths and prepared ourselves (dress code for man to be in trousers) for a Valentines dinner at the TripAdvisor number 1 restaurant in Praslin.

While we were about to leave, the rain started to drizzle and I couldn’t get an umbrella from the reception because it was closed. So we hurried to the car with just one umbrella.

The drive there was difficult to say the least, the sparsely lighted street coupled with the rain made visibility low. Furthermore, as we had to drive to the other coast, we had to go through the mountainous roads that had bends but no light reflectors so I just took my time to drive. The headache added to the struggle.

After some 30mins of driving, google led me to the middle of nowhere and I had to stopped to recheck the map. Fortunately it was just a few more meters down the road where we arrived at the carpark of a posh (better) looking restaurant.

Les Rochers spacious interior oozed luxury and the staff recommendation for a seat elsewhere to chill first before going to dinner told of an experience unlike other – it was going to be expensive. We were expecting it anyway and were ok with a little splurge especially on Valentine’s night.

Les Rochers at night.

There were seats out closer to the beach but because of the drizzle, we just sat at our table and waited for the meals. We ordered a local crab soup to share, a lobster meal and a grilled fish meal. But what came was a lot more, like banana snacks, fried onions, garlic bread, a veggie salad and boiled vegetables. The table was full by the time dinner was served completely.

Inside the Les Rochers restaurant.
Table lighting.

The soup was quite tasty with real crab bits to eat (with the shell too). Both meals came with 3 portions and for the lobsters were 3 halves. The fish was fresh and soft like most of the fish fillets that I had in Seychelles and I thought the lobster was ok grilled in ginger garlic. The rest of the other dishes were quite nice, no wonder this restaurant maintained its top position on TripAdvisor.

Banana chips
Garlic bread.
Fried onions.
Crab soup.
Fish fillets.

Dinner was at a real relaxed pace, allowing the diners time to enjoy the food and each other company. There was even a no WiFi board that reiterated this point. We left late after 930pm after a nice family photo and a quick look around the restaurant especially near the beach area.

No Wifi, talk to each other.
Outside dining area

The drive home was taken slowly because of trying to avoid both a road accident and a puke accident. We arrived back at the apartment uneventfully and proceeded to clean up dishes before getting into bed.

Seychelles 2018 Day 5 – Anse Source D’Agent beach and Giant Tortoises

I woke up at 530am, and decided to go for my weekly run. The tiled grounds were straight and in good condition which I thought was a better choice to carry out my routine rather than in Mahe. Changed into my attire, I exited the room quietly and in the dark and started off my running app and my Pokémon Go.

Heading northwards to get around to the east side of the island in order to catch the sunrise, I jogged my normal pace and past through the jetty and onwards. The road started to become undulating with upslopes and downslopes. I ran past a cemetery and some nice luxurious accommodation and found a giant tortoise next to the road. Continuing on, there was just bits and pieces of accommodation both private and for tourists before I noticed the light streaks peeking out of the horizon. I found the next entrance into the beach and went through to get my picture of the sunrise. Cloudy one but it’s fine.

Sunrise pano from La Digue.

Made my way back the same path and saw a few other tourists either jogging or cycling to this part of the beach too, probably for the sunrise. I returned to the apartment with a 7km distance clocked and continued past to the only Pokémon gym on the island to park my Pokémon there. Then back to the room at about 715am to find mommy awoke and K still sleeping. Quickly washed up from the sweat and all and rested a bit before K woke up.

Another beach on the east side, but a rocky one.
Selfie with the free roaming tortoise.
Kirche church

After mommy had started the pressure cooker for K’s lunch and I had got K ready, we proceeded to the free breakfast that the apartment have for us at the ground level. There was another couple already there and we chose a seat closer to the beach to enjoy the slight sea breeze and nice view.

The breakfast was ok with a small fruit platter consisting of avocado, banana and papaya, toast and an egg of our choice. Coffee was instant coffee and there was a fruit juice too. There were only 2 portions but K shared ours which was enough. There was a plate of honeyed sea coconut (I assumed) which I thought was nice but mommy found it too sweet.

Fruit platter.
Tea and juice.
Honeyed sea coconut
Breakfast area
Panorama from the beachfront.

We returned to the apartment for K to catch some TV while mommy prepared the meals so that we could go visit the Anse Source D’Agent beach, proclaimed to be most photographed beach in the world. Once ready and after several negotiations and convincing K, we managed to leave.

Went downstairs to check with the landlord if she had bicycles with a baby seat but she didn’t. Her neighbor which was a bicycle rental shop seemed to have one but the owner wasn’t around. No choice we brought all our barang barang back to La Passe to find a bicycle rental store.

The first one we saw was Tati’s and he said he ran out on the baby seat too, and had one on reservation. He told us to continue northwards somemore. We walked a couple more distance and a man caught our attention with a “bicycle?” And we replied “Baby seat?” He nodded and we followed. A small path from the Main Street not too far away, we came to a Extra Miles bicycle rental opposite the fire station and got 2 bicycles for day rental of 300rupees. I guessed we could have bargained but I wasn’t patient and paid for it anyways. The deal was for us to return by 530pm the same day.

Extra Miles bicycle rental.

Loaded K in, and a lot of our barang barang at our front baskets, we took off southwards after a couple of swaying and getting used to. Stopped a while back at our apartment to bring down the large STC supermarket bag (which was non plastic. They were pretty big on being environmentally friendly) to stash the rest of the barang and we ride to the L’union Estate where we had to pay for the tickets to get to the beach. It costed us 115rupees per adult (K was exempted) and we rode through the estate.

L’Union estate park sign.
Tickets to the park.

The estate offered a few things to see, like a huge area where there were a lot of giant tortoises and a small area of baby tortoises that K was fascinated with. There was a cow that was working a rotating mill but I wasn’t sure what it was grinding (probably vanilla) and there was a vanilla plantation there. We headed to the most interested location of the estate, the Anse Source D Agent beach.

Following the signs to the beach.
Stacked together to sleep.
Baby tortoises in an enclosure.
Tortoise enclosure at L’Union estate.
Vanilla plantation.
Cow working the mill.

We had to park our bicycles outside the beach and walked a few meters to the popular giant boulders beach with a ridiculously turquoise water front. Found a nice shaded area to lay our beach towels and from there, it was trudging into slightly below waist deep warm waters, to look at the sea life. The clear waters showed fishes big and small. It was a nice experience but K didn’t want to get wet so I carried him all the way. From our position in the waters, we could see the beautiful beach. The shallow waters offered a nice soaking position but I didn’t stay too long for fear of sunburn. We had some beach side time as well, playing with sand and mommy walked around to explore too. Less than an hour on the beach and we were on our way out.

Path to the beach.
Pano from the beach
Big fish in shallow waters.
Even dogs enjoyed the dip.
Carrying K as we explored the shallow waters.
Reflection of the clouds above.
People in the far distance enjoying the low water level.
Panorama of the beach from the water.
Tortoise doing it.

We went to STC supermarket where mommy bought some veggies and then we dropped off the items into the fridge, emptied the bags to lessen the load, washed up a bit before we rode northwards. Initially wanted to go to Chez Jules at the other side of the road. But once we hit the first slope, mommy had a change of mind as it was a challenge for her to negotiate the slope and the many others later on. We made a U turn and found a Mi Mum takeaway. We turned into it and mommy was initially going to get takeaway as suggested by the shop name, she returned to inform that there were sitting places for us to have our meals. At this time, the bike fell to the side with k in it! I reacted quickly to prevent the drop to the ground and Although there wasn’t any physical signs of injury, he said his arm hurt. As he was still able to move the arm without pain, I presumed it was just superficial.

Mi Mum takeaway.

Mommy came to bring him to the sitting area while I secure the bicycles. Joined them afterwards and ordered Chow Mein (fried noodles) and sweet chili chicken with rice, all for a cheap 160rupees. Mommy even tabao chips to go at 25 rupees.

Stall inside
Chow Mein
Chicken with rice

After eating, we went to one of the souvenir store and bought K a wood carving of a giant tortoise as he was amused with it. Then we walked over to a artisan kiosk but didn’t get anything from there. Later we made a stop at the post office and wrote ourselves a postcard which we should receive after we returned home, giving K a feel of how the postal services work.

Souvenir store.
La Passe Artisan Kiosk.
Post office.
Shops on La Digue.
Picturesque view at the jetty.

We drove past a fisherman selling huge fish by the street before we finally arrived back at the apartment. Secured the bicycles while mommy went to get some items from the supermarket including ice cream to cool us off, just next to Chez Marston. Washed up K and myself before K caught some TV, drank a packet of milk before taking his afternoon nap. The hot sun drained all our energy and we all took a nap.

Big fish on sale.

While I woke up earlier than the rest, partly due to the noises generated by the next door from hammering works, I spend some time on jotting the travel experiences so far.

At about 520pm, I went downstairs to ride 2 bicycles back to the rental shop. I have seen the locals riding 3 bicycles, one in the center holding one bike each hand, I found it quite a challenge even to ride with one and to hold another one. I missed the street to turn in and was called by the owner while he was at the jetty office. He took one from me while we made our way to the store.

While walking back to the apartments I noticed a group of men playing what looked like palm size metallic balls, but in the styles of kampung marbles, shooting from a distance. And they are so damn accurate that impressed me!

Some huge metal ball game.

Walked further and visited the supermarket next to Chez Marston and saw the shelves full of stuff and a corner selling meat. All was quite warm inside the store, so I left quickly with a soda.

Inside the supermarket.
Some soda drink.

Back at the apartment, mommy had woken up and started dinner preparations while K was lazing in bed. Changed him out of his clothes for dinner and as the sun began to set (which had a beautiful view) mommy was also ready. We left the apartment walking towards Gala takeaway, with phone lights on.

The little building had places for us to dine in and while mommy lined up to buy dinner, we sat at the back under the aircon, a little cooler than everywhere else in that building. The total costs were 160rupees for a chicken with chips meal (grilled fish was not available for on demand orders) and curry vegetables meal plus one bowl of caramel bananas (recommended by forum), and 2 drinks. The food wasn’t fantastic but the caramel bananas were nice.

Gala takeaway.
Caramel banana and chicken and chips.
Curry vegetables rice.
Inside Gala takeaway.

We walked back the dark street with a clear skies of stars, something that kept K walking the whole distance back. Stopped at one of the only stores still opened selling foodstuff and bought a liter of water before going back to the apartment.

Only shop opened in the dark.

Then it was bath time, TV time and milk time. Both parents were nodding on and off to sleep. It had been quite a tiring day. Nights off at 1030pm.

Seychelles 2018 Day 4 – Ferry to La Digue

The usual weekday alarm sounded but I was soon back to sleep until it was about 630 where mommy woke me up to pack up. There weren’t much to pack as I have done so pretty much the night before and went back to bed, jotting down the memories of the previous day into iPhone note. K woke up soon before 8 and soon we were on the dining table having breakfast of bread and biscuits. By 845 we were all dressed, luggage loaded up and were just waiting for the landlord to arrive. She arrived at about 9am, nothing much mentioned except for some guide on how to get to the terminal and we were on our way.

I took the supposedly easier route of going via Anse Royale but a total of 40mins drive as the uphill and downhill route was much shorter compared to the one we took on the first day on Mahe, thus less dizzy for K. Indeed he survived without puking and soon we were on a much straighter and smoother drive passing the airport on the right and towards the ferry terminal. Although there were some road works along the way, every road stoppage was in our favor all the way till the terminal.

Upon turning into the carpark, the Absolute Cars rental staff whom had earlier arrived was waving to us. We dropped off the car as fast as we picked it up and then proceeded into the departure where one of the nice waiting passengers directed us to the ticketing counter to check in our luggage. Dragging the 2 luggage across the rugged road, we went into the Cat Cocos office. The internal staff directed me next door to exchange my web printout for tickets. Then I returned back to the luggage check in to put in the 2 huge luggages before heading back to the departure to queue.

Ticketing office
Luggage check in counter
Ferry to La Digue
Long queue

While waiting we decided that we should do a euro exchange at Mahe instead of at the islands which could be more expensive. So we went to the Cash Plus office and changed 500euros at a pretty good rate of 16.55 rupees per euro.

Cash Plus office
Wind mills.

The boarding started soon after but it was moving rather slowly. We chose a seat close to the front and the ferry started to move off at about 1035am. Then it wasn’t a good 1hr ride to Praslin.

Leaving Mahe.

K suffered from seasickness and was vomiting a couple of times throughout. Then once we stopped at Praslin, I thought it was over and brought him out to the front of the ferry. Then he felt nauseous again and started vomiting. I quickly brought him close to the side of the ferry so that he could vomit over the side.

Inside Cat Cocos.

I brought him back to the seat to rest and soon it was a 15mins trip to Praslin, with no further issues. Grateful for the number of puke bags available onboard.

We got off the ferry and had to wait for our luggage to disembark. It was quite crowded and messy as everyone was waiting for their luggage. We had to wait a bit before ours appeared and we took them and got on our way. Although there was supposedly no cars on La Digue, there were quite a couple of them while we were pushing our luggage towards our apartment of Marie France apartment, 450m from the jetty. It wasn’t easy to drag the luggage on the tiled road but it wasn’t long before we turned into the entrance of a little double floors apartment.

Arriving in La Digue
Welcome to La Digue.
Marie France beachfront apartments

Mommy brought K to check in first while I wrestled the heavy luggage to the base of the stairs. Overheard a conversation about K wasn’t included in the booking and mommy saying that she had included in the comments. Found that the Seychellois accommodations were very particular in including kids in their booking and would charge pretty hefty amount to include them even though they utilize the same space. This was what happened for a couple of the accommodation booked. They let this slide though.

We were brought up to the second level after given our keys and WiFi password and led into a compact room that came with a balcony with sea view. There was a tiny space for preparing food by microwave but no stove for cooking. The bathroom was small too, without a tub. This was much less luxurious than the one we had in Mahe but in La Digue, the same one would have costed a lot more.

Room with kitchenette.
Swans on beds.
Pano view of from the balcony.

We had initially planned to do an island hopping trip with Nevis Ernesta to Felicite/Coco island but looking at how K suffered, we decided against it. We then walked to the supermarket to get some foodstuff so that mommy can prepare K’s meals and followed Google map to STC supermarket at Gregoire’s store. The supermarket looked huge on the outside but didn’t come with fresh meat. Bought frozen chicken thighs, fresh milk, water and eggs and a pair of Havanias slippers with Toy Story printed on it for K.

Car less street.
STC supermarket.
Inside the supermarket.

On our way back, we decided to stop at Chez Marston for lunch. Ordered a curry chicken and some baked fish on a hot plate that had 2 large fish fillets on it. This was a filling and tasty lunch for a price of 495rupees. It was not a bad place to have lunch but mommy was kinda annoyed by the table of guests behind us that had someone wearing strong perfume.

Chez Marston restaurant.
Inside Chez Marston restaurant.
Curry chicken rice.
Fish fillet.

After lunch, we returned back to the apartment for K’s afternoon nap. The place didn’t have thick curtains or sound insulated walls and thus it wasn’t easy to fall asleep. The noise from the people outside made it worse but thankfully K at least slept for a good 2hrs and his parents got some rest as well.

Mommy was up making dinner and K woke shortly. He was watching some TV which thankfully had Jim Jam channel that was specifically for kids. Characters like Bob the builder, Pingu, Lowly worm and Barney made frequent appearances and of course My Little Ponies. We decided to check out the beach just outside the apartment downstairs and got ourselves 2 beach towels from the landlord.

It was a cloudy sunset but beautiful nonetheless. I brought K into the shallow waters but he didn’t like to go into the waters, unless it was gushing into him like the waves in Anse Intendance. Anyhow, I carried him and walked towards the ocean pointing out sea cucumbers and fishes as we spotted them. Underneath the seaweed were sometimes hard and sharp stuff so I threaded carefully, being barefooted and carrying K. Water was not cold and it was really nice.

Sea cucumbers can be seen in clear shallow waters.
Crab under water.
Crabs on the beach.

Back at the beach K played a little bit of sand but as it was getting dark quickly since the sunset, we all returned to the apartment for a quick wash down before heading out for dinner ( a shower was available near the entrance to the beach for the initial washing off of sand).

Sunset on La Digue.
Pralin island.

Earlier on we passed through a rather posh Le Repaire hotel. After going in the direction of the jetty and finding most of the places dark (except for some restaurant that mommy wasn’t fond of visiting due to poor reviews), we went back to this Italian restaurant. As we arrived, there was another group waiting to be seated. The area looked pretty full, must be a restaurant that served good food.

La Digue at night.
Le Repaire restaurant.

We waited a while (K was entertained by a kitten and the nice furniture setting of the accommodation) and was shown a table. Ordered a Penne Amatricana and a Tagliatelle with pork and a Le Repaire tea for 680rupees. The food I thought was pretty tasty except for the Penne that had a little strong cheese flavour that we weren’t used to. The ice tea was pretty nice too, but the quiet atmosphere and the friendly staff made the dining experience one of the better ones in Seychelles.

Inside Le Repaire restaurant.
Cheesy Penne.
Le Repaire tea.

After using the restroom (K went in quick succession, could be too full), we paid the bill and returned back to the apartment. The night was then about bathing and cleaning up the utensils and mommy knocked out early. I went through the same routine of watching tv, K drinking milk and reading stories of planets and astronauts before turning off the lights, with the background of waves accompanying us through the night.

Seychelles 2018 Day 3 – Anse Intendance, Anse Royale town and Maria’s rock cafe

We all woke up at around 7ish and K immediately got out of bed and went to the kitchen counter, asking for the packet milk. As he had seen it yesterday and I told him that I would allow him to have it in the morning, that was then his first task once he woke up. Funny.

Morning tasks involved the preparations of lunch for mommy and getting K prepped for the day for me. K just ate his breakfast of bread and cookies and watch TV while I had to clean up the crumbs after him while he walked around.

We had some milo that mommy bought from the supermarket the day earlier and I tried to make coffee which I thought was filtered but wasn’t. Used the filter from the machine to filter it manually.

View from the balcony

We cancelled our initial plan of going to Moyenne island as mommy felt that it was a little tiring for a day trip to end at 4pm, concerned that K, having woke up at 7am, lacked the sleep. Anyhow, we would also be seeing the giant tortoise in Curieuse Island. Instead we would be visiting one of the beautiful beach called Anse Intendance some 30mins away by car.

Packed and then we were on our way. Taking the coastal road, the roads became narrower as we drove. No wonder there weren’t many big cars around. Soon we saw the signage for Banyan Tree resorts. I passed it thinking that there was another turn as the google map didn’t reflect that. Had to make a Uturn afterwards which was not easy as I had to find space. Back to the road that led to Banyan tree, we reached to the end and found Banyan tree entrance and a dirt road. Wasn’t sure if the dirt road was meant for driving and asked a person standing nearby. He informed that we just that to drive through the dirt road and the parking for the beach was a 2mins away. So we went through a real bumpy one before arriving at an open space and parked our car there.

Public carpark for Interdance Beach.
Path to beach
A short walk

It was slightly drizzling but the weather managed to hold up as we made our way to the beach. Right after some warning signages informing about dangerous waves during the Sept period, and another talking about sea turtles laying their eggs on this beach ( its one of the beaches that sea turtles come lay their eggs from Oct), we came up to a powdery sand beach with turquoise water and medium size waves crashing onto the beach. We walked towards Banyan tree and chose a shaded area to sit down. There wasn’t any tables and chairs and shelters for public use, the loungers were for the resorts guests. There weren’t any cleaning facilities either. We were frankly under prepared as it was our first beach visit.

Interdance beach that was mostly empty early in the day.

Anyhow we still continued to let K enjoy himself. Took out the sand scoop where he dumped sand all over after he had sunscreen applied on him unwillingly. Managed to show him a tiny crab crawling on the ground. Brought him to the waters where the wave crashed in and he had such crazy fun, screaming as the waters flushed our legs in all directions. Needless to say, K was mostly all wet and sandy and myself too, only a little less.

Tiny crab on the beach

After spending about an hour there, the sun became quite unbearable and so we returned back to the shade and changed K out into a new set of clothes. Then we trudged through the sand back to our cars, during this time the beach was getting busier. It was amazing how these people could prefer such a time to go under the sun.

These public beaches were really left untouched, so much so that there weren’t even restrooms and wash down facilities (at least I couldn’t find it) like that you would expect in East Coast Park. The car suffered a sandstorm as a consequence but heck, if there weren’t sand in the car, we hadn’t been to Seychelles!

We drove towards Anse Royale town and K was visibly exhausted from the play, relatively quiet during the trip there. Town was really small and most of the shops closed. Didn’t even realized that we had arrived and passed through it 2 times! Then we saw a certain Kreol Kafe and thought we would stopped there for lunch. It was indeed good choice, the location was beautiful, beach set up with a beautiful view of Anse Royale beach. While we waited for our Hawaiian pizza to be baked, I took a stroll to the beach to get some pictures and feel the nice gentle waters.

Anse Royale as we passed in the car.
Kafe Kreol
Inside the cafe


Loungers near Kafe Kreol
Dining area on the beach
Pano of beachfront at Kafe Kreol.
Anse Royale in the background.
Clear waters

Since it was going to take some time, mommy suggested that I drive to the Anse Royale beach itself to get some photos – we passed through it just before arriving at the cafe was enchanted by its scenery! I drove and parked at the public carpark next to it, (luckily to slot in on arrival as it was a pretty popular beach with cars packing the parking lot) and got off to walk on powdery but packed sand and to the waters. It was warm and nice and the huge boulders and island made the place looked like a paradise! Couldn’t help but took a selfie and even video down the scenery.

At the roadside carpark at Anse Royale
Anse Royale beach
Anse Royale beach

Returned to the restaurant and K was finishing his meal. The water splashed on the tabletop of his child’s seat and an empty glass told a story of him being clumsy during lunch, usual of a kid. Pizza was just arriving and it was huge. So both mommy and me shared the pizza without ordering more food. We ended with one scoop of vanilla ice cream to cool of the sweltering heat and K took most of it, almost wanting to drink up the melted cream too. This ended up with a bill of 345rupees that included a 1liter mineral water.

Bread starter
Hawaiian pizza fresh from the oven.

I drove to the petrol station just opposite the cafe and pumped 5liter gas, expecting to bring the level back to a quarter. For whatever reason, after paying 100rupees, the level didn’t move at all (the attendant would be doing the dirty work as you drive the car and pay directly to him. He didn’t bother returning the change, it was about 18rupees per liter). I went to pick up mommy and K from the supermarket close by and drove in for another round, this time I specified by amount paid (200rupees) and the level shot to half tank! I over top up by a quarter tank.

We drove back to the villa and took some time to wash down all the sand, from the clothes to the toys and the body. The sun was shining brightly and it would be a sin not to sun our wet clothes. There was a clothes hanger outside the apartment and I hung everything that I washed there. Then we prepared for the afternoon nap, both mommy and K were  exhausted and felt asleep shortly and I took a short nap and woke up to jot down the happenings the 2 days that past.

Sunset at our balcony.

Mommy woke up to prepare dinner for K and a while later, K also woke up. After a bit of TV while we prepared to go out for dinner, we drove towards Maria’s rock cafe, 15mins away. Enroute, we stopped at a store to get water (to last us till the next morning, mommy need to cook. Though Seychelles tap water could be boiled, we always took the more conservative approach for K’s meal). There was a outside party going on across the road with many cars parked along side the road and many people gathered with some music playing in the background.

A tiny store still open where we bought water.
Just opposite was a local party ongoing.

We drove on and the streets became darker, contributed by the setting sun and the lack of street lamps. The restaurant was at a really ulu location and in a narrow street after passing Kempinski Resort. There was once at a location where I had to park very close to the edge so that the other cars could pass the one car width road. Nonetheless, we managed to get there and parked in front of the restaurant, that had a pirate theme to it.

Maria’s Rock cafeteria
Elevated restaurant, the only lighted place.

Ordered a meal of prawns and fish fillet and passion fruit juice and Fanta orange. The food was to be self cooked on a hot hot plate. Greasing the plate with their 2 formulae of butter with some unknown ingredients, the fish fillet and the fresh prawns were then put onto the plate, sizzling and releasing steam up into the air with the smell of BBQ seafood. Adding sauce to the one plate of rice and veggies salad (since we only ordered one meal), the dinner was pretty delicious! The prawns were fresh and the fish tasted tender and nice. The rice was tasting good with the sauce, a little bit like tobasco without the spiciness. As the portions weren’t enough for 2 of us, we ordered another one this time with fish only.

Juice and Fanta
Before cooking
End product
Fish, onions and carrots

While K entertained himself at the pirate ship that came with a skeleton steering wheel and a nice hammock to watch the stars in the clear night sky, we cleared the 2nd portion of the meal and I ordered a Creole Cappuccino, cappuccino with the addition of spice, to end the dinner. A meal that costed 707rupees.

Pirate ship next to the restaurant
Skull steering wheel
Scrapping spice over the cuppa.
Kreol Cappucino

The drive back was mostly done in the dark illuminated once in a while by the sparsely installed street lamps. As it was late (by Seychelles standards) there weren’t many cars around. There were however quite a number of people walking along the road. I had to drive slowly and a few times I had to brake because I wasn’t sure what I saw on the road. As a result, K vomitted in the car once we arrived back at the apartment. Quickly got K out and immediately cleaned up quickly hopefully that the stench will not remain.

The night was spent bathing in the tub, cleaning up the dishes and packing in preparations for our transfer to La Digue the next day. We slept at about 11pm, seemed like we had already adjusted to Seychelles timing.

Seychelles 2018 Day 2 – Arrival into Mahe

The iPhone alarm woke me up at 430am and I quickly got up to brush my teeth and awoken up mommy while at it. Changed K out of his PJs which was slightly wet due to pee leakage from his diapers and K also woke up. He was quick to adjust especially when I told him that we were taking another flight where he could watch the Little Pony again and became cooperative.

At 445am there was a morning call in the form of hard knocking on the door. We had to answer the door to acknowledge before going back to the packing. Then 5am again. We left the room at 505 and checked out, while we heard some conversation between the staff and our neighbors as they hadn’t check out yet.

Waiting at first floor were some other guests too. We guessed it right, the transfer was not only for us but for a few guests. While some like us did not really need the 3hrs, the others did. We boarded the 20 seater bus and it drove to another hotel a few distance down and picked up a couple before zooming through the quiet streets of Negombo. K was already tired and was lying across my lap resting before we arrived at the departure terminal of the airport.

Mini bus.

We went through the bag checks and walked through immigration. Proceeded to the 2nd level where the shopping area was and had our breakfast at Coffee Bean, the total costs was 4000rupees. That took out half the amount that we changed the previous day but it was fine. There were also charging ports available and I had to plug in my dying phone. We all shared croissant, quiche and cheesecake and then took a walk around before waiting at the seats facing the runway where the planes were parked.

Breakfast at Coffee Bean.
Big baby care room in the airport.

Before we knew it, it was time to board and after using the toilets, we quickly go through the gates for yet another round of scanning before entering a waiting area where buses brought the passengers to the planes on the runway for boarding. After we settled down, K started his video while we all rested and waited for the takeoff.

It was a smooth flight and similarly as the flight in the previous day, K got his breakfast earlier. This time around, the food was ok for both the spicy local and the international. K also took a 1.5hrs nap after his breakfast while I was napping for a bit and then got up to watching some episodes of Big Bang Theory (the movies were limited and I wasn’t interested in the rest). There were short episodes of turbulence that accompanied the journey but no drama too.

Child’s meal.
Adult meal

Soon we were descending into regions of calm waters and the plane landed nicely into the airport of Seychelles, on time at about 1030am! The temperature was also hot, hotter than Singapore comparatively at this time. As expected, it was a small airport and we had to walk on the tarmac to get into the immigrations. Got our passport stamped and proceeded to the luggage belt, hopping that the luggage had arrived safely, and it did.

Brought the luggage through customs and out into the arrival. Was hoping to see my name on the cardboard as mentioned in the email instructions from Absolute Cars rental but didn’t see any. So we figured that we settle some of our stuff first by going to the forex to exchange some rupees while mommy lined up at Airtel to get data plan. Barclays was the only one opened and I exchanged 100 Euros with them for 1:1.64. Nouvobanq next door could do slightly better but was closed for a short while. We got our data plan of 1.5gB for 30days at 25euros. We actually wanted to get a 2gB for 7 days at 11 Euros and 2 of them which would actually be cheaper by 3euros but the counter staff said that it would be activated immediately so it did not make sense to get that. I wasn’t in the mood to argue and just let it be.

Arrival in paradise.
Seychelles Airport.
Forex at Seychelles.

Called the number on the email and was informed that there was a traffic accident in town and thus the car was late. One of the staff actually found us and brought us to the Skychef shop to wait. I brought some drinks from the store and soon after, our car arrived!

I moved the luggage into the Grand i10 which was smaller than my expectations (was initially offered the smaller i10 and I asked for a bigger one). Managed to squeeze one luggage at the trunk and one at the front seat. Returned the baby seat which was too small for K and signed off the contract as the staff was rather relaxed on the checks. Then with the GPS for the Sir Selwyn Clarke Market punched in, we were on our way.

Enroute we saw SPAR supermarket on Eden island and made a stop there instead of going to the market. The 1st hour was free in Eden Plaza and we proceeded to SPAR supermarket that we awfully familiar with while our time in Europe. The only difference was that we had to put our bags in lockers provided before entering. We got the chicken, the veggies, the eggs, the milk and the water. Even bought some biscuits for breakfast the next day. Just outside the supermarket was an exchange and I was surprised to see they would take in SGD but for a price of 10:1 SGD. Changing Euros was actually better and thus we changed another 200euros.

Eden Plaza.
Spar International.
Bag storage tag.
Inside Spar.
Eden plaza parking.

Punched in Sailfish Villas and we drove some 30mins to the location. As the road went up and down the hill, with many bends, K felt a little unwell and burped out. Luckily he didn’t vomited though we had plastic bags already on standby. The route we took brought us to a viewpoint that had a panoramic viewpoint of the Eden island. After stopping for a bit of photos, we continued on downhill. Once we saw the beautiful turquoise waters of the Anse A la mouche, we turned into the small road as indicated by the signs and parked at one of the sheltered carpark. A man helped informed the lady in charge and she drove her car and guided us to the correct villa. It was just a minute drive away.

We were then shown a 2 bedroom huge villa that had a great view of the bay, 2 bedrooms and one came with a huge tub, a good kitchen and big living room with TV. There was a laundry room outside and the whole placed was protected by security and motion sensors! Of course there was WiFi.

Viewpoint Panorama
Welcome tea and snack.
Master bed
Real Hibiscus flower.
View from the bedroom
Huge tub
2nd room
2nd bathroom
Living room
Common toilet

After we paid the remainder of 107euros for K who wasn’t part of the Agoda booking, we called Teddy glass bottom boats to make a reservation for trip to Moyenne island the next day before heading out to Anchor cafe for lunch. It was a short drive before we arrived at the cafe with its own private parking lot.

Ordered fish of the day and some chicken curry, a vanilla milk shake and fruit juice. K had some fun climbing up the huge anchor. The food was nice but quite expensive 693rupees in total. And it was really warm since there was neither aircon nor natural draft. After some last few climbs at the anchor, we returned to the villa to take an afternoon nap at around 4ish, trying to adjust to the new time zone.

Huge Anchor at Anchor cafe
Hanging propellers
Our drinks.
Fish of the day
Chicken Curry
Inside Anchor Cafe

The next thing I knew, I was awoken by mommy who had woken up earlier to prepare dinner. It was already 630pm and the sun was almost setting. Took a picture of the setting sun but it was a little cloudy.

Sunset seen from the balcony.

The rest of the evening was spent in front of the TV and having dinner that mommy cooked. Seychelles was a country at nice and slow pace, allowing ample family time as there weren’t much to do in the evening. That was how we spent the evening, in front of the TV with a bottle of Seybrew and at the tub, nice end to a tiring day as the body adjusts to the 4hrs time difference.