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.