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 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 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.