Thursday, May 5, 2016

Praslin – Virgin Island

Praslin is the second largest island of Seychelles and has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It took us one hour to reach from Mahe to Praslin on a ferry. Waiting on the docks was the owner of our Bungalow who had come to pick us up. We were yet again staying in a beautiful Bungalow overlooking the backwaters, we had the first floor of the bungalow to ourselves that had 2 rooms with a tiny kitchenette and fridge. As usual we quickly dumped our luggage, hired a car and straight away left to see the only thing that you can find here in the whole wide world – Coco De Mer – the largest nut in the world.

Our first stop was Vellee De Mai Nature Reserve which is a well preserved natural palm forest and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We trekked through the forest for around 2 hours. I would definitely advice everyone that if you are visiting Seychelles, you must make it a point to see Coco de mer; since this huge nut can be found only here in the entire world and it is said that this palm tree once grew in the depth of the sea.

After our clicks we decided to explore Praslin as we were just staying for one night only. I drove around the island stopping at stunning white sand beaches surrounded by hills that were covered by tropical lush green forest. The beaches are so gorgeous that it gets really hard to leave one to move to the next one. The beach that I really wanted to visit was Anse Lazio which is one of the top ten best beaches of the world. However, by the time we reached the beach we were a little skeptical to get into the waters since 2 years back there was a bull shark attack and although now there was a safety net around the beach still I was not sure if the net had any holes or not; knowing the fact that the swimmers had been killed less than 30 meters from the shore. Anyhow that didn’t stop us for long from getting into the turquoise blue water.

As the noon was approaching we all ate but Aananya refused to eat anything and demanded to eat just tomatoes. Now one thing you must know that in Seychelles everything is imported. Unlucky for us – Praslin was out of tomatoes literally. I can’t even begin to tell in how many stores big and small we went to find tomatoes and found none; finally, someone suggested that we try a small Indian store where we finally got our hands on the most expensive tomatoes with which Aananya’s hunger was satiated. We continued to drive around till the sun set and for supper we did a take away from a local restaurant and went back to the house. Right across the small street was a big marble table next to the beach and we decided to have our dinner listening to the water under a star lit sky.

Next morning, we hopped onto the boat from right outside our bungalow. We stopped couple of times in some small neighboring islands and then did snorkeling in the marine wildlife park. Finally, we were dropped off at Curieuse Island where the nature thrives and the man is silent. After enjoying the beach, we went on a 2 km walking trail where you cross the dense mangrove forest, and then make your way through the swams go up the cliff and finally reach where the giant tortoises are. The park is flooded with giant tortoises where we had fun holding the hatchlings, walking with the giants and feeding them. After all the excitement died down we went to the other side of the island and took our final shots at the beach and were ready to head back to our Bungalow. Once we reached the rooms, we quickly got ready and were on our way to take our ferry back to Mahe.