The beaches on the Seychelles served by far as our biggest pastime during our three week visit. But each island had more to offer, and we so we did take in a few sites and activities each week.
On our first night in Mahe (and the Seychelles) we were really tired. We decided to let our bodies decide how much sleep they needed and forgo the alarm. In retrospect, that *might* have been a bad idea! We awoke at 2:30pm the next day, realizing we had slept longer overnight than ever before – a full 15 hours! There was no longer time to do a day trip to a beach, so we opted instead to take the local bus into the main town on the island – Victoria.
Victoria was small and quaint with a few interesting things to offer. Due to our late timing we only caught the tail-end of the local market, a much smaller version of the markets we have in Cuenca. We enjoyed it nonetheless; we picked up a few items and then walked to the center of town, which is marked by a traffic circle and the Victoria Clock Tower. Remarkably unchanged over the 100+ years it’s been standing, the clock tower is named after the same monarch for which the capital city is named.
Then we moved on to the Bel Aire cemetery, a Seychelles National Monument. It opened in the late 18th century and was Mahe’s first public burial ground. It houses the bodies of the first French Settlers, including a “giant” who had reached the height of 9 feet 6 inches by his death at age 14, and Pierre-Louis Poiret, the alleged son of Louis XVI. In 1862 many of the graves were buried by the great landslide (Lavalas), which only makes the place more interesting. This place was amazing, with huge old deciduous trees mixed in with towering palm trees.
Last but not least, we walked through the notable Hindu Temple in town.
A few days later we went to the tea factory on Mahe. Tea is one of the primary agricultural exports of the Seychelles along with vanilla and cinnamon.
As luck would have it, they weren’t processing tea that day, but we were able to walk through and observe the equipment and machines at a discounted price. We did so, and came back with a lot of questions! Our luck changed when a man who worked there overheard us, and offered to take us through again, giving us explanations at each phase of the process. He even turned on several of the machines so we could see exactly how they worked!
Hike to Anse Major
As we mentioned in our post on Mahe beaches, Anse Major was one that was only accessible on foot or by water taxi. We chose to go on foot. The hike was maybe an hour long, and went through forest as well as along many ledges with beautiful views – the ocean way down low to our right, and enormous granite boulders, “slides,” and “walls” to our left.
Snorkel / wildlife photos