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Seychelles Trip Report

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In early October we spent a week in the Seychelles, after a safari in Tanzania. Being veteran Caribbean vacationers, we were thrilled to see that the islands were like St. John times 10. Stunning! We stayed at L'Archipel on Praslin and at Alphose Island Lodge on Alphonse. Praslin is a hilly, granitic island with lush forests and long white beaches. Water was extremely clear and warm. It was a new [good]experience for us being the only Americans at the hotel. Mostly, tourists were Europeans and South Africans. We rented a little Suzuki one day and hiked in the Valley de Mai in the a.m. The Valley is amazing with the Coco de Mer Palms overhead. It would have seemed perfectly natural for a dinosaur to come 'round the path - it really seemed prehistoric. After the hike, we drove to the "beautiful beach" - Anse Lazio. Lunch at Le BonBon Plume at Lazio was the best meal on the island. We day tripped to La Dique on the schooner ferry. What a sleepy charming island. More beautiful beaches. I wish we spent a night or two there. Next we flew on to Alphonse. It is a small (1 sq. mile?) atoll, way out in the Amirantes Group. My fly-fishing husband was dying to go there, as the bonefish stories describe big flats and plenty of fish. I agreed to go and assumed we would stay at a fishing lodge; I didn't expect much. Boy, was I happily surprised! The island used to be a coconut plantation so the trees are still everywhere. The island itself is ringed in white sand beach, then ringed in an outer coral reef and on one side opens to a lagoon. The lodge is new but very charming(opened Jan 2000). Everything is very well done: pool, bar, lounge, billiard table, open air dining area. Very well appointed cottages are set along the beach. We loved our little place - a great bathroom, wonderful linens and furnishings and the best outdoor shower I have ever experienced. You are given bicycles and snorkel gear upon arrival. There is a full dive center, offshore fishing and flyfishing (arranged seperately)and lots of snorkeling. The food was first rate: lots of fish (caught just off the island). They have not done a very good job of promoting this place. Of the 20 - 30 cottages they have, I think only 10 were filled. While it was discovered as a fishing destination, the Lodge really is a beautiful resort. At that, it was mostly fisherman who were gone all day on the flats. We went offshore one day and caught a yellow fin tuna and grouper - grouper for lunch and tuna sushi that night! We liked the fact that what we caught would be used to feed the guests and staff. Again, wonderful staff. I just loved this place - what a feeling to realize you are on a square mile island, all of 5 feet above sea level, in the remote Indian Ocean! My husband had a great time with the bonefish - I relaxed on the island to the point of feeling like jello. The Europeans really are right in taking two week vacations. That is how you really relax! I have not felt that carefree and at ease since summer vacation as a child!
So - I would say, as a trip of a lifetime, the Seychelles are worth it. Would I go back? Probably if I made an enormous amount of money. Otherwise, it was great to splurge and see this unique part of the world. Email me directly with any questions!

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