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Trip Report Seychelles trip report 10/2008

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Here is my trip report for our Seychelles vacation. I will also be glad to answer questions comparing and contrasting the Seychelles with the Maldives as we have now been to both.

Day 1/2. Depart ATL for CDG. Arrive in early morning for 12 hour layover. Overnight flight to Mahe, SEZ.
Day 3. Finally in Mahe, then transported to Praslin where we began our 2 night stay to Village du Peschur. Room was very nice, location was on Anse D’Or.
Day 4. We were fortunate enough to have our travel agent, Astrid Bauer,(astridb@islandsplendor.com) and her son Kurt pick us up and spend the majority of the day driving us around and showing up Praslin. Site visited included: Anse Lazio, Zimbabwe (for great views of the island), Anse Georgette (at the Lemuria hotel.
Day 5. Visited Valle de Mai for a short hike. Saw the Coco de Mer and a black parrot (very rare). Took a 4 night charter on Dream Yachts. Our itinerary was tailored towards visiting snorkel sight. Sailed to Felicite, Coco, and back to Praslin to anchor in the bay at Anse Lazio. Snorkeling at the above sites was not spectacular, with no notable species seen.
Day 6. Awoke to a beautiful day at Anse Lazio. Snorkled after breakfast and spotted an eagle ray, white moray eel (small) and a sting ray. Off to Curiuse island – visited the giant tortoises and hiked across the island to where the boat was anchored. Moved to St Pierre island for snorkeling. Nothing notable seen although the island was a “dream island” as featured in Islands magazine. Sailed to LaDigue to anchor in the marina due to a potential oncoming storm. Storm never materialized.
Day 7. Snorkled in morning off the boat upon leaving the marina. Sailed to Marianne – finally under sail as the wind had picked up. Walked along beach - deserted, boarded boat for lunch then moved to a snorkeling spot where 4 sharks were sighted. Sailed back to LaDigue to anchor in bay.
Day 8. Snorkled in morning off the boat. Turtles seen. Spent the day at LaDigue where we visited Anse Reunion, Anse Royal. Ate lunch at Anse Royal. Sailed back to Praslin to anchor at the Dream Yachts marina due to early departure for Deroches Island.
Day 9, 10, 11. Arrive Deroches Island by 8 seater Cessna plane. Room is very nice with patio, reminiscent of Matamanoa, Fiji. Deroches was very quiet and we felt like we had the place to ourselves. Days were spent snorkeling at Madam Zaab and the Aquarium. Like the other places, snorkeling was mostly unremarkable. We went out with a group of divers to the Aquarium and found places that we did not see by accessing from the beach. Better, but still not too remarkable.
Meals at Deroches were on a full board basis. All meals were very good.
On the second day we took a morning walk and almost fell over (literally) a sea turtle coming to shore to lay eggs. We watched mostly the whole event which took about 2 hours.
On the third day we took kayaks out in the direction of the Aquarium. We encountered a pod of dolphins (approximately 8-10) and followed them until they tired of us and went out to sea.
Day 12. Left Deroches with only us and a hotel employee on board for the return to Mahe. The pilot was kind enough to circle the island and some great views were had. Arrived at the Hilton around 4pm. Room was a hillside villa – very nice, but a long walk with stairs was required to get anywhere on the property. Hilton, although very nice, was set up for those that want to stay in a nice room, rather than partake in outdoor activities. Beach was minimal at best. Dinner in the evening was an outrageously expensive buffet.
Day 13. Walked to Beau Vallon for lunch. Snorkeled. Snorkeling around the hotel was pretty good with the most notable find being a very prominent lionfish.
Day 14. Took excursion to hike and snorkel with a catamaran sail at the end. Hike was very good but not advertized as being strenuous, which it was. The views were great and it ended up at Anse Major where we boarded the catamaran to sail toaa marine park to snorkel. Great coral, but an unbelievable lack of fish. Lunch and catamaran sail took us back past Beau Vallon around the north end of the island into Victoria.
Day 15. Took the bus to Victoria. Showers on and off all day. Did shopping, and site seeing around town. Lunch at Pirates Arms – very reasonably priced. Took bus back during rush hour.
Day 16. Drove around the island. Stopped at the craft market, Anse Royal for lunch at Kaz Kreole, Intendance beach, Takemaka beach, studios of various artists including Michael Adams – purchased Northolm II- back through the mountains to Victoria.
Day 17. Early morning snorkel at Sunset beach up from the Hilton. Upon returning to the hotel I tried one last time to get on the whale shark expedition. Success! We saw 4 whale sharks. The whole event was very tiring as the water was choppy and swimming to keep up with the sharks was very taxing. Once in a lifetime and worth the money.
Day 17. Very early departure to the airport for SEZ to CDG flight. Not a good travel day. Horrible line to check in - over 1.5 hours, service on Air Seychelles, less than stellar, trains out of service in CDG resulting in a 70 euro taxi which took over an hour.
Day 19. Return flight in to ATL.
Restaurants – we ate at the following:
Praslin: Café de Arts – best meal of the trip
Village du Peschur - nice meal
Male: Al Mare – OK meal, atmosphere not so good
Le Pearle Noir – goo meal, service with attitude
The Boat House – Ample buffet, great prices
Le Cocotier – great food, expensive

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