island-hopping in the Indian Ocean
We spent the last week of our month-long trip soaking up the sunshine on the beaches of the Seychelles archipelago. The country consists of 115 islands, which are spread across hundreds of square miles of the Indian Ocean. Prior to the arrival of Arab traders and seafarers of various stripes, the Seychelles had been uninhabited, and most of the archipelago remains so to this day. The handful of islands that do have a tourist infrustructure beckon with the clear, lapis lazuli waters of their coves and the soft, white sand of their beaches.
Arriving from Reunion late in the evening, we spent a night on Mahe, the biggest of the Seychelles islands. After a day at one of its beautiful beaches, we took a 15-minute ride in a puddle-jumper to Praslin, which was significantly smaller but still not low-key enough for our tastes. Praslin’s Anse Lazio proved to be our favorite beach in the Seychelles, but it was so far from the house we had rented that it required a 30 minute taxi ride. Praslin is a good place to organize boat trips to some of the smaller, uninhabited islands, and we spent one day hanging out with the giant tortoises on Curieuse and snorkeling off the Islet of St. Pierre.
From Praslin we took the ferry to La Digue, which was definitely more our speed. In lieu of a car, the guy who met us at the ferry had arranged four bicycles. We mounted two while he and his friend took our heavier bags and got on the other two bikes. The house we had rented was located on the interior of the island, but La Digue is only 15km around and all the beaches were no more than a 15-20 minute bike ride away.
The tranquility and sunshine that defined our last week could not have been more removed from the overcast, gray skies and congested, smoggy streets of Nairobi that awaited us when we returned. Now that we’ve put away the beachwear and returned to our office jobs, we hope that the rest and relaxation we’ve stored up during the last month lasts at least as long as our suntans.