My eyes could not believe what I was seeing! It was a giant turtle almost 4 feet long and shoulder high craning its long neck, staring directly into my eyes! I had never seen one such before. This was not a scene from ‘
’ but in real life. There were a
couple of them, in the small sanctuary of the hotel where I stayed and
apparently they were more than a century old and weighed more than 200 kg! I
learnt later that these are called Aldabra Giant turtles and breed in Aldabra
Atoll in Jurassic Park Seychelles.
I along with my friend had landed in
on Mahe island, the capital of Seychelles
the previous evening! The view of the islands was spectacular and unforgettable
as I looked out of the window of the aircraft while it encircled the airport. There
were many islands and the water sparkled as the waves merrily bounced on the
white sand coastline. The coconut trees and palm trees looked beautiful as they
swayed with the strong gust of the breeze. The landing of flight on the narrow
strip of land with azure sea on either side was a memorable event. As we
stepped out of the customs we saw a scary notice warning passengers that
penalty of carrying drugs was a death sentence!
We hailed a taxi and reached the hotel located on
around sunset. The drive through the town to the resort along small winding
road by the coast was enjoyable as one can see very small islands jutting from
the blue waters at small intervals. During the high tide some of these islands
disappear! The waves gently caressed the shore strewn with coconuts along the
coast. Beau Vallon
Miss World pageant was scheduled at one of the sister hotel at
resort, the same
night, which we were eager to attend. The tickets were exorbitantly priced and
were unavailable, to our bad luck. So even though we had come this far, it was
not possible to go to the event! Diana
Hayden from Lake Berjaya Mahe
Beach India, handed
down the crown to Linor Abargil, Miss Israel we learnt the next morning.
After the early morning meeting with the giant turtle I headed out on the road which was still wet after the downpour early in the morning. Water had collected in small puddles as I maneuvered the road, jogging along. Going a little further, I saw a large number of mango and jack fruit trees, laden with fruit. A lot of ripe mangoes had fallen off the trees and the road and the storm water drains were overflowing with the fruit. So many mangoes, for which there were literally no takers! On return, I headed for the breakfast in the restaurant by the seaside which resembled a huge hut with thatched roof. It had hundreds of birds of all hues and colors chirping. It was a heavenly feeling to be so close to the nature, and watch the white sand, the deep blue sea and a cool breeze, with chatter of birds for music, merrily pecking on the food offering on the table!
This is an island nation north east of
Madagascar in the Indian
Ocean. There are approximately 115 islands with a very small
population. A little more than 50000 residents stay in Victoria. The main languages spoken are
Creole and French.
Later, we went to see
Next day,we headed for
It is located at idyllic spot and was well worth a visit with sprawling white
sand beaches. There are around 65 beaches in Mahe itself! At the resort we came
across some of the contestants of the Miss World pageant that had not yet left and
a huge board where all the participants had put in their autographs. Mahe Beach
The next destination was the Botanical Garden! There are many natural trails on this lovely island for exploring.
is a living museum of natural
history and a sanctuary for some of the rarest species of flora & fauna on
earth. With almost 50% of its limited landmass set aside as national parks and
prides itself on its record for far sighted conservation policies that have
resulted in an enviable degree of protection for the environment and the varied
ecosystems it supports.It nurtures the smallest frog to the giant turtles. There are some very interesting places like Praslin
island, which was originally believed to be the Garden of Eden. and The Birds
island. The only way to commute in La Digue, an island, is on bicycles! Seychelles
A brush with nature in its pristine form on this island has gone down the memory lane as a wonderful experience etched forever!