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Monday, April 23, 2012

A Nature's Paradise- Seychelles




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 ‘Jurassic Park’ 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 Seychelles.

I along with my friend had landed in Victoria 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 Beau Vallon Bay Beach, 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.

Miss World pageant was scheduled at one of the sister hotel at Lake Berjaya Mahe Beach 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 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 Victoria which is the smallest capital of the world, and it had only one traffic light on the main city intersection. The people are very friendly and kind hearted. It was a great experience to learn Scuba diving from a trainer, as despite having served in the Navy, I did not get an opportunity to dive except for clearing a compulsory medical test in a dive chamber!


Next day,we headed for Mahe Beach. 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.

The next destination was the Botanical Garden! There are many natural trails on this lovely island for exploring. Seychelles 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 reserves, Seychelles 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! 

 A brush with nature in its pristine form on this island has gone down the memory lane as a wonderful experience etched forever!


87 comments:

  1. Saw such giant tortoises in Mauritius as well. Seychelles I have heard is magically splendid. Wishing to visit it some time. Good that your work takes you all around the globe.

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    1. Those giant turtles are just awesome! Yes , god has been kind to let me see some the world he created:)

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  2. Giant turtle? Thats scary! Loved the whole post of ur travel. Enjoy ur trip! :-)

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    1. They are harmless, Pria! A huge thanks for liking:)

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  3. WOW ...IT SEEMS LIKE YOU HAVE HAD LOTS OF FUN.

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    1. Thanks a lot Izdiher! Yes, I had a fair share of fun:)

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  4. Fascinating creature, turtle and how adorable! Seychelles sounds so idyllic and peaceful, rested in the laps of mother nature, thanks for taking us there through your wonderful travelogue :-)

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    1. Adorable indeed, Arti! Seychelles is just like a brush with heaven. Thank you for enjoying the tales of travel:)

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  5. It is so good to hear about various exotic places visited by you. You describe them so well. Was it pleasure trip, or business trip or a combined trip?
    Looks like you are having a good time there.

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    1. Rama, I consider myself fortunate to have seen some of these lovely locales! Most of these were business trips and some of my own! A big thanks for reading these stories:)

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  6. How lovely to see the Seychelles and the giant turtles!

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    1. I immensely enjoy the pictures you post which capture all the beauty around:)

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  7. OMG, i'd love to go there myself one day, i can imagine the turquoise waters ... Happy monfay to you!

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    1. Thanks Martina! Hope you make it soon:) Have a lovely week ahead!

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  8. Wow, I'd love to go too.

    http://rachnaparmar.com

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    1. Rachna, you must visit with your family! They will enjoy to the hilt!

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    1. Strongly recommend for your next honeymoon , Ria:)Thanks a lot!

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  10. I just go through the post. really awesome. Thank you.


    ERP gujarat

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  11. Reading the post really made me to visit there.

    Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Eden, a lovely place not to be missed!

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  12. Hi Rahul, your description of Seychelles is heavenly...i've only ever seen it photographs but you have vividly brought to life what the island is like in your own unique perspective. So many great memories - The turtle must have been an amazing sight! I would've loved to attend the pageant too. The scuba diving in that location has to be one of the best!

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    1. Sam, Your comments are most eagerly awaited as I know you read the post inside out:)You are not too far from Seychelles so you can go there any time, and as for beauty pageant you can surly participate in one rather being a spectator:)

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  13. You have a way with words- I could almost experience Seychelles and see that turtle. One destination that I definitely plan to visit.

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    1. A bi...g thanks, Meera for those kind words!You must visit Seychelles and can assure you won't regret !

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  14. Wonderfully narrated experience!

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  15. It looks like you had a good time. Ha..My son was really scared to pet them. He should have seen the giant turtles Lol.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. It was a good time indeed! You should show the giant turtle to your son and am certain he would like to make friends with them!

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  16. Such a huge turtle. I have never heard of one!

    The scenery is lovely. Would I be able to visit this place once in my lifetime? You are lucky, Rahulji!

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    1. Why not, Sandhya! You will be able to visit the place soon! I thank god each day for having taken me to these destinations:)

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  17. Wonderfully described Rahulji.
    Turtles, beaches, scuba diving, world beauties; all fanatastic, but isn't the mangoes in the drains with no takers, the most unique sight which you would never get to see in india :-P

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    1. Thanks a lot Jenny for those adorable comments! You know, you are the only one who caught what was on my mind when I wrote about mangoes! I am certain at least that is one sight I am ever unlikely to see anywhere!

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  18. Sounds like a wonderful adventure! Thanks for sharing. Thanks also for stopping by my blog and commenting. Have a wonderful week!

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    1. A huge thanks Karen for those kind comments and a visit to my blog! I think I need to visit your blog more often to learn more on tips of writing!

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  19. ah ha Seychelles WOW that is very high on my list of places i want to go and your article has just made me wanting it more ...


    Bikram's

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    1. Bikram, don't wait and pack your bags to see Seychelles! It is heavenly:)

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  20. Sir, I envy you. Seychelles is in my list of places to see before you die. Such a delightful read.

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    1. Saru, each time I write a post on my travel, I remember you, for the affection you shower through your sweet remarks!I almost got ready to write a series:)I wish you visit many more places than what I have seen!

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    2. I wish so too Sir. And you must create a separate tab for your travel series/posts.

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    3. Saru and Jenny, I feel humbled with your liking for my travel posts so I will keep writing about my wanderlust pursuits and hope to live up to your expectation :)

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  21. Wow, that's a wonderful way to enjoy a vacation. And the pictures spark the imagination.

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    1. A big thanks Rekha for liking the post:)

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  22. OMG, Seychelles are just paradise!!! Wish I was there now ;)

    Alessia

    THE CHILI COOL


    FACEBOOK

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    1. It is certainly a paradise and wish you travel there too:)

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  23. That tortoise sure is awesome! The list of places I want to go to are getting longer :)

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    1. A sincere thanks, Zephyr and am honored that I could make you add one more place to visit:)

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  24. Beautiful Seychelles ,lucky you .Loved the description and that bird picture is brilliant.

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    1. Thanks a ton, Kavita for liking the post!I am lucky to have visited some nice places and even luckier to have kind readers like you, who spend time to read my experiences:)

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  25. Rahul, I'd love to be in a place which has just one traffic light! I loved the bit about the old giant of a turtle and the rest of the narration. I didn't know the Garden of Eden was supposed to be in Seychelles!

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    1. Thanks Umashankar! It is unbelievably quiet place with just the nature singing lullabies:)

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  26. Rahul, you are really trying to make me feel very, very jealous. All this travelling to exotic places and places I badly want to visit is rearing the green eyed monster in me.

    Seychelles sounds great.

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    1. Ha, Ha..Rachna, I dread to write about travel for this reason! On the other hand some blogger want me to share more stories of travel! I wish all your dreams of travel to places you like come true!

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  27. I have been to maldive but never to seychelles! I'd love to visit them so much!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
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    1. You would love Seychelles,Francesca:) Thanks!

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  28. Rahul sir....
    OMGWAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDD !!!! Beautiful place on top of it worlds top beautiful female all in one place !!!

    You must have really enjoyed the vacation :D
    Lovely description :( I am super Jealous now!

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    1. Ramya, please accept a sincere thanks for following my blog and the lovely comment!I was on cloud seven on the trip:)Don't worry you will see many more interesting places:)

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  29. Wow... such giant turtles!
    there is always a sense of magic associated with spending time in a peaceful way, with nature. The serene atmosphere would lift our spirits and make us happy for no reason at all... Lucky you sir :-)

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    1. What you say is so true, Ashwini!Nature and its creations are something which bring eternal peace of mind!Lucky indeed, I am to have lovely readers like you:)

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  30. a close friend recently returned from seychells and also had similar praise words..good post boss

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    1. Thanks a lot, Ramesh for having liked!

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  31. 65 beaches!:-) Ah, I would love to dive there.
    Nice post!

    Hope you have a happy week:-)

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    1. Tanya, after enjoying climbing mountains , it would be a nice change for you to dive the depths in Seychelles:)

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  32. OMG..! Giant turtle?? I never seen like that in real!:)I would love to see one too!lol, for sure I will run back to where I belong,lols..:) Thanks for sharing about all what you had on that vacation!:) I feel you really had a wonderful time!:)

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    1. Thanks Sagittarian! Awesome creatures they were!

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  33. nice account...

    well why you got amazed when turtle stared at you...we all human keeps on staring these animals all the time..what wrong if they do a little bit.:-)

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  34. Welcome to my blog, Arooj! I was not amazed that the turtle stared at me but the sheer size got me zapped:)Thanks for liking!

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  35. yup i know sir....
    i was trying to add a bit of humor(poorly done i guess :-)
    visit you soon for sharing your upcoming adventures.

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    1. I got the humor part!Why poorly done..I liked it:) Look forward to see you here more often, Arooj!

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  36. Lucky you! I have seen this big a turtle only on Discovery.
    Would love to visit Seychelles some day...And 65 beaches on mahe itself? Awesome!

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  37. Lucky me, for sure for two reasons! One was lucky to see the place and second to have a nice reader like you, who enjoyed the tale recounted! I too wish that you get to travel to even more exotic destinations, Alka:)BTW your new profile pic is very nice:)

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  38. That seems to be a great experience!

    World is s big, to see it all takes time and a lot of money! Try earning money no time is left, try making time and I run short of money! psst psst!

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  39. Totally agree with you , Kusum! Require time and money and to balance them optimally:)

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  40. A great walk down memory lane- and loved the accompanying pics!!! (almost felt like I was there) :)

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    1. Thanks a lot, Anjuli for that lovely comment! Missed your absence from the blog world!

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  41. Oh yes, etched in your mind it is. That's why you've been able to reproduce it so well after all these years.
    Ooh that sounds like ONE big turtle. :D

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    1. Thanks a lot for that very nice comment! I am happy you liked it:)

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  42. Beautiful is the word! Thanks for taking me to Seychelles through this travelogue... wish to go there sometime now!

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  43. A sincer thanks Shilpa for liking! Hope you travel there soon:)

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  44. Great blog post, it's nice to know you had a great time in Seychelles! :)

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  45. Lorsque vous prévoyez de visiter la République des Seychelles, alors vous devez être à la recherche d'une certaine voiture fiable Location Voiture Praslin et d'autres îles environnantes. Avec la meilleure location de voitures Seychelles, vous avez certains des meilleurs véhicules pour se déplacer dans les îles environnantes.

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