Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Seychelles


We factored the Seychelles into our trip as a ‘vacation from travel’.   Thinking “Seychelles” conjured up a vision of tropical paradise, and we were not disappointed.  

The Seychelles group of islands is located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, about 1500 km from mainland Africa, due east of Kenya.  Each of the three main islands, Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, has its own character and charm.   The Paradise Sun Resort on Praslin was our destination of choice, a fantastic hotel with a long white sand beach, awesome food, great pool, a dive centre and various watercraft.  We took advantage of the kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, though our main activities revolved around reading, eating, swimming and sleeping.   Carolyn and I did a “refresher” dive session, while Cooper did a Discover Scuba Diving PADI course which allowed us all to dive together at one of the smaller islands off Praslin.  Cooper’s first ocean dive!

We also spent a day on the small, picture-perfect island of La Digue, a thirty minute boat ride from our hotel.  We rented bikes and cruised along the one and only main road, stopping to take a dip at various beaches along the way.  One quaint beach, Anse Source d'Argent, is reputed to be one of the most photographed in the world.

We had the chance to speak to a number of locals and ask about life in the Seychelles.  There are interesting perks.  Health care is free.  If the patient’s condition is serious, the government will pay for the trip to and treatment at a modern off-island medical facility (e.g. India).  Post-secondary education is also free.  There is a university on Mahe; however, if a student wishes to study abroad (Australia is popular) the government will pick up both the school and travel costs, with the condition that upon graduation the student will return to the Seychelles for a minimum of two years.  Small businesses do not pay taxes.  All of this helps to explain why an order of four miniature spring rolls cost $16, and Cooper's medium pizza was $40.  Price was a consideration in limiting our stay, but six days in island paradise was worth it!

Click here to see the rest of the pictures from our world trip so far: Trip Photo Album

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