Monday, April 14, 2014

The Big City, and a Mild Burn

Today we went to Victoria, the bustling capital of Seychelles. I say that only slightly jokingly, because despite its small size, it really is busy with cars and people. It took me a good five minutes to get that photo above, waiting for a break in the traffic.

Victoria is located on the other side of the island of Mahé from where we're staying, at Anse Soleil. Getting over there is an adventure, as we have to traverse a mountain range! We hired a taxi for the day and saw some spectacular scenery from the mountain peaks, as well as the ruins of an old Capucin Mission created in the mid-1800s to educate the children of freed slaves.

We had a creole lunch at a restaurant called Marie Antoinette, toured the local market (full of fish and mysterious produce) and visited the somewhat dusty little Natural History Museum.

Have I mentioned that it is freaking HOT here? If I have one complaint about our hotel, it's that it is a long way from everything. Even walking out to the main road, to the small settlement of Baie Lazare, means an arduous journey up and down some steep hills. I've done it twice now, including yesterday, when I photographed this colorful little building that houses the library and a crafts center.

Dave likes the remoteness. He's definitely getting his wish for a place where there is little to do but relax. I think I like a bit more connectedness, but if I'm willing to sweat it out I can explore a bit.

Of course, there's also the water, a cooler recreational option. Here's one of those aforementioned crabs, hanging on for dear life amid the onslaught of a crashing wave. I went snorkeling yesterday morning and had another miraculous aquarium-swimming experience, though it was tempered by a touch of sunburn. I am so careful about sunblock, and I even wore a shirt -- but I did not count on the elastic in my swimsuit going a bit slack so that the suit rode down, exposing what might be politely called my lower lower back to the sun. I now have a two-inch strip of sunburn that looks, from behind, like a pink belt. (Does anyone else have itchy sunburn? It doesn't hurt. It just itches like crazy.)

Here's one of those fruit bats I mentioned. They are very large. They look like circling buzzards. Apparently some restaurants serve them, and Dave kept talking about trying one, but I argued against it for ecological reasons. (There seem to be a ton of them, so I'm not sure my concerns are sound. Eating a bat just feels wrong.)

Finally, here's a little shop I found with the amusing name of G. Fock Yune. (There's also an R. Fock Yune a little bit down the road -- a relative, according to our taxi driver.)

We are headed back to London tomorrow. I'll re-enter the blog world more fully once we get home!


  1. I love bats, clever tiny beautiful animals , eating the annoying insects that light on our summer drinks...curious how humans are compelled to ingest EVERYTHING. I agree with you, bats are not for eating. Enforced relaxation. interesting holiday. I will be glad when you get back to London.

  2. Poor bats, the victims of bad press. They really are good little creatures. Love the picture of the crab.

  3. I'm with Elizabeth- yes, bats are cool as hell but I am not comfortable with them in my own space. That is a fantastic photo.
    When I get sunburn it itches too. Is there any aloe about?
    Safe travels home and thanks for sharing the shots and reports.

  4. That first photo reminds me of the Eastern Caribbean islands. Such similarities on opposite sides of the globe.

  5. I loved having the fruit bats around when we were there. They hung out in the trees by our outside balcony at the hotel (We stayed in Beau Vallon which was pretty close to Victoria) I thought they were pretty cool creatures.

    Is that woman selling colorful shutters in the photo? I am so glad to hear the islands have not become commercialized since we were there so long ago.

  6. P.S. Did you snorkel in the marine park?

  7. I don't think I'd want to eat a bat either. They have such expressive faces. Itchy sunburn? Yes, I get that too. However, being very fair, I tend to avoid getting burned if at all possible. I've already had several little cancer cells removed because of my youthful indiscretions.