One day in Praslin, Seychelles

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It’s only a short ferry ride from La Digue to Praslin island, so we decide to spend our last two nights in the Seychelles there. Praslin is a much larger island than La Digue, so rather than relying on a bicycle you have the choice of catching the local bus or hiring a car. We hire a car through our hotel, who also happened to run the top rated car rental agency on the island (Bliss Car Hire). We end up with a tiny red Kia, decorated with hibiscus flowers and passive aggressive stickers telling us not to get sand in the car (which seems like an impossible task given the main thing to do on Praslin is to beach hop).

ICar dashboard, with three red hibiscuses and a sticker.
Hibiscuses make everything less passive aggressive.

We managed to cover a lot of ground on our day touring the island – a short but sufficient amount of time to cover the island’s highlights. Below is a brief outline of each of the stops that we made. Somehow, we managed to achieve the impossible on our day trip – we only left a small (and non-punishable) amount of sand in the car!

Vallee de Mai

The people of the Seychelles are very proud of their endemic coconut – the coco de mer. There are statues dedicated to it, and even their immigration stamp uses its outline. The coco de mer’s popularity is almost certainly because it looks like a human female butt. No, seriously, it looks exactly like a butt. And a plump one too. Well the female coco de mer does anyway. On one side anyway, on the other side well it looks like other female anatomy (Hint: it rhymes with angina). The male coco de mer, in some incredible co-incidence of parallel evolution looks a lot like other male anatomy (Hint: it rhymes with shmenis). For these reasons, the coco de mer palm was historically prized as an aphrodisiac, and driven almost to extinction. Perhaps it is tasty as well, but it is only available to eat during special festivals (given the limited supply), so we have no way to tell if perhaps part of its popularity is due to taste.

Fountain with coco de mer coconuts sprouting water.
Everything in the Seychelles is dedicated to the coco de mer (and therefore weirdly sexual).

The best, and well only place, to see the coconuts is in the Vallee de Mai – a UNESCO World Heritage listed park. At the entrance of the park there is a small table with various sized coconuts and seeds that you can touch and use as props in sexually suggestive holiday snaps. There are also some short walks around the park, where you can see the trees in action (or you know, just being still, since that is what trees do). We take a quick scenic walk through the forest, which allows us to feel good about touring the sights but also spend most of our day at the beach.

Myles walking through a  palm forest.
Wandering amongst the coconut palms.

Anse Lazio

Anse Lazio is meant to be the best beach on Praslin, and it did not disappoint. It had all of the elements of a perfect beach – white sand, big rocks, lots of trees providing shade to sit under and clear water, which was deep enough to have a good swim in. Even better, just back from the shore, up a set of stairs, was a cute hidden bar known as the honesty bar. Perhaps once you could serve yourself, but during our visit it was presided over by a friendly man who serves cold drinks and good advice.

Two chairs and a table overlooking the ocean.

We had heard there was a walk to another beach, Anse Georgette, which was also meant to be stunning. We had asked the man running the honesty bar about where to start the hike, and he advised us that the track was very overgrown and that only a few months ago a man had set out to attempt the hike, but had never returned (and his body never found). We don’t need anymore convincing to ditch our idea of a hike and spend some more time lazing on Anse Lazio – which we think beats out Anse Source d’Argent as our favourite beach in the Seychelles (and possibly the world).  

Beach with white sand, palm trees and large rocks.
Anse Lazio – probably the best beach in the Seychelles/the world.
Beach with Myles's legs in foreground.
Great for both relaxing, and chillaxing.

Anse La Blague

Not content to visit only one beach we tear ourselves away from Anse Lazio and make the trek to Anse La Blague. It is a terrible decision. To reach the beach we have to drive along a very twisty, skinny road. Once we get there, we unfortunately find that the beach isn’t all that great: the sand is a bit rocky, and the water, while reasonably clear, was just not as good for swimming. In fairness, it would be a probably be a nice beach anywhere else in the world. The worst crime of Anse La Blague perhaps, is that it has the misfortune to be forever unfavourably compared to Anse Lazio. It’s pretty much the Stephen Baldwin of the beach world.

Beach with white sand, palm trees and tire swing.
Believe it or not this is a below average beach by Seychelles standards.

Anse Cimetiere  

Since Anse La Blague had proven to be such a disappointment, we decide to make one more unscheduled beach stop. This time we hug the coast road until we get to Anse Cimetiere. This beach also has the unfortunate fate of not being Anse Lazio. It’s better than Anse La Blague, with flat clear (and warm!) water to swim in and a picturesque location with lots of trees on the shoreline. Not a terrible spot for our last swim in the Seychelles, but if you ever go, you could do worse that just spending the entire day at Anse Lazio.

Beach with white sand and plam trees.
A Question and Anse session.

Eating grilled fish/restaurants

Our last stop for the day, is a small restaurant inCap Sammy, where they set up a barbeque on weekends to grill fish over coals. An older British tourist has positioned himself next to the barbeque to bark instructions to the cook not to overcook it, which seem both unwarranted and unnecessary given the cook almost certainly has far more fish-barbecuing experience than the tourist. The fish comes out, perfectly cooked, but whether the old man played a role in this, I guess we’ll never know. Freshly-cooked fish and beer for dinner is the perfect end to any day.  

Three fish cooking on coals.
Don’t overcook it!

Leaving in style

The next morning it’s time to head back to the main island, Mahe, to connect to our next flight. Rather than return on the ferry, we decide to leave in style, on a tiny passenger plane flight which lasts around 20 minutes. The sensible, and perhaps stylish, way to get to the airport would have been to use the hire car, or perhaps even a taxi. But we’re a mere 10 minute walk from the airport, so we decide to go by foot. The woman managing the hotel gives us a strange look when she learns of our decision, but she studied in Adelaide for many years, so presumably she was just stunned to see ‘The Castle’ come to life. It is only a quick stroll, but it does result in a landing plane flying just a few metres above our head, which is more adrenaline than anyone should have to deal with before coffee.

Myles getting off a small plane.
Still can’t believe there was no complementary hot meal service.

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