Friday, January 6, 2012

Kerala might be God's own country, but He lives in Seychelles: Day4: Valee de Mai, Pirogue Restaurant, Anse Volbert

Ealry morning view of the pool
As I had already said in the previous post, we were to to go to the Valee de Mai today. Woke up bright and early so I can enjoy the glorious viewfrom the balcony and to catch the English guide at Valee de Mai. Had breakfast,chilled by the pool took a quick shower and we left for the Valee. We reachedthe place at 945 AM sharp and it was no surprise that we were among the firstto be there. While we waited for the guide, got myself a cuppa to refreshmyself. We then walked out and started to look for English speaking people andthere weren’t any and just for the two of us, the guide was asking 50 Euros so wedecided that we could go on the trail by ourselves.

Thick vegetation in the Valee de Mai

Coco de Mer Female and Male.
Need I say which is which?
Valee de Mai is a UN World Heritage site for the Coco de Mertrees which grow only in the Seychelles – specifically on the Praslin andCurieuse Islands. They are tall trees that look like palm which bear fruit. Infact, they are the only case of gigantism in fauna on the Seychelles islands. Treescould be male or female based on the type of fruit that grows on it. The classificationof male or female can only be made after the tree bears fruit and this typicallyhappens after 8-10 years after the seed is sown. The female fruit resembles thehuman ovaries and the male fruit resembles the human phallus! It is absolutelystunning! We talk of life imitating art, but here was life imitating life.

Sunlight streaming through the palms at
Valee de Mai
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
at Valee de Mai
The valee was very picturesque. Thick vegetation was allaround us. It was so thick that sunlight was barely piercing the palm frondshigh above us. I was looking for a bright yellow gecko that is present only onthis island, and a nail sized frog that is really loud unfortunately I did notspot either one. We could hear the birds chirping, frogs croaking and, Isuspect, various other reptiles making sounds. While the Valee did not looklike the garden of Eden that people claim it to be, it certainly looked likethe forest scene in the movie Jurassic Park. This, in my opinion, is probablyhow Jurassic period forests would have probably looked like all those 65million years ago. We walked a long, winding 2 KM trail in the Valee.

M at Valee de Mai

Anse Volbert
We got back on the road towards Anse Lazio where on Day 2while driving we took a wrong turn and saw a restaurant called Pirogue which iswhere we wanted to head for lunch. This is probably the most professionally runrestaurant (or any other establishment) that was run on Praslin island. We hadlunch and M wanted to go to Zimbabwe, a high point on Praslin island. However,I wanted to see the beach that is right opposite Pirogue called Anse Volbertfirst before we left for Zimbabwe. We walked to the beach and here it wasprobably the most gorgeous beach I had ever seen. It was so beautiful. We thendecided to stay at the beach, despite not having clothes. So we went to a shopthat was selling souvenirs to see if they sell any bikinis and shorts for us toget a dip. We shopped and spent the next couple of hours in the ocean. The mostfun I have had in the cleanest beach I have ever been on. While Anse Lazio isextremely pretty, it probably is rated so high because it is privatelymaintained, but this one, is not and yet is so gorgeous and so inviting. Thesea was calm, the beach very clean and white, the water was a azure, the sky abrilliant lapis lazuli with some white clouds floating through, the steady coolbreeze blowing wonderfully caressing M’s hair. This was a feeling of pure andimmaculate bliss. I promptly proclaimed this to be my best beach in the world.

Another view of Anse Volbert
M at Anse Volbert
Had to go to the pier, as I had to change the timing of ourreturn catamaran ride to Mahe island to the morning run instead of the eveningone and I had to also return the car. When I asked around, I was informed thatI had to leave the car at the pier, with the car keys under the mat! Left the carat the pier with trepidation and started the walk back to Chalet Côte Mer, which isnot very far, but the road to reach the hotel is at a 20% incline, and boy Iwas busted walking back! We were leaving for Mahe the next day at 8:15 AM andgiven that the reception at the hotel does not open until later, I settled thebill and went back for a dip in the pool. It was with a heavy heart that Irealized that I won’t get this view again from a room, at least not for theduration of this trip.

M in the pool


Anonymous said...

Valee sounds like fun!! well written Hemant

uma said...

Extreme picturesque depiction of the place Hemant. Kudos to you Man!!