Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kerala might be God's own country, but He lives in Seychelles: Day 1, continued

We arrived on the Praslin island and what struck the two of us was the sheer amount of greenery that is present. We had a large suitcase and therefore it was not possible for us to walk to the hotel which we could see from the pier. We hired a car to drop us to the Chalet Côte Mer where we had a reservation which is barely 5 minute drive from the pier. Winding uphill roads with a cool breeze blowing as we were driven greeted us at the island. 
The view from the hotel room was just supremely splendid. The hotel has been constructed on a side of a small hill, where every room has a view of the ocean. Lapis Lazuli of the ocean, green trees all around and a view of the ocean with a couple of small islands from the balcony was the view. I could feel the warm, gentle and salty breeze blowing along with the smell of water just pricked my senses. While I try to describe the view with words that I can, it falls short and as they say “A picture is worth a thousand words”, I am including some pictures of the same.

M wanted to freshen up and I needed a cuppa to get the blood flowing back to my head as I hadn’t had a coffee for the last 20 hours. Meanwhile, I went to the restaurant which has dried thatched roof from the palm trees that Praslin is famous for, ordered for my caffeine shot and went to the pool which is situated right next to the restaurant. The sight from the pool just blew my mind. The sea water which was an ugly grey in the middle of the ocean gave way to a lovely azure that I hadn’t seen before in a sea, except for in the movies. I could see a couple of boats in the harbor opposite to me. The pool is a deep sapphire in color because of the tiles that had been used and where the edge of the pool ends, I could see the beginning of the beryl waters of the sea. Thoughts failed me and I was moved to tears, the second time that sheer beauty in nature just crippled me emotionally (the first time was in the snowcapped mountains of Auli situated in the Uttarakhand state in India). What a sight to behold! I tried to capture the place and the beauty with a camera, but experiencing it with my eyes was an awesome experience.

Chalet Côte Mer is a wonderful hotel, tad expensive, but superb rooms. The large room that we had, had a double bed, with an extra single bed (for kids or for a couple who fight and need a separate bed!), a full closet with a digital safe, a refrigerator, 3 sofas, and a balcony with a couple of chairs to just sit and take in the view or read or just contemplate if one is so inclined. The bathroom is superb, with a bidet and a shower panel.
Everyone in Seychelles speaks French and Creole, a dialect that has evolved from French. Seychelles was a French colony until Napoleon lost in the battle of Waterloo when the administration changed hands to the British. So while English is widely spoken, French is the language that everyone is adept with. The overwhelming tourists are from France, there are settlers from Africa and India (brought here as slaves by the British) also, as there are from France. Indian cuisine is available which is mainly cooked in coconut milk. Coconuts are present in two colors: a bright orange color and the green (as against only green in India), which took us a couple of days to figure out. People drive on the left hand side of the road as is common in most countries in the Commonwealth.

Dinner is a fixed menu affair and if you are a vegetarian, you will have to inform the staff accordingly so that they can prepare something for you. They have a limited drinks menu and I tried the Cote de Mer special and the Pina Colada, both of which were - lip smacking. I also had the local Seychellois (Seychel-loa) beer Seybrew (say-brew) which is light.
M and I have already decided that Seychelles requires another visit and I hope the next time, it is with a bunch of friends that I know appreciate nature.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog. Keep at it!