A Few Days on a Tropical Island
- 9 to 15 July 2013 -

Seychelles Rocks at Sunset

It is strange that each time I fly to an island I arrive just as the sun has already set, therefore I never get the island-view as we come into land. On the day that we departed Seychelles it was in the morning, but this time I was sitting in the middle isle of the plane and it was pretty cloudy, so I didn't get the view either.

Seychelles is a small island north of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. I'm not totally sure on the population, as when I asked around I get values between 60,000 to 120,000 people. The Seychelles Islands is actually a group of islands 100+ strong, this is something I didn't know until I researched it a bit, the main island with the majority of population is Mahe. Mahe is about 5km wide and 22km long, so in comparison to the previous island I visited, Mauritius, this is tiny.

When we (Johan and I) arrived we booked into the hotel and headed to our rooms, although it was dark I could feel I was on an island..... humid warm temperature, with a faint smell of the ocean. The resort was a beach resort and although I was here for business, there aren't really many business hotels around. My room had a balcony and although it wasn't in the first row of villa's on the sea edge I could hear the ocean just out of my reach.

I settled into my room and sat on the balcony for a while, until I decided it was time to get to bed. I couldn't sleep, although the bed is very comfortable and I had all that I needed close by, I kept waking up! This isn't a new thing, I normally sleep badly the first night I arrive at any new destination. I'm not sure if it is because of excitement or purely the unfamiliarity. Either way, I had to go work the next day so it was quite frustrating, but to pass the time I setup my camera and decided to get some night photos of the villas in my immediate view.

Seychelles Night Hilton

When morning arriving after an interrupted night of sleep I grabbed my camera and decided to get a similar photo of the one I got in the dark. Although the colours were a bit dull as I was on the east side of the island and I wouldn't see the sun for another hour or 2, it was still breathtaking.

Seychelles Accommodation

The sea was just beyond the first line of villas.... I was a little jealous!

I got ready and set off for my first day of work, enjoying the lush green island while we drove. The office was about 5km away on the other side of the island and we had hired a car the night before as taxi fares are horrible and car rentals are reasonable.

After work we headed straight back to the resort, I grabbed my camera gear and headed out to explore the resort a bit. I found a spot and setup my tripod for some shots of the sunset. It was absolutely amazing!

Seychelles Hilton

The resort was directly opposite Silhouette Island which I could see in the distance. The name I suspect was derived based on the sun setting behind it, creating a silhouette. 

Seychelles Silhouette Island

Like in most sunset photo's getting a photo of the sunset is awesome, but it can get a bit boring after a while, but what I have learnt over time, turning around, one gets a view with rich colours that the sunset casts on the island behind, this is the true magic of a sunset. Combine this with the lights coming on all around the resort and a slow shutter speed, I got some truly spectacular shots.

Seychelles Long Exposure

Soon the sun was gone and we were thrown back into darkness with a familiar feeling I felt the night before.... "anticipation of the morning to come".

Work continued the following day, but after work I rushed to find a spot to see some more of the immediate surroundings while there was still a glimmer of sunlight on the horizon. This time discovering a small private beach just beyond the first line villas.

Sunset Seychelles

Seychelles Hilton Private Beach

Seychelles Hilton Private Beach

Friday evening it was time for the dinner but not at the hotel as a colleague of ours decided to take us out. The destination was Eden Island, an island reclaimed from the sea by spending 8 years throwing sand and stone back into the ocean until an island was formed. Eden island has a large population of South Africans and is horribly expensive. The restaurant we were planning to visit was situated on the marina.

Seychelles Boats Shaik

Our view encompassed some very expensive boats and a mountain with some houses on them. Apparently the furthest boat in the photo above and the light on the hill belongs to the Sheik of Dubai, and the light on the hill.... referring to a very expensive lavish home.

The next morning we went for a relaxing breakfast in the resorts dinning room, which has a fantastic view of the ocean, but soon after we wandered down a couple of stairs and found another resort-owned beach, complimented with sea kayaks and snorkeling equipment offered as a complementary service to the guest. Something I haven't mentioned yet.....  Seychelles is very expensive, so expensive that I get a little nauseous every time I enquire about a price. We did find restaurants which were less expensive (but still expensive), but the resort we were staying at, was the worst.... so it was a surprise and a relief  to find some free services.

Seychelles Clear Water

Seychelles Private Beach

Seychelles Warm Ocean

Seychelles Rocks Beach

Seychelles Hilton Private Beach

Seychelles Hilton Kayak

Seychelles Sea Kayak

We attempted the snorkeling, which was amazing. I have never been snorkeling where there is so much seas life 20 meters from the shore is calm waters. It is almost as if someone had dumped an aquarium between the rocks at this exclusive beach. 

Before I left for Zimbabwe I was at a photographic store, where I bought some equipment, a bag, a tripod, etc... I saw a "SLR camera underwater-housing" and knowing that I will be visiting Seychelles I thought maybe I should buy one, but after spending my money on the essentials I decided that I wasn't prepared to spend more, especially on something I'm not sure I will get the opportunity to use..... how wrong was I!

Later that afternoon we decided to explore the island a bit, so we headed north to explore the north side of Mahe.

Seychelles Main Beach

Seychelles Main Beach Rocks

Seychelles Clear Waters Rocks

Seychelles Main Beach

Seychelles Beach Boat

After finding some pristine beaches we headed up a mountain pass called "Chemin La Misere", from up there we got a perfect view of the Capital "Victoria" and Eden Island... spectacular.

Seychelles Property Reclaimed Island

Seychelles Wind Farm

Seychelles Island Mahe

As we drove further up into the mountain we were engulfed in a cloud, it would have been nice to be above the clouds but the mountain isn't high enough, and beside that, if it was higher, the clouds would probably not settle on them.

Seychelles Mahe Fog

Mahe Misty Mountains

Seychelles Mahe Foggy

Heading down again, Johan and I had to decide where we would like to have dinner, at 65 Euros per person we weren't planning on having dinner at the hotel, so we decided to visit our now familiar beach spot... "La Fontaine", but before that I decided to get a couple of photos on the beach nearby, after all, the sun was setting.

Seychelles Main Beach Sunset

Mahe Beach Yachts

Mahe Main Beach

Mahe Yachts

Seychelles Mahe Beach Swim

Mahe Beach Boat

Fine Art Photo Beach Boat

Mahe La Fontaine

Mahe La Fontaine

Mahe La Fontaine

The next morning we decided to explore the south side of the island, and once again found some beautiful beaches along the route. All in all exploring the north and south took us a unbelievable 6 hours. I would have never thought it was possible to explore the entire island in less than a day.

Mahe Cloudy Beach

Mahe Rocks

Seychelles Waves

Mahe Crabs

Mahe Misty Beach

As we had left early in the morning we had missed our hotel breakfast so we stopped by at Eden Island to get some breakfast, and then returned back to the hotel to do some work before the busy Monday morning.

Mahe Yachts Harbor

Mahe Harbor Yachts

Fine Art Photography Self Portrait Mirror

Mahe Docks

Work, work, work is what came next, but each afternoon as I returned from the office I grabbed by gear and headed to the resort's private beaches to get the sunset and good light that comes with it..... it was spectacular.

Mahe Hilton Beach

Mahe Water Tree

Mahe Wave Long Exposure

Photography Beautiful Painted Exposure

Photography Mahe Long Exposure Split Sunset

Mahe Beautiful Pink and Blue Sunset

Seychelles Clear Water

Mahe Rocks Photography Long Exposure

Mahe Long Exposure Rocks and Water

Mahe Photography Long Exposure

The morning we had to depart I was both sad and happy, sad that we had to leave this beautiful place, but happy that I was leaving behind the expensive prices..... but mostly sad....

Hilton Mahe Panoramic

Mahe Airport

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