10.04.2018 - 13.04.2018 30 °C
Three sea days that find us on pirate watch! We are told we are transiting an area of the Indian Ocean where there is a risk of pirate activity. The captain announces that she would like to draw our attention to this. We are told that on board is a Royal Navy Liaison Officer and he has advised that the outside deck is closed from dusk to dawn, our balcony lights are off and keep the curtains of our cain closed at night. If the pirates get on we are told a code word and we and the actions we need to follow. I've been told they are unlikely to look like Johnny Depp!
Our guest speakers include Jennie Bond, talking about the Royal Family and her time in the jungle on I'm a Celebrity. She is very humorous and goes down well. In the evening the performers include Ben Mills runner up to Leona Lewis on X Factor, again a big success.
Today we are in the Seychelles. The Seychelles consist of 73 flat coralline islands and 42 mountainous granitic islands. We are going to Victoria the capital of the Seychelles on the island of Mahe. Victoria is one of the world's smallest capitals (26450 inhabitants 2010) and the only real town In the Seychelles.
I am going with Maggie and Catherine to find a nice beach to relax on and because that is Ian's idea of hell he is going to explore the town.
Myself and the ladies catch a taxi to The H Resort a five star hotel about 20 minutes away. The driver talks to us about the island. He tells us that it is the perfect place to live, no hurricanes, earthquakes or animals that will kill you! Everyone gets on, beautiful green scenery and all very clean. He says it is Paradise. We drive over a verdant green granite mountain, the twisting road passing beautiful houses and groves of mango trees and it's hard to disagree.
The hotel is relatively new and we pay for a day pass. We settle by the pool on some sun beds and go for a swim in the pool. Through some trees by the infinity pool the turquoise sea laps the pale powdery sand.
A large black cloud appears over head, the weather forecast was for passing showers. Large drops water start splashing into the pool and then the heavens open. The passing shower lasts nearly two hours and we shelter under our parasol with a cocktail or two! It is still warm and when the "shower" passes over the sun shines all is well with the world. Late afternoon we go back to the ship and meet up with Ian. Here's what he got up to.
First a parental warning, some of the following entry my be unsuitable for younger readers!
Well I decide to make my way to the Botanical Gardens. This involves a hike of about a mile in sweltering heat with high humidity. Long story short by the time I get to the gardens My clothes are wringing with perspiration (or sweat if you prefer). I pay the entrance fee and enter the small but wonderfully cared for grounds.
A coco de mer tree planted by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1956 is the first plant of note, the nuts are the biggest seeds in the world weighing up to 1.5kg, and that is the seed, the husk is extra. I wander on through the Indian Diversity Garden and the Chinese Garden. Both countries pledging friendship and cooperation with the peoples of the Seychelles. I am sure this is entirely altruistic and nothing whatever to do with the strategic position of the islands on major shipping routes.
I come to the giant tortoise enclosure. I am just in time for the tortoise porn and see one large male mount an equally large female and grunt periodically, I am shocked.
All this time birds and fruit bats are flying over head and making exotic calls.
The sky is clouding over and the temperature is dropping, then the clouds break and a torrential downpour follows. I shelter under a veranda until it has passed and then walk off towards the town centre. With the removal of the rain the heat returns, remember Bridget thinks this climate is next to Paradise!
The town is small and I pass several government offices which are effectively occupying large colonial type houses. Like seeing the Home Office in a large 4 bedroom house on the high street. I also pass the Indian Embassy with a bust of Gandhi given to the Seychelles to commemorate the 133 anniversary of his birth.
But then it starts to rain again, as I am already soaked (as is everyone around me) I just walk back to the ship in the warm downpour.
Bridget here again. Our visit to the Seychelles is over. I would love to return one day for longer. A little piece of heaven on earth.