Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

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mr.minolta
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von mr.minolta »

..........
Es scheint, daß es neben der Republik der Seychellen auf der Welt kein zweites Land gibt, das für sich selbst derart ausdrücklich mit besonderem Umweltschutz wirbt und in der Realität so unfaßbar dreist das absolute Gegenteil davon praktiziert.
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Suse
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

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Bong!!! hat geschrieben: 12 Dez 2021 13:52 it probably makes me most often to stop and think. Think about how it was like in the past - the people, culture, atmosphere, how it looked like...

Actually, I think that I've never visited Chez Jules... Many times I've been hanging around, but never visited. Wanted to stop for one Seybrew during this visit, but I was interrupted by something work related and urgent over the phone... But I've heard that Jules became kind of grumpy over the years, although, that's just a hearsay that I can't confirm, nor question as I didn't have chance to meet Jules in person.
I heard of several not so nice encounters with Jules, too, which is sad, I remember him as a polite and gentle man. He was a teacher before opening the food stall, intelligent guy, I recollect interesting conversations we had there. It's sad but I'd guess it's because he must be stressed out. The last time I was there in 2017, he was barkeeping and looked extremely busy, there wasn't an empty table in the restaurant. I didn't speak to him, he didn't look like he had a single minute left for a chat. When we last met him in 2011 he already planned to expand his business, but perhaps even he didn't see the surge of tourists coming. :lol: He gave us a handwritten recipe of his famous octopus curry as a gift, so we can keep the memory alive at home. My husband can, that is. :wink:

You are right, the exploitation is most visible on La Digue but the changes in the South of Mahé are blatant, too. Mahé did impress me with her tranquility and authenticity and there are still some spots on this and other islands I couldn't squeeze into the 15 days I had on my last trip. I had to drop other excursions in favour of going to Cousine, which was absolutely worth it, but left other places out as a result. Besides, there are some people, some of them elderly, that I would like to meet again, so I won't wait too long to make another trip the coming years, but perhaps It will be the last for a long time.

The Islands are of course special, but there have always been places as dear to me if not even dearer, and amongst them are some that are like La Digue must have been in the past and which will, hopefully, remain so. Thing is, what I learned from being active on the internet, is not to promote publicly what I want to see protected. Not only will I no longer share first hand information with people who never respond positiveley or show appreciation of the information they got from me but make use of it nevertheless, nor do I think that "influencers" or travel bloggers, be they even semi-professionals, should be encouraged to find new places to hype. They'll find them all alone, sooner or later, but I won't be the one to show them how to get there. Not out of selfishness, I readily share my experiences of not yet overrun places, but I got picky about with whom. Maybe oldschool, but it initiated some really useful personal exchange and even friendships as a side effect.

If you are interested in seeing pictures from La Digue and Seychelles "lontan" (creole for "in the old times"), I can recommend something on FB. Some people share really fascinating personal and private stuff from family archives.

Your photos and information about Anse Cocos and Caiman, well, I really had to let that sink in. :shock: Compared to that the palmfrond-thatched huts at Petit Anse now look like a harmless joke. At first I thought the massive construction near the Rockpool must be a relic from the pigfarm that used to be behind Anse Cocos, but my husband, who knows the place better than I do, said, it's not. This must be something new and I wonder how this is even possible that someone got a permit. I am aware of corruption in Seychelles, but this is, really, I don't have words to describe. Anse Cocos was so pristine. Yes, perhaps no beach to spend a whole day due to lack of shadow and safe swimming, but so so beautiful, the view was the reward for the hike.

That the south circuit to Anse Songe and to Marron is partly an official hiking trail now doesn't surprise me. There are guides that lead groups up to 20 people each to Anse Marron on a regular basis, no wonder there are many people now that want to do it again but this time on their own.

Thank you again for sharing your impressions and thoughts. Very informative.
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Bong!!!
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von Bong!!! »

I agree with you on that frantic development on La Digue in recent years must've put some serious stress on most of it's people. I've just touched this topic in my previous post and actually wanted to add a few lines on it. I think that it's been huge turnover in their lives. Like development of smaller villages/towns on outskirts of bigger cities in Europe, but by an order of magnitude worse (in terms of it's nature, total numbers and cultural difference & impact). It's something beyond my imagination.

When I look at the statistics:
http://tourism.gov.sc/wp-content/upload ... B-2021.pdf

As of 2019, there has been like 140000 visitors ferried from both Praslin and Mahe + 17868 overnight visitors. That's a lot for the island of total population approx. 2800.

I've noticed the difference right away during my first visit of the island. Talking about restaurants (or establishments of that type), I've been often visiting Gala Takeway for a quick lunch and I think that every time, there was the very same lady working behind the counter. And in 2021, for a first time, she was smiling and talkative. Every time before that, similar as you've described Jules. Another thing I've noticed during this visit, lot of random local people just said "hello" when we've met on the street, that wasn't usual before either.

I've been following your travelogue from 2017 and liked the Cousine part a lot, and every little interesting fact (-: I'd like to thank you for that.

Also agree with your careful approach to sharing information about places, that are not so well known yet. I do not disclose it either, or, more precisely, until now, I wasn't disclosing anything at all online. As this is the first travelogue I've ever written (or still writing). One has to be careful with this, social networks have long and wide reach these days.

For sure I would be interested in some Facebook recommendations, especially, after I've been expelled from the (original) gossip corner (-: Will PM you.

I have to admit, that I was rather surprised too, when I saw that building at Anse Cocos, If it would be some kind of stall like it's at Grand Anse, then I won't appreciate it either, but whatever... But this is over the top... I haven't asked about that though, when I was on La Digue. I'm kind of careful with bringing up these (over)development topics, so to speak...

Yes, the organized hiking groups to Anse Marron, oh my, in 2019, I've met there 4 groups with total of 60 people or so. That's the problem, since all of the groups have to stick to the single low tide time on that day in order to complete the route from Grand Anse to Anse Source D'Argent in some safe and comfortable manner. It's a relatively big an therefore, interesting business too, raised fair amount of bad blood and grudge among some of the Diguois.

Thanks for the feedback and reading by the way (-:
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Bong!!!
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

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La Digue day #2
Unlike Praslin, I do not have any specific plans for La Digue. As the main goal was to visit the island during this time to see it without crowds of tourists, in kind of a different angle. Also, being a rather small island, I've already visited everything more or less important.

I'm up before 6:00, but breakfast is at 7:00. Being located close to the port, It'll be good opportunity to visit the local cemetery, north of La Passe.

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Some of the names on the gravestones are sort of familiar, one of the first tourism establishments on the island has been operated by the Choppy family. Later I've asked about this one, If I remember correctly, Choppy's bungalow has been converted to some sort of a dancing hall. Now it does no exist anymore. But anyone feel free to correct me If I got it wrong (-:
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Some company during the breakfast. As I've mentioned above, I'm the only guest. Bird on the picture is a Red Fody, actually, an invasive species.
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Taking the road leading around NE side of the island towards Anse Fourmis. I like the views in this particular area, however, most of the beaches here are rather shallow with coral bedrock so I don't spend much of time here. Also, nothing much interesting to write about.


Anse Banane & Anse Patates, only 2 beaches where you can actually swim, when the tide is higher.
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Anse Grosse Roche:
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I usually stop at this place, for a few minutes in a shade:
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View of the beach past Chez Jules on the way to Anse Fourmis:
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Anse Fourmis:
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I've moved to the SE part of the island, to check out the "new" Anse Songe trail and then to continue to Anse Marron. I haven't noticed any signposts along the way, but section of the trail leading thtrough the bushes has been cut through, like 1m wide

How many spiders inside the house this time... (-:
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Anse Songe, that is probably one of my most favorite places on La Digue as I really like combination of the rock formations and greenery. Usually nobody around, excepts for the hiking groups heading towards Anse Marron. Pity that it's not possible to swim. I descend to the water knees-waist deep and I feel strong pull towards water, so I'm getting out and spending some time just on the beach.
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My "favorite" part of the hike, as I've never liked loud rumbling of the water clashing on the rocks while being squeezed underneath. But it's also possible, with some effort, to climb over.
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View of the Anse Marron from the rocks above, rock pool is behind the beach.
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Actually, I've always considered Anse Marron a bit overhyped. I like the hike more than the beach / rock pool section itself. Fact, that if you were planning a visit considering low tide time too, you had a high probability to run into bunch of goided hiking groups, might have contributed to this too...

Anyway, not spending much time there and I'm returning to Gran Anse same way. As I've planned to check the beach bar at the Anse Caiman too (-:

To my surprise, no beach bar around (-: Or, if it is, then it's well hidden. Not sure what that sign along the trail meant then. I was wondering how the beach bar at Anse Caiman would look like or where exactly it could be.


My first thought was if they somehow used that abandoned building:
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Few pictures of the beach. It has rock pool as well (-:
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Some camping has took a place here, I wonder if it has something to do with disappearance of the fairly large red crabs I've always seen here... (-:
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Anyway, I'm glad that the beach remained same as it used to be. It's actually one of my favorite on the island as it's quiet, usually with nobody around and it's possible to swim here. Bar wouldn't make much sense to me, as i've pointed out above - I've never seen much of a people here...

But that might change with a another "new" hiking trail:
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Spending some time at Grand Anse and I'm calling it a day (-:
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Zuletzt geändert von Bong!!! am 15 Dez 2021 13:21, insgesamt 1-mal geändert.
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Suse
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von Suse »

So you almost circled the island in one day and even did the difficult part twice. Props to you, that's quite an effort! :shock:
Wenn du keine Kokosmilch hast, machste einfach normales Wasser.
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Bong!!!
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

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I've did the longest part - La Passe > Anse Fourmis > Grand Anse on a bike, that made it a bit quicker and easier (-:

It is true that I've been thinking about circling the island on foot, but for some reason, I've never liked the section between Anse Fourmis and Anse Caiman where you go over the rocks, as it always looked somewhat not safe to me... Never reached Anse Caiman from that direction. Although I know that people are using it casually, without any problems... Maybe next time...

Guess you're referring to the section between Grand L'Anse and Marron being difficult ? It was indeed for the first time when I went to Anse Marron as it took me like an hour to figure the way through the rocks near the Grand L'Anse. Then another delays here & there and I've missed low tide before coming to the Anse Source D'Argent. Ended up wading through the water with backpack held above my head (-:
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blueshark
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von blueshark »

Thanx for all the pictures and Infos :D

blue
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Bong!!!
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von Bong!!! »

You're welcome (-:

La Digue day #3

I've went for a short morning walk around the village before breakfast. To check a few places I've never been before.

One of them was Interspar, I saw it as a some sort of curiosity that I have to see for myself, but I was too late. Now it's some some sort of a hardware store, but they stick to the previous Interpsar branding (-:
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I've always liked that house in the back, like built into the hill. But I think that it's not available for rent...
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For today, I've planned like a day off, so I'm heading towards Anse Source D'Argent and I wonder how it's to going to look like...


I've never thought that I would ever see that place like this except at six o'clock in the morning maybe... One of those 3 bikes is mine. It feels almost weird...
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Anse Source D'Argent and nobody in sight until 10:30-11:00 as far as I can remember. Sort of unique experience, it is so strange to be here all alone for so long. Beach got somewhat busier after 11:00 or so, I think most of the visitors were day trippers ferried from Mahe. This is something I will remember.
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As I've indicated above, today is a day off, so apart from the Anse Source D'Argent I'm just taking short walk towards Anse Aux Cedres:
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With a brief stop at Anse Pierrot, which is one of my popular spots on the island. I've usually moved here when Anse Source D'Argent became too busy.
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I've spent here all day except for a lunch break and waited till sunset. Tried to make a few pictures, but I've never been good at this. Moreover, when I think about it, there are probably better spots for a sunset... (-:
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I've also received info from booking agency, that my afternoon ferry from La Digue to Mahe has been cancelled and been rescheduled to 7:00 instead... In the end, I do not consider it that bad after all, as I wasn't sure what'll be doing on my last half-day on La Digue anyway...

So tomorrow, last full day on La Digue (-:
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foto-k10
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von foto-k10 »

Bong!!! hat geschrieben: 16 Dez 2021 21:31 I've always liked that house in the back, like built into the hill. But I think that it's not available for rent...
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I remember a house beside the pool of Calou Guesthouse and it was for rent. But that on your picture seems to be more up in the slope.

Bong!!! hat geschrieben: 16 Dez 2021 21:31 I've also received info from booking agency, that my afternoon ferry from La Digue to Mahe has been cancelled and been rescheduled to 7:00 instead... In the end, I do not consider it that bad after all, as I wasn't sure what'll be doing on my last half-day on La Digue anyway...

Last day without breakfirst? Annoying ...
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Bong!!!
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von Bong!!! »

To me it looked like built on a same property, maybe owners of that establishment (Calou guesthouse) are living there ?

Well, I've received a lunchbox instead, so I've had kind of later breakfast on Mahé (-: I've decided that it'll be better to get on board with an empty stomach. Although I'm not prone to getting seasick and it was mostly windless during my stay, ocean swell was already a bit rough (-:
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foto-k10
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von foto-k10 »

Here is a picture from entrance of Calou in 2008 - a lot of green instead of ugly concrete:

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So the building in the back may be the house, where a swiss man named Roger stayed each year.
Do you were in Calou this year? Is there still the pool fed by cold water from the mountains?

You can see by comparing the pictures, that there is an additional floor and the roof changed.
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Suse
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von Suse »

Lucky you to have had Anse d'Argent all to yourself. Anse aux Cèdres I also liked a lot, except for the tiny cones in the sand, those really hurt when you're walking barefoot. :lol:

Bong!!! hat geschrieben: 16 Dez 2021 21:31
I've always liked that house in the back, like built into the hill. But I think that it's not available for rent...
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In 2017 this was still under construction, I was really shocked by its size.

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The smaller house a little further down the slope to the right, that's the "Creole House" which belongs to Calou for sure. They rent it, it has two bedrooms or more, way to large for two people, more suitable for a family of four. Calou used to be our favourite place to stay and one year we climbed up to explore the hill as we thought all this belonged to Calou, but it didn't. Further upwards, approximately there where now the huge new house sits was a Banana Plantation with a small "kaz kreole", people were friendly and let us stay for a moment and take pictures. I don't know if the Jesinghaus Family perhaps later purchased the ground but it's possibly someone else's private residence.

The Creole House is nice as well (we peeked through the windows :wink: ). I know people that stayed there and liked it a lot. I guess one user, belize, even wrote about it in her travel report, but I know of no one who mentioned it recently so I don't know in which condition it is or how much it costs. Calou in general is not quite as affordable as it used to be.
Wenn du keine Kokosmilch hast, machste einfach normales Wasser.
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Bong!!!
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von Bong!!! »

Suse, foto-k10:

Many thanks for additional information and pictures (-:

I've never stayed at Calou Guesthouse, actually, for the first time I've came that close, never been in this part of the village as far as I can remember. I Just remember that house on the hill but the truth is, I'm not sure if I even noticed it's re-construction. Probably yes, but it must've just blended with all the construction works taking place and overall hustle and bustle in the village.

Thanks again for that info (-:
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

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Bong!!! hat geschrieben: 18 Dez 2021 17:22 I've never stayed at Calou Guesthouse, ...
And now it is too late :(
Every evening Klaus (the owner who died some years ago) rang a bell, so all guests came together and sat down at a long table. Then he annouced all dishes and ends with a "and of course the premium basmati long grain rice".
Bong!!! hat geschrieben: 18 Dez 2021 17:22 I'm not sure if I even noticed it's re-construction.
Sorry, my mistake.
I don't recognize on your picture, that there are two buildings in the slope. As Suse wrote the larger one is new. The smaler one is much older and was for rent. I remember sitting in the pool with mountains in the back, this smaler house was on my left side. And the pool was under a large tree completly in the shadow. Must be a Badamier or Takamaka tree, because a Flycatcher was hunting for insects. May be, they cut off the tree?
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Bong!!!
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Re: Seychelles in May/June 2021 (Travelogue in English)

Beitrag von Bong!!! »

foto-k10: Not a problem at all and thanks for that information on Calou (-: I've searched it on the forum and I see that it is not unknown place to the members of the forum.

La Digue day #4
Due to the fact that I'm leaving tomorrow at 7:00, this is basically my last day on La Digue. Thinking about my La Digue bucket list, there's one thing I'd like to do - hike up to the Nid D'Aigle. In the past we've did that - almost, because it started to rain cats and dogs, we had to stop at Belle Vue and because weather wasn't improving, I've called it off.

I was also thinking about exploring the "Jungle trail" starting below Belle Vue and leading to Anse Cocos, but I've decided that I'll leave it for the (maybe) next time (-:


This time, weather looks promising. On a picture start of the steep road leading all the way up to the Belle Vue restaurant which is located at the end of it:
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I like the surroundings, small banana plantations are scattered along the way:
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I do not know name of the plant but I was impressed by the size of it's leaves (it may not looks so large on a picture though):
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Almost at the end of the road, to the right it continues towards Belle Vue:
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To the left, it leads to a house with a definitely nice views over the island:
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Signpost just below Belle Vue, few steps upwards along the restaurant and trail continues through the jungle:
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View above the Belle Vue:
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And another views along the trail:
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There's no need for climbing on the way up (-:
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On the top, with Praslin and Round Island in the background:
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NE View, with Felicite island in the background:
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Little bit clumsy panoramatic image:
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If I had to compare this hike to the Anse Marron for example, then I'd say that this one is more difficult for the lungs and muscles, while Anse Marron, expecialy part after Grand L'Anse, is more difficult for the brain and sense of orientation (-:

Anyway, taking it easy for the day and I'm spending some time at rock pool at the end of Anse Cocos.
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Rock pool got a bit busy after some time, like 10 people or so, then I've continued to Anse Caiman. Unfortunately, no actual pictures, so at least I'm sharing a picture from 2019 with one of the big crabs at Anse Caiman I've mentioned in previous post (-:
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Last few hours I'm spending around La Reunion and having a late lunch. After that, it's time to get back and pack everything for a tomorrow early morning ferry to Mahé. Also, I've noticed a special offer in one of the supermarkets - a Seybrew t-shirt for free when you buy 4 Seybrews. That would make a nice addition to my Seychelles memorabilia collection I have at home (-: Unfortunately, all t-shirts are out of stock at the moment... I was told that they expect next batch tomorrow afternoon, but by that time, I'll be already on Mahé... Will have to try my luck there...

Finished construction near L'Union Estate, quite large project for the local standards, it's visible from the Nid D'Aigle as well. I haven't asked anybody, nor researched the purpose of these houses yet but I don't think it's related to the tourism business...
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L'Assomption church:
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