Sunday, October 01, 2017

Honeymoon Day 12: The magnificent islands of The Seychelles

Honeymoon Day 12: The magnificent islands of The Seychelles

Never heard of The Seychelles? Neither had I. But holy sweet damn this is the most epic place in the world. Often referred to as the "Garden of Eden" -- it's not surprising why; this place is insanely epic. The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa. Our direct flight from Paris CDG arrived in to Mahé, the largest city/island of The Seychelles. It worked out very smoothly and as I mentioned in the previous post, we actually slept pretty well on the flight -- so even though it was a red-eye flight, we arrived in Seychelles pretty relaxed and not jet-lagged.

Arriving at 7:30am... it was HOT. You go through Customs/checkin at the Mahé airport, and after a long checkin and a SUPER COOL passport stamp, we headed to the "other terminal" (!!) which was about 100m away :) So... HOT!! The other first-impression other than the crazy heat was how stunningly beautiful the mountains were. WOW.

We're here!!!
Our plane from Paris
Check it out!!!!!!!!!

Post box
The domestic terminal
We walked the very short distance to the other terminal (outside) and I was SO HOT. Haha. I had brought some shorts in my carry-on as I suspected the change in weather from rainy, chilly Paris to sunny-island Seychelles was going to be pretty major... and it was! While Michal lined up in the line of 3 people to check our bags through to our next Domestic flight, I sat beside an old man at the terminal who was also taking a rest. We both sat down directly in front of the Air Conditioning unit and gave each other a brief nod of "Whew, it's hot" :) Our next flight was very short, only 15 min and from Mahé to the island of Praslin, where the Raffles resort is. We checked in our bags and then learned that it's not pronounced "Prazlin" as we had suspected, it's "Prah-lin". Whoops :)

Haha then we showed ourselves to be very nervous North Americans when we asked the nice fellow in the domestic terminal, "Is it OK if we go back to the other terminal to wait?" It was still probably 45 min till our very short flight and there was literally one tiny waiting room for the plane in the domestic terminal. To our question he answered, "For a coffee and a sit... it is always OK!" hahahah. Michal said "We gotta check in!" and I was like "There are like 5 people on this flight!" haha.

Back to the "main terminal", this was a seating area where you could chill -- it was not inside the building though and no AC... so I bought a water and drank it faster than I've ever drank a water before :)
Birds in the waiting area
After changing to shorts and getting water as swiftly as possible (and drinking about an entire liter immediately), we relaxed and read a couple of maps and guides on the Seychelles before heading back the 1 or 2 min walk to the domestic terminal.

Soon after we headed back and walked into the waiting area for the flight. "We apologize, the flight is 10 min late!" haha. The plane was so small as well that the safety video was actually on a TV screen in the terminal BEFORE you boarded the aircraft. So awesome.

Our tiny plane soon arrived and we headed to the runway to walk onto it. There was only one entrance, from the back of the plane with a little staircase that folded down. The seats were very small and some were fold-down, like you'd have at a concert arena. There was 1 seat on the left-side of the plane, and 2 on the right-side of the plane. The aisle was VERY thin, haha no chance of a drink cart making it down this aisle! The funniest part of this whole experience was that there was no door for the cockpit -- it was open and there were no stewards/stewardesses -- the pilots WERE the stewards!! haha. The pilots turned around and said hello and then said "Enjoy your flight" as we started to move along the runway. It was very cool to watch as there was a cool lever thing that they were using to turn up the engines, and they were tag-teaming the flying operation -- one pilot would move one lever and then move to a different task, then the other would switch and move the same lever. It was very cool and kinda crazy to watch.

There's our little plane!

Here we go!!!
Open window to the cockpit

Here are the pilots taking off!
And here's a video of us on the flight:

So that was totally amazing. We took off and it was a quick 15 min flight, and not nearly as bumpy or shaky as I expected -- just quite loud!! These planes were made in Canada (Twin Otter) which was pretty cool :) The islands, water, mountains, and houses... WOW! What a spectacular view. It was like a "scenic helicopter ride", except it was just the standard transportation to another island!


Arrived in Praslin!!
Unloading the baggage :)
We arrived in Praslin safely and were SO excited. We got into a Taxi at the airport and as-per our Lonely Planet guidelines, asked "How much?" "About 50 Euros?" "Can we turn on the meter?" It did end up being pretty close (maybe 40 Euros), but as the book encouraged, it is wiser to ask for the meter. Nothing like when Matt Parrott and I were in Kuala Lumpur and we definitely paid 5x more for our Taxi Ride that we were supposed to.

Jungle everywhere along the 30 min drive to the hotel

We arrived at the Raffles Praslin to a completely INSANE checkin area. The first thing they did is welcome us, give us a cold scented towel to wipe our faces, and poured us an incredible Passion Fruit Iced Tea... I'm home!!!!!!!!!!!  I was ranting and raving about the Iced Tea and when I finished it the lady checking us in said, "Would you like some more Iced Tea, Mr. Jutan?" "I'm OK for now, thanks" I said... was I crazy?!?!?! Haha. That stuff was amazing. "Please come back anytime, we have lots!" OK, whew :)

Can hardly believe this place
"Look at the rooms!!!!!!!!"
This was magic
Those are the rooms (villas) on the hillside. WOW!!
The weather was perfect and the iced tea and moist towel very welcome. Soon after we were whisked off by buggy to our room. A very nice fellow named Arnold (also our buggy driver) stopped out front of our unbelievable looking room and came to drop off our bags and show us the features of the room. Before he got started with the tour, he first said, "What can I refer to you as?" Instinctively I of course said, "Mike and Michal!" which was proceeded by an awkward silence as I realized what he was asking... haha... "Oh! Mr. and Mrs. Jutan is fine!" I think the informality of first names was unexpected :)

He proceeded to show us this insane and amazing villa room. Absolutely crazy. It had an indoor and outdoor shower, a tub, Nespresso machine, TWG Tea from Singapore (my favourite!!!!!!!!!!!!) and so so so much more. All with the most insane view of the water. WOW WOW WOW.

There were crazy welcome gifts for us as well -- epic towel swans with rose petals!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They also had truffles there for us "One of those is PASSION FRUIT" he said (!!!!!!!!!), heart-shaped banana chocolate cakes, fruit, and a bottle of Moet Chandon champagne!!! Holy friggin' crap!!!!!!!!! This was crazy and the most incredible welcome we could have ever imagined. Truly truly special and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This place is amazing.

Towel Swans!!!!!!!!!!

Tasty welcome snacks!

Here's a "walking tour" video of the whole villa. OMG!!!!!!!!!!

So this was all completely over-the-top exciting and absurdly ridiculous/epic of course. We said thank you to Arnold for the kind welcome and headed right into the freakin' private plunge pool ON OUR DECK... with the Champagne. Holy moly, we're definitely on a honeymoon, that's for sure!!!


Haha my sweet hilarious wife, ever cautious (with certain things, anyway): "Don't we need sunblock?" "Careful with the wine glasses by the pool!" haha, as I barreled towards this insane personal deck pool "Let's just get in the pool, let's go for it right now!" Hilarious balance of cautious vs. adventurous, and we're constantly swapping roles... #marriage!!

We had some of our snacks... OH MAN that Banana Cake was SO GOOD!! I also chilled on the random massive deck we had too. This room is ridiuucccullloouus.

After enjoying the room and really checking out out well, we headed down to the beach at the hotel, called Anse Takamaka. We chilled and snorkeled, finding awesome fish right off the beach!! It was super clear and sunny and amazing.

THIS PLACE IS INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some GoPro photos of the fish and the snorkeling:

Next, to the pool! We sat down on chairs at the main pool area, and I tried a local "Seybrew" beer, a Coco Colada (in a coconut!) and a Mojito. We sure are livin' it up already after just getting here :) We sat at the pool for quite some time and read and just soaked up the stunning beauty of this place. We got hungry a bit later as we hadn't had lunch yet, so we ordered a Seychelles Chicken Curry... at the pool! This was pretty "light" as curries go -- a perfect compliment to warm weather and not overwhelming by any means. Truly perfect. Soon after I was snoring and taking a glorious afternoon nap. Wow, this is the life, indeed. We stayed at the pool for probably 2.5 hours before heading back up to the room to change and relax some more.

Kickin' back with a Seybrew!

Curry at the pool!
Drinking out of a coconut
Sun starting to go down, so we headed back to our room.
After relaxing for a bit we got changed and headed to dinner at the Curieuse Restaurant on-site for a-la carte Indian... it was amazing. A warm evening, a cool breeze, no bugs anywhere to be found... and a romantic dinner under the moonlight. Michal: "Seriously, could this place be ANY MORE romantic?!??!?" It was both super romantic and super tasty. We got a mixed platter -- chicken satay, beef satay which was so tender with "fruit" sauce and "soy-teryaki" sauce.

We also had some fresh spring rolls "THIS is what they are supposed to taste like!" and some Papaya Salad which was refreshing and stellar. We also got a Thai Red Curry with Jackfish... OMG. It had a magnificent flavour, perfectly grilled fish (chewy/crispy on the outside, soft inside). An incredible combination.... so, so, so, SO good. Mmm!!

For dessert we had a combo of three flavours of sorbet: Guava, Lemon, and Mango. This place is my dream place. :)

Michal all dressed up for dinner in one of the new dresses she got in Paris 20 min before we headed to the airport!

Cool pen flashlights on the menus
Satay skewers with papaya salad and fresh rolls behind it
Thai Red Curry with Jackfish

Romantic dinner in the moonlight!
What a first day here!!!!!!!! We could hardly believe how amazing it was and how truly perfect everything is here: the weather, the food, the staff, the service, the pools, the beach... incredible.

With our fan on and AC on, we had a glorious sleep in our truly out-of-this-world-insane villa.


Dada Jutan said...

A Truly out of this world experience!
What a memory to take with you when you return to earth.....

lost_in_woods said...

lost_in_woods said...