I’ve Never Been So Damn Chilled

You wouldn’t think someone with an aversion to sand would throw obnoxious quantities of cash at a beach holiday would you. I hate the tiny particles of evil but I know from experience that as long as I have access to a shower, give me a couple days and I get over myself and start enjoying sprawling on a well placed beach towel. I still hate the fact that it gets in all of my shit, and Tarrant has to reapply my suncream because I can’t hack doing it when there’s sand on me, it creeps me out, but at least I don’t curl up into a ball and cry.

Horizontal palm tree. Outstandingly photogenic. Though the poor thing needs to be propped up.

I don’t remember the last time I deliberately went out of my way to do very fucking little whilst abroad. That was part of the reason we chose The Seychelles. There’s actually plenty to do if you didn’t want to sprawl on a gorgeous beach for two weeks, periodically cooling off in a perfect temperature turquoise sea, but not so much that you overstretch yourself in a bid to see it all.

The last non-UK trip we went on was Malta in the Before Times. It started off an an idea to have a chilled, all-inclusive break and rapidly degenerated into a non-stop tourist whirlwind where we only stopped on the last day because we couldn’t physically open our eyes when the alarm went off. Don’t get me wrong, we regret nothing, Malta has so much to offer in the way of insanely ancient history. But after walking 1114 miles (did I mention that?) we needed a break. A proper one. Even if it meant Tarrant had to nail me to the fucking beach with wrought iron spikes.

The last three days have been utterly glorious to be fair, I’ve taken to this beach life quite well and it helps that the apartment we’re staying in is about 100 metres from a gorgeous, white sand, turquoise ocean, palm lined beach. I’ve smashed through one and a half books. The white bits of my hiker tan are slowly being filled in, albeit within the bounds of public decency of course. Cote D’Or would not appreciate my knee length saddlebags swinging in the wind, and I wouldn’t appreciate the stint in a Seychelles prison it might afford me.

These little guys hop about everywhere, as ubiquitous as pigeons back home.

We chose to stay in Anse Volbert / Cote D’or on account of the amenities within easy reach. Shops, restaurants, cocktails, everything we needed a short shuffle from our accommodation. And our room though! It’s a whole apartment with a fully equipped kitchen. We wanted a self-catering apartment so we could save a bit of money by not eating out every night. It’s bigger than the flat we rented in Brighton. Even the pans are better, they’re actually non-stick, and you know you’re in your 40’s when that’s the shit that matters to you when you’ve flown thousands of miles to a Tropical bucket list destination.

Our beach is incredible too, it’s pretty much lifted from a brochure advertising the country, I swear. You know how Instagrammers make shit look better than it is with angles and lighting? No. It really is that amazing. White sand, turquoise water, there’s even a horizontal palm tree. Who doesn’t want a horizontal palm tree in their lives? People climb onto it for that perfect shot. Honestly, I’ve never seen so many boyfriends taking photos of their Instagram girlfriends on one beach before. I will not be crawling onto the poor tree, no one needs to see my fat thighs sagging over the sides of a coconut palm.

I did break the beach sea beach sea cycle on the Saturday though. I went diving for a bit which was, of course, fantastic. Every dive is a good dive unless something goes horribly tits up and you end up in a hyperbaric chamber on the phone to your insurance company trying to convince them to part with large sums of cash.

Both the dive sites were mercifully close to Cote D’or so I did manage to tolerate the boat rides without demonstrating to the other divers the quickest way to expel one’s partially digested breakfast. It wasn’t fun though, I couldn’t get in the water quickly enough. Booby Island was the first site which I would have taken great delight in if I wasn’t too busy concentrating on not puking.

The viz at this time of year isn’t great but I knew it wasn’t. It’s not like we booked this trip with diving in mind, it was a last minute decision. There’s no live coral here, the sea bed is strewn with dead coral. I’d read that it was destroyed by a particularly brutal storm one year. But what it lacked in coral it made up for in marine life. We saw a tiny shark, a couple of rays, and tonnes of colourful fish that I can’t name because I absolutely suck at fish identification.

I know batfish were amongst the line up, and angelfish. Those fish that look like they’re wearing stripy pajamas, and parrotfish too. We were under for an hour before we had to head back, a quick surface interval later and we were back out to a closer dive site. Thank fuck for that! My poor stomach couldn’t take much more bobbing around. I managed to fuck up getting my weights and BCD on in my haste to get into the water this time and had to spend the dive readjusting everything.

Sunset beach strolls.

The viz was even worse this time but we still managed to see a reef shark hiding in a cave, minding its own damn business before a shit tonne of bipeds showed up to gawp at it. We also saw a massive ray, and a tiny moray eel. The first dive was definitely better, but I’ll take all the diving I can get right now.

So yeah. Literally the most strenuous thing I’ve had to do since we got here (aside from convincing my stomach to retain its contents) was point at a lionfish I found. It’s not our usual choice of adventure, but it’s certainly one I could get used to.

Jump to “Useful shit to know…”

Cote D’Or, Praslin, The Seychelles

Stayed at: Villa Bedier, Cote D’or, Praslin

Villa Bedier. Guys it’s such a perfect place to stay. Mere metres from an incredible beach, so close to bars, restaurants and a takeaway, and buses to other parts of Praslin. The staff are fantastic, always friendly and helpful. Our room was large and comfortable, we had a lovely veranda with table and chairs, and two sunbeds. The kitchen was fully equipped, the bedroom had excellent AC, and the room was cleaned to a high standard every day. Oh, and they don’t just provide towels, they provide beach towels too. There is literally no downside to these self catering villas.

Useful shit to know…

  • I used Octopus Dive Centre who are located right on the beach at Cote D’Or. I just had to go in the day before and tell them I wanted to go diving.
  • They charge €120 for two dives (I’m not sure of the cost of a single dive) and this includes all your equipment.
  • They’ll assemble your gear for you too which is nice. It’s almost like you’re on holiday or some shit.

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