Ah, La Digue. The epitome of chill. An island of very few vehicles, most of which are electric. So how does everyone get around this little slice of paradise? Fucking bicycles. I knew there had to be a trade off, I fucking hate bicycles. Half an hour on one of those bastards and I feel like I’ve been kicked in the arse for three days. It is, however, the most efficient way to see the island so sorry, buttocks, it’s happening.
We left the ferry after a nice, calm crossing and rented the death traps from a lovely chap outside the jetty who warned us that the beach we were planning on heading to first, a beach that could only be reached on foot after ditching the bicycle, was nice but no good for swimming on account of dangerous currents. Well, shit. I’m glad he warned us because being carried out to sea wasn’t on my list of stuff to do today. We fucked off all plans to be all intrepid and just headed straight to Anse Source D’argent, probably the most popular beach on La Digue. Certainly the most photographed.
The only way to it is through L’Union Estate and they know what they have. There’s an entrance fee to get in and we were handed a wristband each then we cycled as far as we could and abandoned our two wheeled menaces with a sea of others. I stared at them intently so I’d remember which ones were ours. Then I took a photo. Then we decided to lock them even though we’d been told it was unnecessary. At least we’d recognise the lock if not the bikes.
Anse Source D’argent is actually a series of coves and you can walk along the back of them as far as you like. Guys, it is stunning. I mean, put it in your eyeholes. Granite boulders that have been shaped by nature compliment the now familiar white sand and turquoise ocean. I’m not drooling, you’re drooling. I couldn’t stop waving my camera at it. It was just like someone had been asked to paint a picture of the perfect beach and this is what they’d come up with.
You pass a stall renting out kayaks and snorkeling gear. There are kiosks selling souvenirs, coconuts, juices, rum and beer. It’s busy because of course it is. You didn’t think you’d get La Digue’s most famous beach all to yourself did you? It was also pretty fucking breezy so we settled on a small, sheltered cove and sprawled out to enjoy it.
Maybe 90 minutes later we got hungry so we packed up, retrieved our devil’s transportation and went in search of food before I started chewing the limbs off passers-by. The lack of traffic is nice but tourists on bicycles, they’ll fucking make eye contact with you as they pull right out in front of you when it’s clearly your right of way. Utter pricks! If I knew how to use this thing properly I’d chase you down and and and… Ooh yeah, I was getting hangry now.
Salvation came in the form of the Reggae Bar & Cafeteria and their array of burgers. We shovelled one each into our chops, I managed to end up wearing a significant quantity of mine in an effort to inhale the whole fucking thing in one go like I was raised by wolves. That was better. Right then, let’s go gawp at another beach.
Tell you what though, I was already a bit tender in the backside. Despite the vastness of my arse it seems not a lot of it is viable cushioning. I winced every time we hit bumpy ground. My legs weren’t happy about this whole pedalling shenanigans either. We got to Anse Severe where there happens to be a couple of beach bars selling all manner of exciting things such as smoothies which you can have rum added to if you wish. We wished. I would advise you, though, to stop converting rupees to your own currency in your head because once you realise how much you’re actually paying for juice it’ll make you cry a little bit.
We chilled on the benches by the beach as reggae music was very forcibly applied to our earholes. There are worse ways to spend time I guess. We did consider checking out a couple of other places on the way back to the jetty but every time I got back on that bicycle I felt like I’d been kicked by increasingly angry donkeys. We took a slow cycle back, returned the instruments of torture, then headed back to Praslin on the 4pm ferry. What a cracking day. I feel like it would have been nice to spend a night or two here. Not that there’s anything to do, but I think that’s the point.
La Digue, The Seychelles
Stayed at: Villa Bedier, Cote D’or, Praslin
Useful shit to know…
- You can book your ferries to La Digue and back online but then you need to print out the voucher and take it to the jetty.
- We just showed up and bought our tickets on the day. It cost Rs415 each return. It only takes about 15 minutes to cross.
- When you get off the ferry they’ll be someone around to ask you if you want to rent a bicycle. If not just walk down the road opposite the ferry ticket office, the road with the police station. There are bicycle rentals down there. We paid Rs150 each. We’re not hagglers though, no idea if that’s the done thing.
- The beaches on the other side of the island have dangerous currents and aren’t good for swimming.
- Anse Source D’argent is the most popular beach and can only be accessed through L’Union Estate which costs Rs150. That’s good for all day though and you can come and go as you please.
- There are beach bars selling juice, rum and beer. You can walk the length of all the coves of Anse Source D’argent until you find a beach you love. It’s not great for swimming at low tide, but then the beach disappears to a sliver at high tide.
- Anse Severe also has some really chilled beach bars.