So it turns out that driving in The Seychelles is quite the exercise in bum clenching. The islands go from sea level to actual fucking mountain quite rapidly and the only way to do this is with very steep, very winding roads which are also bus routes. There are mirrors on a lot of the hairpin turns but nothing is going to stop other drivers careering around the corner in the middle of the road, and overtaking on the many, many blind corners just seems to be the done thing.
It wouldn’t be so terrifying if the roads didn’t drop off to either side. It’s only about a foot, it might not kill you but it’d certainly incapacitate your vehicle and probably your bank account when you consider the insurance excess is €1500. So you’re basically negotiating this winding ribbon of tarmac, barely wide enough for two vehicles, which abruptly stops at the edges. It’s like something out of Super Mario Cart but without a friendly cloud to lift you back onto the road when you veer off the edge.
That didn’t stop us heading up to the north of Mahé to spend our last full day in The Seychelles sprawling on a towel on a an absolutely lovely beach or two. We’d heard Port Launay was nice and this was confirmed by Maria, the owner of Alha Villa. She also said we should check out Beau Vallon too so we did.
It was a lovely morning of being generally horizontal on Port Launay beach, turning occasionally for that last bit of flesh crisping, popping to the water every now and then to chill off and/or have a wee. After some lunch we headed to Beau Vallon and oh my fucking god, it’s a particularly unfriendly road which takes every modicum of concentration you have. Don’t be expecting to enjoy the scenery when maneuvering a vehicle around these ridiculous roads.
Beau Vallon was worth the therapy I’ll probably have to book myself in for though and it actually has sand at high tide it seems. It’s much busier than, say, Anse á la Mouche. You’ll constantly be asked if you want to go on a snorkeling trip, or if you want a fresh coconut by different blokes. They don’t pester you though and “no thank you” is always accepted as your final answer.
That evening, after we’d wound our way back to our villa and washed the sand out of our cracks, we headed down to the beach to watch the fiery skyball fuck off. We’d had a lot of cloud, it was the time of year for it, but it certainly put on a cracking show for us.
The Seychelles, guys. It’s honestly exactly how you expect it to be. Chilled as fuck, absolutely beautiful everywhere you look. White sand, turquoise ocean, palm trees lining the beaches. If you didn’t want to do anything but crisp your flesh and frolic in the water you can absolutely do that here. But there’s so much other stuff you can do too if the thought of getting covered in sand every day makes your bumhole twitch. There are islands to visit and national parks to explore. We didn’t do a huge amount but that was the point of this. We’re meant to be relaxing and healing after the big hike.
Is it expensive? Oh fuck yes! It absolutely is! We live in a particularly expensive city in the UK so it wasn’t too much of a jump for us but even some of the prices in restaurants and cafés made our eyelids twitch. My bank account is currently curled up in a corner, rocking and weeping. Is it worth it? Absolutely! It’s definitely one of those one in a lifetime trips for us. We cut costs by self catering and taking the public buses, but we did everything we wanted to do regardless of the cost.
The Seychelles is a genuine island paradise. They just seem to know how to do things. The tourist experience was, for us, was flawless. Nothing was difficult, information was easy to come by, everywhere is easy to get to. I really can’t recommend it enough for a nice, relaxing break.
Port Launay & Beau Vallon, Mahé, The Seychelles
Stayed at: Alha Villa, Anse á la Mouche, Mahé
Useful shit to know…
- There was very limited parking by Port Launay beach. We got there early so we managed to squeeze in.
- Parking for Beau Vallon is at -4.613643, 55.429988 and is open from 7am to 6pm. It’s free.
- Petrol seems to be about Rs25 a litre but I couldn’t see the price listed anywhere. An attendant will put the petrol in for you. We paid cash rupees but he did have a card machine.
- There’s a takeaway in Anse á la Mouche which I’ve been told is very good but the two restaurants are expensive and, apparently, not that great. Perry’s Grillz is nerve wracking to drive to but it’s very much worth it.