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Seychelles

Seychelles - Mombasa - Nairobi - Rome - London - Bristol

This is a historic journal, from our trip to Kenya and Seychelles in 1986, taken from notes I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs.


View Kenya and Seychelles 1986 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Saturday 22nd November 1986

My birthday!

We have a leisurely breakfast and hang around waiting for the airport pick-up. The journey back to the airport is less eventful than the one which took us here thank goodness.

Today is going to be a long day as we are flying Seychelles – Mombasa - Nairobi – Rome – London, then have to drive home afterwards. At the transfer desk in Nairobi the scene is one of utter chaos. While the Brits queue up orderly in a single line, Italians waiting to get on the flight just storm the desk, pushing and shoving in front of everyone. Being patient and waiting for the bedlam to die down certainly pays off: by the time the few remaining passenger who are travelling all the way to London actually get to the front of the queue, the clerk informs us that the plane is overbooked. Oh. But she is upgrading us all to Business Class. Result!

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Grinning from ear to ear at Nairobi Airport!

All is well that ends well.

We arrive at Heathrow around 5am and have to wait for a couple of hours for the bus to Bristol. At Bristol we grab a cab for the last part of the journey, which by the time we open the front door, has taken 34 hours from leaving the hotel in the Seychelles. Welcome home.

Posted by Grete Howard 07:19 Archived in Seychelles Comments (1)

Seychelles: Beau Vallon Beach

This is a historic journal, from our trip to Kenya and Seychelles in 1986, taken from notes I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs.


View Kenya and Seychelles 1986 on Grete Howard's travel map.

We stay in bed late today, just because we can, then take a leisurely stroll along the lovely stretches of golden sand at Beau Vallon Bay.

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A totally uneventful day!

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We come back and sit on the balcony for a while before going to the bar for a few drinks. This is our last night here, so we want to make the most of it.

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Posted by Grete Howard 07:18 Archived in Seychelles Comments (0)

Seychelles: Victoria and the Botanical gardens

This is a historic journal, from our trip to Kenya and Seychelles in 1986, taken from notes I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs.


View Kenya and Seychelles 1986 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Thursday 20th November 1986

We wake up to torrential rain this morning, which continues for several hours. I have not seen a downpour like it: huge drops splat on the ground, the rain feels like a massage on my shoulders. And the noise! The whole thing is almost frightening. We go for a short walk up the lane behind the hotel, but soon give in and retire to the hotel lounge with some board games.

After lunch, the rain has stopped so we take the local bus to Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles, where we wander around for a while. I have to admit there is not much to see in the town, although the clock tower is quite pretty I guess.

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Botanical Gardens
I had been looking forward to seeing some exotic trees and flowers this afternoon, but after a couple of minutes walk, the heavens open again and all I see is rain.

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After a short walk in the grounds, we wimp out and catch the bus back to the hotel for dinner and a few drinks.

The rain continues for the rest of the day.

The US Marines have left the island, and the USSR navy is here today. The two are not permitted to land here at the same time apparently.

What a difference! The Russians are polite, sober (or maybe they can just hold their liquor better), immaculate, well behaved and a pleasure to have around. We chat with one marine who speaks a smattering of English, and they buy us drinks for the rest of the evening.

Posted by Grete Howard 07:15 Archived in Seychelles Comments (0)

Seychelles: Round Island Tour

This is a historic journal, from our trip to Kenya and Seychelles in 1986, taken from notes I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs.


View Kenya and Seychelles 1986 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Wednesday 19th November 1986

We take an organised bus tour around the island this morning in order to see as much as we can in the shortest possible time.

Stopping at the roadside, the guide explains to us about various trees, including cinnamon, how it grows, how it is 'harvested' and we see how the bark is stripped away from the branches.

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Although I knew that cinnamon – my favourite spice – came from the bark of a tree, it still seems quite odd to try and associate the bits of scrub in the ditch with tasty desserts.

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The Blood Dragon Tree is so called because when cut it secretes a red substance similar to blood.

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We also visit a tea factory to see how the leaves for this popular drink is produced.

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A few more viewpoints to stop for photographs and it's back to the hotel for dinner and drinks.

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View of the airport

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Wild pineapple

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Port Claude and Theresa Island

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Grand Anse

As we are eating the the rain clouds move in and the heavens open with a torrential downpour. Guests from the outdoor seating area move in to the restaurant / bar to keep dry, including several members of the US Navy, most of whom are disgustingly drunk. Swearing, leering and jeering, they certainly do not give their country a good name and are upsetting the other guests, especially those with young children in tow. One female marine is unable to stand up unaided and leans against the wall – which has a beautiful mural of a beach, palm trees, sun and sea but is unfortunately not waterproof - and as she collapses in a drunken stupor on the floor, she slides down the wall, smudging the paint and colours as she goes. What a disgrace! The wall is a mess, she is a mess. They are thankfully all asked to leave and the rest of us can eat and drink in peace.

Posted by Grete Howard 07:11 Archived in Seychelles Comments (0)

Seychelles: Beau vallon Beach - fishermen and catamarans

This is a historic journal, from our trip to Kenya and Seychelles in 1986, taken from notes I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs.


View Kenya and Seychelles 1986 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Tuesday 18th November 1986

We rise early to watch the fishermen haul their catch in on the beach a little further down from our hotel.

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In the afternoon I go out on Catalyst – the hotel's catamaran – with Brandon who we met yesterday.

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I take my cheap disposable underwater camera with me to get some shots of the hotel from the sea, and later David and I play in the Indian Ocean, taking pictures of each other.

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After a lazy day we enjoy a few cocktails in the bar followed by dinner under the stars.

Posted by Grete Howard 07:08 Archived in Seychelles Comments (0)

Seychelles: Cerf Island

This is a historic journal, from our trip to Kenya and Seychelles in 1986, taken from notes I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs.


View Kenya and Seychelles 1986 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Monday 17th November 1986

Cerf Island
Access is by glass bottom boat to the small off-shore island of Cerf, which lies in the Ste Anne Marine National Park and is surrounded by a coral reef.

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On the way we can see lots of colourful fish, and the crew hold bread out to feed them, which of course attracts thousands of them!

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They manage to catch one so that we can see the markings.

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Once we arrive on the island we have to wade across to get ashore, but find it extremely uncomfortable as the sharp coral cuts our feet.

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It was raining for a while on the journey here – this is said to be the wet season – but it dries up in time for us to stroll around the island.

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We find the island quite unspoilt and very beautiful.

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The island has a small population of giant tortoises, some as old as 1000 years.

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This evening there is a poolside BBQ, we have a few drinks to accompany it and retire to bed.

Posted by Grete Howard 07:06 Archived in Seychelles Comments (0)

Seychelles: Beau Vallon Beach

This is a historic journal, from our trip to Kenya and Seychelles in 1986, taken from notes I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs.


View Kenya and Seychelles 1986 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Sunday 16th November

Coral Strand Hotel
The hotel is situated with direct access to the glorious beach, and we have a side view of the ocean from our room.

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Coral Strand Hotel on the beautiful Beau Vallon Beach

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View from our balcony

After the early mornings and long days last week, we take it easy today, just lazing around the pool most of the day.

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I am tempted to learn to dive, but in the end I chicken out.

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The day quickly goes by with snoozing on a sunbed, enjoying a cocktail in the bar and taking a dip in the pool.

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Topless sunbathing is the thing here, and a number of girls are doing it – not just the young ones either: every shape, size, age and level of firmness is represented here. Some appear to require a little ironing.

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After watching the sun set over Beau Vallon Beach from our room, we go for dinner. The food is pleasant but not memorable.

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Posted by Grete Howard 07:03 Archived in Seychelles Comments (0)

Meru National Park - Nairobi - Seychelles

This is a historic journal, from our trip to Kenya and Seychelles in 1986, taken from notes I wrote at the time. Apologies for the poor quality photographs.


View Kenya and Seychelles 1986 on Grete Howard's travel map.

Saturday 15th November 1986

Most of today is taken up with travelling, with just a few comfort stops along the way.

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Local market town

Whenever we stop to admire the view, a hoard of local children appear, hoping to get a hand-out. Often they do.

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Kikuyu children with Samburu National park in the background.

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Thomson's Falls

Charnia Falls at Thika

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I am particularly pleased that we stop here, as I have just finished reading the book 'The Flame Trees of Thika' by Elspeth Huxley; and even more delighted when I see flame trees at the side of the road by the falls!

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We make our way back to Nairobi and to the airport for our flight to the Seychelles.

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Flying in to land on the Seychelles.

While we are waiting for the transfer bus at the airport to fill up with passengers, David goes off to change some money. Of course, the moment after he gets off, the last person gets on and the bus is ready to leave.

After a couple of minutes of waiting, one couple become aggressively impatient, shouting at the rep and driver and creating a scene because they are having to wait. The other passengers shake their head in embarrassed disbelief. In desperation and anger, the irate passenger and his girlfriend get off, demanding that the driver removes their luggage as they “are going to take a taxi”.

The driver finds their bags, dumps them unceremoniously on the pavement at their feet and gets back on the bus – at the same time as David does – and triumphantly drives off! The whole bus erupts in applause as we watch the rude couple swearing even more as they head for the taxi rank.

By the time we arrive at our hotel on Beau Vallon Bay on the island of Mahé, it is late and we go straight to bed.

Posted by Grete Howard 06:53 Archived in Seychelles Comments (0)

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