We took the 15 minutes ferry transfer from Praslin to la Digue. Upon arrival, we noticed right away the large number of bicyclers and some ox carts as the main means of transportation – although the locals complain the number of cars on the island is increasing more and more.
Our greeter from the pension asked if we wanted to ride a bicycle to our pension (twice). We had all of our luggage with us so were surprised he would ask that question, were we supposed to drag the luggage along the bicycle? We both laughed and told him we would take a taxi.We arrived at our pension and were nicely greeted by Jennita, the owner, with some fresh mango juice. The room was large (with A/C- oh so important) and surprisingly a kitchenette which we didn’t expect.We took bikes right away and visited the few “grocery”stores and stands to buy essentials like water and fruits. That afternoon we biked to a spot called Anse Patates to try snorkeling, but the seas were too rough and visibility was poor. We passed a beautiful cemetery on the way.
For that evening, we had booked a dinner “buffet” (mostly seafood and not really a buffet) that had incredible views of the island. This was for James ‘birthday- although a day early. We had a nice time, chatting with some German tourists, enjoying the sunset and the local food.
The next morning, Sylvie had arranged a cake to be presented at breakfast for James’ birthday. The staff sang “happy birthday”, and James made a wish and blew out the one candle (he appreciated that not every year was represented). We then rode our bikes to the other side of the island and spent the day at Anse Coco (yet another gorgeous beach). We hiked past Grande Anse and Petite Anse on the way, which were equally beautiful.
We had Jennita arrange a guided hike to a remote beach, Anse Marron, the day of James’ birthday, but with the weather looking threatening that day, put it off a day (although it turned out to be nice weather anyway). That hike was the highlight of our stay on La Digue. We hiked, scrambled, and crawled our way through thick jungle, ancient coral beds, and huge granite boulders with another couple from Sweden and, of course, our guide Randy. Randy was hiking barefoot on the hot granite boulders, corrals and forest grounds which was astonishing to us. He pointed out many different fruits and spices from the forest and we even tasted cinammon bark right out of the tree (see James’ photo below). We reached Anse Marron after 3 hours of intense hiking and went for a refreshing swim and snorkel while Randy prepared us a delicious lunch – a huge tray of baked goodies and tropical fruits. We ate it all up. We continued hiking, passing other beautiful small beaches and coves until we reached the famous Anse Source D’ Argent. It was low tide, so perhaps not the most photogenic time but we lingered for a few hours, playing and swimming with a very friendly dog who we had met the day before at another beach. That dog was so cute, swimming, playing and posing for pictures with anyone who gave him attention. After a couple of hours hanging out, we hiked out of Anse Source dÁrgent, negotiating our way out without paying the fee (yes that’s one of the few beaches where you have to pay to access through the estate) to retrieve our bikes.
We wrapped up the last few days with visits back at Grand Anse, Petite Anse, and Anse Coco. On one of the bike rides, we heard a loud pop-psssss and Sylvie came to a grinding halt as her back tire had popped. We were quite far from our guest house, so James rode back and grabbed the handyman who took a bike and dragged one beside him. Sylvie was in good company while she waited with one of the many island dogs. On Anse Coco, we were entertained by yet another dog who, besides very playful, would sniff the ghost crab holes and when one smelled good to him, tried to dig it out. We were surprised he hadn’t learned any hard lessons by getting his schnoz pinched!
We took the early ferry bak to Mahe on a Sunday morning
. It was a rough ride with the seas being stormy and agitated, and many people on board getting sick. We were tossed around quite a bit…so as a measure of distraction they decided to play a good movie on the screen: “Captain Philipps”, the latest movie on the Somali pirates attacking ships with Tom Hanks. We thought it was an odd choice given there has been pirate attacks from Somali pirates in the Seychelles waters and there’s still a chance of threat! A bit like playing a plane crash movie on a plane…
We happened to catch a documentary on TV a week before and the Seychelles have zero tolerance for pirates. Unlike other countries, they have no rules of engagement and will kill them on sight.
Anyway, back in Mahe, we enjoyed a couple of beach days and we are now on our way to Uganda where we will spend a little of over 2 weeks, including Christmas.