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Whispering sweet nothings.

turtlemichael

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Day 84 Mar 31 Mahe, Seychelles.

Mahe is the big smoke of the Seychelles. However, it is tiny. While the town and surrounding area seemed a bit more urbanized than Praslin with some poor housing, it was still quite attractive.

We decided to do a tour here. It started at the impressive but small Botanical Gardens. My first impression was of a mini-Kirstenbosch but really the only similarity was that it was on the side of a hill. It was easily walked in 30 minutes and had a real tropical feel. There was a compound for native giant tortoises where you could pay 5 euros to get in amongst it and feed them. I asked why they were in an enclosure and was informed that if they were on the loose there would be no botanical gardens as they would eat it all. I guess that should have been obvious to me!

We did a walking tour of the town too but as it was a Sunday almost everything, except the churches, were shut. They were pumping. The Catholic church was very impressive and the majority of the population were Catholic. We had wanted to visit the market, but it too was shut. The small statue of Queen Victoria had a story attached. Apparently, the belief had gone around that it was a statue of the Virgin Mary and it thus became a shrine. When the Catholic priest told the locals who it actually was the daily flowers promptly stopped. The British administrator who had been reporting to London how much they loved Queen Victoria in the Seychelles had to report his error. It did sound a bit apocryphal to me.

Next it was a bus ride around the stunning north of the island to a resort for a swim. The resort was a disappointment as bussed-in day visitors weren’t particularly welcome though I am sure we paid for the privilege. The only place to get changed was in a toilet and we were told we couldn’t sit on any of the beach lounge chairs. The beach again was lovely.

Seychelles has been added to the list of places we’d like to come back to.
SEYM1.JPG SEYM2.JPG SEYM3.JPG SEYM4.JPG SEYM5.JPG SEYM6.JPG SEYM7.JPG SEYM8.JPG SEYM9.JPG SEYM10.JPG
 

JessicaTam

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A friend of mine worked in the Seychelles for a while so I got to visit. It also allowed me to access 'locals pricing' as opposed to the more expensive tourist rate for everything from food to accommodation.

Did you see the beach where they filmed the Alpine cigarette ad? I think it was on La Digue.
 

turtlemichael

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A friend of mine worked in the Seychelles for a while so I got to visit. It also allowed me to access 'locals pricing' as opposed to the more expensive tourist rate for everything from food to accommodation.

Did you see the beach where they filmed the Alpine cigarette ad? I think it was on La Digue.
Unfortunately, we didn't. Just not enough time on a cruise but it is a taster to go back. Clearly, a thick wallet is needed.
 

turtlemichael

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How are you finding things after 3 months at sea? I was thinking you’d be so used to ship life service so it would be hard to get back to normal. Which means of course it would be time to book another cruise :eek:
We are just finding it like normal life now. We are 2/3rds through and it has gone in an instant. It will be hard to get back to the routine after we get home June 10 and there will be no one to make the bed, cook or do the washing. And we'll have to pay in restaurants and bars! We've already done the booking thing. We are away for a month in Thailand and Singapore in August/September and I'll be chasing the cricket when the release the time table for the Australian summer. We have booked two weeks in the Pacific on the Silver Muse from mid-February and also the world cruise again on Silver Whisper in 2021. That is a long way away. We haven't told the accountant yet.
 

craven morehead

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We are just finding it like normal life now. We are 2/3rds through and it has gone in an instant. It will be hard to get back to the routine after we get home June 10 and there will be no one to make the bed, cook or do the washing. And we'll have to pay in restaurants and bars! We've already done the booking thing. We are away for a month in Thailand and Singapore in August/September and I'll be chasing the cricket when the release the time table for the Australian summer. We have booked two weeks in the Pacific on the Silver Muse from mid-February and also the world cruise again on Silver Whisper in 2021. That is a long way away. We haven't told the accountant yet.
You doing the Ashes 2023 in UK ?
 

craven morehead

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Hmmm! :) That and the short tour of Sri Lanka in mid-2022 have crossed my mind but too far away to be definite.
I was going to this years but chucked the towel in after the fiasco in South African left me feeling a little empty. Will aim for 2023 and might even have a crack at Sri Lanka 2022 as I haven't been there yet. Enjoying your TR again. Definitely the longest one I have followed ;)
 

turtlemichael

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We didn't think we'd be in Dar Es Salaam on this cruise. We'd expected to be in Mombasa up the coast but, alas, the Silversea powers that be decided that the risk was real in Mombasa, after the recent terrorist incidents in Nairobi, so we were diverted to Dar (as we locals call it!). We liked the place despite all the warnings we got about the risks of being robbed or attacked. Clearly it is very poor but we had no problems walking around. So many people seem to be sitting around without anything to do. However, there is a large amount of building going on and maybe that will help the situation.
DAR1.JPG
The welcome party on our arrival.
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Street enterprise.
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There is a huge amount of food available in instant markets on the streets.
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The old National Museum inside the grounds of the new one. The old one was an empty building.
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A ficus religiosa in the grounds of the Museum
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In the Village Museum.
DAR8.JPG
 

Le Clair

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Loving every moment of your TR. The pictures and descriptions put you right there. You must be having a fabulous time. Can't wait for more. Thanks.
 

Milboo

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Loved the insight into Seychelles. Hadn’t really considered it before and now...

And Sri Lanka - do it! You will not regret spending more time there. It is a great country. I have a trip report here about my trips.
 

turtlemichael

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Day 89 Apr 5 Zanzibar City

We hoped that the visit to Zanzibar would be one of the highlights of this trip. We weren’t disappointed. It is just a few hours by cruise ship from Dar Es Salaam and even less by the local high-speed ferry. It is clearly the destination of many westerners and has some very decent beach resorts particularly on the east coast. Our destination was Zanzibar City on the west coast and specifically, Stone Town.

This is the oldest part of the city and where the Omani sultans, who controlled Zanzibar for many years, lived. It is also where the infamous slave market they ran took place right up to the last years of the 19th century. The British eventually got them stopped before taking over the island in one of the shortest wars in history. Some 50,000 slaves were sold each year to work largely in Zanzibar plantations. Another 80,000 it is estimated died through mistreatment before even getting to the slave market.

The streets and lanes of the old Stone Town are gradually being gentrified but there is a long way to go. Much remains decayed. This is already a tourist attraction in a country that desperately needs all the employment it can get.

ZAN1.JPG
Perfect sunrise
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Welcome to Zanzibar.
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The fish market which was nearly enough to turn me vegetarian.
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Church of Christ built over the site of the former slave market
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The moving memorial to the victims of the slave trade built on the original site.
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The holding pit where slaves where kept naked for three days before the market. It was a test to see if they survived and were thus suitable for plantation work
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Zanzibar scaffolding and wiring mixed together
ZAN10.JPG
The attractive Doubletree in Stone Town
 

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Pushka

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Day 89 Apr 5 Zanzibar City

We hoped that the visit to Zanzibar would be one of the highlights of this trip. We weren’t disappointed. It is just a few hours by cruise ship from Dar Es Salaam and even less by the local high-speed ferry. It is clearly the destination of many westerners and has some very decent beach resorts particularly on the east coast. Our destination was Zanzibar City on the west coast and specifically, Stone Town.

This is the oldest part of the city and where the Omani sultans, who controlled Zanzibar for many years, lived. It is also where the infamous slave market they ran took place right up to the last years of the 19th century. The British eventually got them stopped before taking over the island in one of the shortest wars in history. Some 50,000 slaves were sold each year to work largely in Zanzibar plantations. Another 80,000 it is estimated died through mistreatment before even getting to the slave market.

The streets and lanes of the old Stone Town are gradually being gentrified but there is a long way to go. Much remains decayed. This is already a tourist attraction in a country that desperately needs all the employment it can get.

View attachment 159624
Perfect sunrise
View attachment 159626
Welcome to Zanzibar.
View attachment 159627
The fish market which was nearly enough to turn me vegetarian.
View attachment 159628
Church of Christ built over the site of the former slave market
View attachment 159629
The moving memorial to the victims of the slave trade built on the original site.
View attachment 159630
The holding pit where slaves where kept naked for three days before the market. It was a test to see if they survived and were thus suitable for plantation work
View attachment 159631
View attachment 159632
Zanzibar scaffolding and wiring mixed together
View attachment 159634
The attractive Doubletree in Stone Town
What an awful history.
 

Daver6

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Was Freddie Mercury house actually where he lived/was born? Or they're just using his fame and being born there as a tourism kitsch?
 

turtlemichael

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Was Freddie Mercury house actually where he lived/was born? Or they're just using his fame and being born there as a tourism kitsch?
On a quick search I can't say that he was born there but it looks like he lived there. Here is a quote from Lonely Planet:
Freddie Mercury, the former lead singer of Queen, was born in Zanzibar in 1946 where his name was Farrokh Bulsara. His father worked for the British colonial service and the family lived in various locations in Stone Town, including this house which, for romantics, appears disappointingly modern. It's not open to the public but notices outside tell the story.
 

turtlemichael

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Day 91 Mamoudzou, Mayotte

After leaving Zanzibar we set sail for France. It only took us a day and a half to reach it. Mayotte is an island at the end of the Comoros Group to the north west of Madagascar within 10 degrees of the equator. It is as much part of France as the Seine being an eternal Departement like several other former colonies which chose to stay French rather than become independent.

In fact it was a good decision by Mayotte when the opportunity came in 1974. Comoros, as the independent country has a per capita GDP of $800, one of the lowest in the world, whereas Mayotte is in the $12,000 range. The French and European taxpayers have been very generous although it’s per capital GDP is still well below the old country. There is a huge problem in illegal immigration here too as the Comoros people look for a better life. Apparently the locals are so concerned they round them up and take them to the police.

It is another stunningly beautiful island haven. We decided to travel from the main island, Grand Terre to the smaller island, Petit Terre for lunch at a French restaurant that had been recommended. There is a regular half hourly service on a large car carrying barge/ferry which took just 15 minutes and cost us the grand sum of 0.75 euros return trip. The barges, there are at least two, have have come with compliments of the EU. Euros are the currency because this is France and it is part of Europe!

After hunting around for our restaurant in the very hot and humid conditions, we gave up as we were unable to find it. We spotted another café which could have been in a French village it was so French. The poisson grille was good as was the piece de boeuf. The only disappointment was the carafe of rose which would have given vinegar a run for its money. The Petit Terre is where most of the expats live and while it didn’t feel like France there were many reminders. All up, another good day.

MAY1.JPG MAY2.JPG MAY3.JPG MAY4.JPG MAY5.JPG MAY6.JPG MAY7.JPG MAY8.JPG MAY9.JPG
 

turtlemichael

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Day 92 Nosy Be, Madagascar

Nosy Be is a small island on the coast of Madagascar near the top of the main island. It is approximately half Moslem and half Christian with few inter-religion problems. It is, however, very poor. The reason for a cruise stop there is to access the lemur park a few kilometres by boat from its main city Hell-Ville named after a French Admiral. Our shuttle driver said we could now say we have been to Hell and back! If the cap fits…

We decided to have a look around town which I’d have to say was the most hectic place I’d been in on this trip. It was also colorful, lively and non-threatening. The market was busy and one of the smelliest I’d been in. I managed to step in a shallow drain in the fish section with disastrous consequences for my shoe smell wise. The number of flies might indicate a reason for that.

One of us did go to the lemur park, had a great time and I have some pictures of that. I have to keep reminding myself that the destination on a cruise is the ship. Tours and visits to amazing places are bonuses. I would have liked to see a whole lot more of Madagascar but not this time as we sail on.
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