We arrived in Mahé, Seychelles today after flying for over 11 hours - I know 11 hours! We set off last night, catching our Emirites flight at 8pm. The 7 hour flight took us through the night, arriving in Dubai in the early morning. I had originally planned to sleep on the flight but struggled to get comfortable. I was also sat next to a very unhappy baby who seemed determined that I didn't sleep. I slept on and off for no more than an hour and thus felt like a zombie.
Our first flight had also been delayed for around an hour which made it really hectic when we landed in Dubai as our connection was only a short one. We had to sprint through the terminal which - you'll know if you've been to Dubai - is massive. I had originally planned to eat sushi in the airport but unfortunately I had to wave goodbye to that idea. We made it to the gate but only just; we were one of the last to board the flight to Mahé. It was a miracle that our luggage made it too as in the past my luggage seems to be a little slow to make connecting flights if the connection is short.
We landed in Mahé around early afternoon and took a taxi to our villa.
We were staying along the West Coast of the island. The drive from the airport yielded some stunning views. I was simply mesmerised by the landscape, from the tranquil turquoise waters to the vast mountains dressed in lush forests. We saw little wooden fishing boats dotted along the coastline and locals dancing in the golden sand. I knew I could get used to island life.
Another thing I noticed was the roads. The island is pretty mountainous and the roads take you through the mountains which provide some stunning views. I quickly saw, however that there were few barriers, meaning you had to drive extra carefully. There were also numerous hairpin bends!
We eventually arrived at our hillside villa, untouched forests flowing round the back and side of the property. The villa itself blended in nicely with its surroundings, made of dark wood. Inside the villa was a lovely bowl of local fruits and a fruity cocktail, to welcome us.
We had hired the little villa for £70 a night which was a pretty reasonable price for such nice accommodation in Seychelles. Although you may not initially think that you can travel Seychelles on a budget, it really is possible! Here's more information on how to visit Seychelles on a budget.
Everything was great until I tried to open our suitcases. To my dismay, I realised that I had lost the keys to them, meaning we were locked out of our cases! Come to think of it, I do remember hearing jangling noise as I got into the taxi at the airport. I thought to check if I'd dropped something but the taxi driver quickly shut the door and I thought nothing else of it. Now we were faced with a very irritating problem. I've never broken a lock before and being in a completely new country, I don't have any useful tools with me. Was there even a local hardware shop?
After panicking for a while, I decided to go to our host who had showed us round the villa. It was very embarrassing as I asked for help but he reassuringly told us he had just what we needed and came back with several different plier tools and a hammer. After trying and trying to break the locks, we decided they were just too strong which I guess is good as we did want strong locks. Eventually, I decided that just wasn't working and that we should try to break the zips instead. So we hammered the zip and that worked. Phew!
With that trauma now thankfully over, we decided to head on out for a walk in search of a local shop to buy some dinner.
The walk was very atmospheric. The air was thick with humidity and the clouds clustering overhead made the lighting quite eerie. There were no pavements so we had to walk on the roads with ditches either side of it. At one point we saw some bright red crabs scuttling along at the side of the road. They were pretty camera shy and quickly retreated back into their holes when I tried to snap some pictures of them.
We found some shops nearby and once we set food inside, we were immediately confused. These shops were not like traditional English shops. They had no refrigerated areas which immediately threw me off. No milk? No meat? We were baffled as to what to eat for dinner. We decided to look for another shop but we found the next one even stranger. Not only were there no fridges, but everything was behind a counter - kind of like a pharmacy although this contained all your usual food items. We asked them if they had any meat and were happy when they pulled out some minced meat from a freezer. At least this would keep us going for the night.
Although the shops were different to what I was used to, there was something quite refreshing about how quaint and small they were. They also looked as if they were in someone's house which was really nice. I'm sure when I know where to find all the food I'm looking for, I will grow to really like the different style of the shops.
I look forward to exploring the island tomorrow!