The first time I visited the beautiful cluster of islands called Seychelles was in 2013 – for my honeymoon. I’d wanted an island getaway, not too far off, and wowsome. We were suitably impressed from the beginning, though the immigration and customs officers were a little too poke-nosey. Looking back though it was understandable that we got some scrutiny given that we had sufficient bags to stake out the island for years! The missus was relocating immediately after the wedding and we didn’t want to do another trip back to Nigeria just for the luggage, so we just brought everything along! Pretty sure the guys were convinced we were moving in…
Talking about moving in, who wouldn’t want to? The approach to the airport takes you over the stunning Eden Island development. Just check out this picture below I took from the plane. Aquamarine waters, red roofs, and docked catamarans? I was ready to move in right there and then!
When you escape to an island you expect to see a lot of beaches, stunning glorious beaches. That’s a given. And Seychelles doesn’t disappoint.
The one thing I didn’t really think about until I saw them are the mountains. You see, I’ve always imagined islands as these flat pieces of gently undulating land terminating in beaches and then the sea. Imagine my surprise when just outside the airport all I can see is a giant mountain covered with a lush forest dominating the view – and it’s pretty much the same wherever you go on the islands. You either get a sea view, or a mountain view. Usually both.
I messed around in the water quite a bit on that first visit, me and water having that special kind of relationship I had previously blogged about. In between the boating, snorkelling, and general pool craziness on lazy days, the mountains went ignored.
Fast forward to Oct 2015 and we were returning to Seychelles for a wedding (checkout these hashtags on Instagram #LT2015 #LTSGetMarried) and a short vacation plus birthday getaway. When I got out of the airport, I turned to the missus and said “I’m climbing these things before we go back this time.” Luckily I found a co-conspirator in my man, Jerry, who was quite excited about the prospect when I mentioned it to him over dinner on one of the nights. With a little research I found that we probably couldn’t do the highest peak – Morne Seychellois (approximately 905m above sea level) given that it wasn’t for unfit, unexperienced would-be mountaineers like u. However, we could take the next best thing, Morne Blanc (667m elevation). Incidentally, this is ranked the number one thing to do in Victoria, Seychelles on TripAdvisor. Weird.
After a couple of days of procrastination, and with only one day left to departure I decided, “we’re doing this.” Had a word with the concierge who hooked us up with a cab willing to take us to the starting point and wait for us to come back down, or go get some professional help if we didn’t come back (just kidding!). Shorts, t-shirts (its 31deg C), bottles of water, cameras, selfie stick, etc. packed, we set off with dreams of absolutely destroying that mountain… Lol. Didn’t quite work out that way. You can watch the video I made from stitching clips together on the way up and down on Youtube.
So what did I learn? Because as I’m getting old now, there must be a nugget of wisdom in all that sweat? I had a couple of thoughts, some of which are already cliches but which nonetheless still ring true;
- For all the allure of individual achievement, somethings are best achieved as a team. Interestingly we didn’t meet any solo climbers all the way to the top, always a group – families, couples, friends. I could have done this alone – probably. But it was a lot more fun sharing the journey. And that’s not just because Jerry is hilarious.
- You only fail if you give up. This became all the more obvious when we got to the end and stopped feeling the pain. We could have done double the distance probably and still gotten away with it. But many times we questioned the wisdom of having started in the first place. So, rest if you have to, restart if that’s necessary. As long as you make it to the end, it was all part of the effort.
- Talk is cheap, just do it! That doesn’t need explaining. Now that I’ve done it I realise how close I was to procrastinating this thing off the list – and for what? Another day of lazing in the pool? Smh.. Don’t be a wuss. Get up and go!
N.B. I’ve gotten a few leads for organisations to donate to from my last post – Some 30 odd years… But I’ve not reached a decision yet. So if you know something, say something!