Thursday 2nd May 2019
Day 7 Day at sea
Fairly typical day at sea, up later and, after breakfast, listened to a morning lecture on Modern Day Explorers & Adventurers followed by lunch and an afternoon lecture on How Metals Changed the World, in between walking around deck 7, reading and relaxing. Dinner in the evening with our table companions, we always have good conversations. The show tonight was a tribute to Freddy Mercury and Queen.
Friday 3rd May 2019
Day 8 Day at sea
Up late for breakfast then a morning cultural lecture about Aqaba, Jordan and some information about day trips to Petra, when we get there in about 10 days time. Lunch then relaxing then another cultural talk about futuristic materials shown in movies and tv shows that actually already exist (actually quite interesting), then an afternoon aperitif, then the show. Tonight was the last show by the 3 African tenors, who were very good, then dinner and bed.
Saturday 4th May 2019
Day 9 Victoria, Mahe, The Seychelles
Arrived in Victoria this morning. Slept late and almost missed breakfast. (Our cabin is so quiet we are sleeping soundly) After breakfast, we went onshore into the heat and humidity of this city, the smallest capital city in the world (supposedly). We walked around the town a little, and then to the bus terminal where we caught a very crowded bus to Anse Boileau, a tiny town on the other side of the island of Mahe. We selected this bus as it was the next one leaving but it was a very interesting drive and destination. Mahe is very mountainous with narrow roads and sharp bends, everywhere there are giant boulders, on the seashore, everywhere. We sat on a very deserted beach at Anse Boileau and had a beer and a packet of chips from the only shop. Very healthy lunch! We then got the bus back to town by a different route. Everywhere is very green and jungly looking. If civilisation stopped tomorrow, the jungle would probably grow back in three months! There are many beaches and lots of little inlets from the sea with boats all over the place. When we arrived back in the city off the bus, we walked around but almost everything was shut, being Saturday afternoon, but we managed to find a bar so we could have a soft drink to get a sugar hit. We looked in some market stalls and then we found a supermarket to buy a few necessities then back to the ship for the night. Our impression of Victoria was one of being mostly unkempt and really grubby, not much care taken to be attractive, with rusted and broken fencing, no grass mowed, broken glass and litter, pretty ordinary really. The local buses however were very cheap at 70c and a lot less expensive than any ship’s tour.
Sunday 5th May 2019
Day 10 Victoria, Mahe, The Seychelles
Our second day in Victoria. We had breakfast, not so late today then headed off the ship to go to the beach. We walked to the bus terminal again, just about locals now, caught the bus to Beau Vallon, one of the beautiful beaches on Mahe, and it only takes 15 minutes on the bus, different route to yesterday, but over the mountains to the other side of the island. We went into a restaurant overlooking the beach and had a beer, then sat on the sand and had a swim in the warm sea. The sand was very fine but the water wasn’t very clear and there was seaweed at the edge. Nice swim though. There were lots of people from the cruise ship recognisable by their orange beach towels, but “the season” here is over, so not a lot of other tourists on the beach. After a couple of hours there, we headed back on the bus via the extreme north of Mahe, past many resorts and stunning houses set on the edge of cliffs, to the city, where, being Sunday, everything was shut, so we walked and tried to find the Botanical Gardens, but there were no signs and the path was continually uphill, the weather was hot and humid so we eventually gave up and came back to the ship, had a cocktail in the upstairs lounge, then back to the cabin for a shower, before the show and dinner. The show was a husband and wife team from South Africa who danced (she being a ballroom dancing champion) and sang (he being a judge on South Africa’s Got Talent). The Seychelles is 5 degrees south of the Equator so it’s like Bali weather, same every day, the only difference is, does it rain or not rain. Minimum temperature 26C, maximum temperature 31C, every day...