The single ladies working at Hilton Hotels in Seychelles are from different countries and cultures. It's really an international house, a melting pot of diverse beautiful people. First, there is Darshini from Malaysia, my host, then Shakey from Uzbeckistan, Nawal from Morocco, Maria from Russia, Lana from Mauritius, Gemma from UK (quiting the hotel), and Karin from Germany. I am sure there are more whom I didn't have the opportunity to meet. I was introduced to a few management guys as well such as from Melbourne, Turkmenistan, India, Turkey, Philippine and Mauritius. A Malay chef has just moved to Johannesburg. It was an interesting mix.
Seychelles is an amazing country made up of about 115 islands with over 85,000 population. It is well-known for its beautiful pristine beaches, undisturbed flora and fauna and a 'paradise' for honeymooners and visitors looking for peace and tranquility. Seycehelles is associated with an endangered specie of coconut called coco-de- mer which resembles the backside of a woman. It is a protected tree, rarely found on the island. Mahe is the main island with Seychelles' capital city, Victoria which is noted for being the tiniest capital city in the world. And It is tiny! I spent a day and a half there moving around the city. There wasn't much to see but I love the market (Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market). The fishes are big and fresh. To cut and clean the fish, we have to pay an extra Seychelles Rupees 25 and SCR 3 for a plastic bag. ( 13 SCR = 1 US$). The money exchange booth takes big denomination like US$100 and small denomination get 15% less. Make sure your US$ are clean and fairly new for they reject old and dirty notes. The local products and crafts are mostly based on coconut and vanilla. I bought a few packets of vanilla tea to take home. Shops are closed on Saturdays and Sundays which make it difficult for tourists to shop and look around.
The clock tower in Victoria was built in memory of Queen Victoria in 1903 (mini replica of the clock at Victoria street junction and Vauxhall Bridge, London) is the landmark of Victoria. This is definitely not a place for ardent shoppers, all things including food are expensive. Looking for sitting down restaurants can be quite tedious if you don't know the place because there are few such restaurants around. Hotels and guesthouses are pricey, including Berjaya Resort. Public transport can be a headache. Cabs have to be booked earlier and you can't find them plying the road for customers. Buses are quite erratic and old. There are no hostels for cheap accommodation for backpackers. The government doesn't want such tourists but welcome the ones with money to spend. The local people speak mostly Creole and French and some English. Majority of them are Roman Catholic with some Hindus and Muslims. There is a small mosque in Victoria and quite a big Hindu Temple.
On the way to the airport for my flight back, we stopped at Hilton Allamandar for lunch. The hotel seafront is beautiful. I am most fascinated by the colour of the Indian Ocean depending on the day and the sun. Dark blue, dark green, green, turquoise, light turquoise and light purple are crystal clear and bewitching. It took my breath away to see the different hues of colours simmering under the sun.
The drive from Hilton jetty in Mahe to Victoria was quite scary with very narrow winding roads but the scenery is superb. Victoria has a population of about 20,000 people.
In spite of the availability of beautiful natural islands, Seychelles has built a man-made island called Eden island where the rich live or own a house.