Settlers from Asia, Europe and Africa travelled to a beautiful tropical island consisting of 155 islands spectacled with waterfalls, a mix of trees and a delightful mélange of coloured folks. Chinese features, blue eyes and long curly sun kissed hair, eating mangoes on the sapphire beach of the Indian Ocean.
The anthropology of the Seychellois culture has managed to marry the cultural cuisine of three continents: Africa, Europe and Asia all melted into a dynamic pot of music, dance and taste. The weather upon my visit was not hot, humid and mosquito infested as most tropical destinations, in fact, it was a pleasant 26 C during the day with a cool sun. The weather is usually 24 C to 30 C across the year.
Travelling from the main island is exciting as you have two options of either taking a small plane or a boat. ‘Island-hopping’ is popular with the visitors that want to explore the islands by cruising in a yacht, which can be rented during their stay. Being glued to the window documenting the green dotted islands in the blue sea is common, where all passengers were snapping, taking pictures and video capturing the tropical paradise. It is a transcendental experience to sit and stare at the horizon, unwinding and floating in the stress relieving nostalgia of greenery and smiles.
The locals speak English, French and Creole, and are quite well educated and polite. The vibe was calm and from what we noticed from my vast travel across the mountains, seas and islands, this was one of the elite islands in terms of the people being so accommodating, hospitable and peaceful. The economy is a middle income, well-governed state, with universal health coverage and a literacy rate over 90%.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon Felicity Island, surrounded by giant granite rocks, is a twenty minute boat ride away from Mahé, the main island.
It is home to the world’s largest tortoise, Esmeralda; living in a UNESCO protected island and home to some of the world’s rarest, most exotic birds and wildlife. The island had a strange fruit called Coco de Mer (Double Coconut), which you see as proudly decorating their exteriors or interiors, which resembled a coconut only two semi-attached, and was told it was a giant nut. Our destination was an island twenty minutes away from Mahé the main island by boat to Six Senses Zil Pasyon Felicity Island. The giant granite rocks looked like boulders from Jurassic Park or the Flintstones cartoon. I thought they were volcanic rocks and the view looked like a movie set. Bounty chocolate bar was shot on these very beaches and is a favourite with Hollywood actors, singers and football stars. Some rocks looked like a creative innovative architect decided they be placed there, or a meteor that struck the island and made a home for itself. It was soft, smooth, black and round like a huge canon ball, and oddly distributed by God across the island naturally.
As most people would worry about insects, the bright green harmless lizards that seemed to come with every bungalow house, which would make a nice wallet kept them to a minimum. There were special sticks lit outside daily whose incense smoke interestingly enough did an excellent job off warding off mosquitoes, flies, insects and evil spirits. The island itself was regularly fumigated to keep the pests and insects to a minimum. A friend of mine who had went into the jungle told me she found a big harmless spider the size of her hand but lived off insects, and showed me a picture of her giant web which wasn’t as neat as the smaller house grown spiders we were use to.
The island was used for timberwork in the past, and upon arriving the hotel staff found many chickens, which I personally witnessed eating mangoes daily and found it funny. Apparently, it’s a bird watchers favourite hide out, and easy to catch sight of a diverse feathery creatures, fauna and flora. From giant double coconuts, the giant land turtle, and ginormous crabs that climb the trees to cut out the coconuts, double coconuts and whatever fruits tree they feel like that day.
Six Senses Zil Pasyon, is luxuriously decorated and created in an evidently environmentally friendly way and an award winning architecture design.
I personally could not send enough Snapchat photos and videos to my family and friends as they found it most curious, and I found it hilarious and interesting. The islands weather have earned its reputation of being ‘the land of perpetual summer’, because the weather is always good, being conveniently located outside the cyclone belt and therefore always blessed with warm tropical climate all year long.
The Six Senses Spa Hotel, a five star of the Seychelles is an island with a few scattered hotel bungalows, luxuriously decorated and created in an evidently environmentally friendly and award winning architecture design. There is an option of selling houses there as well from the one or two bedroom, to an extravagant eight. I had the pleasure to personally break my fast as it had been the Holy month of Ramadan on the High Top Grounds, like a balcony to the world surrounding us, where all the islands were vividly presented before us. The granite rocks and greenery was sublime. I sat on gigantic bean bags, where we had a bonfire that danced before us as we ate delicious island snacks that ranged from fresh seafood, sipping delicious berry milk which I have stolen the formula and I shall apologise for not sharing, topped with mango sorbet, which left me feeling light even after a heavy hearty meal. It is common for the Hotel manager to arrange for small wedding ceremonies on the island, and has become a popular wedding destination of late.
I regret to say that I did not have time to try my hand at fishing waiting for a sun stroke, perhaps because I felt like standing still in the sun holding a stick for a fish to tug on it and I battle with this snappable and uncomfortably long stick escaped my fun triangle of Food, Exploration and Learning. Fishing seemed too sedentary, which is what I was running away from to start with. Enough poor circulation activities, and on with the excitement. I’ll probably live to regret this, but I promise I will take up this hobby in the future and share pictures of the fish I caught even. One day before our date with the dusk on the balcony with the world, I had had my first snorkelling experience where the hotel staff was most helpful with the hopeless beginner that I was. Diving season is usually April/May and October/November, but I was in the middle of June and Ramadan and it was fine. I even had a sea world companion, Phoebe the local big tortoise that swam with me as I dived and collected purple, green, blue and violet giant shells and crustaians. I had been in the water for two hours and could not have enough of all the fish, sea urchins, shells, and sea life, Phoebe the tortoise and I even saw a baby shark but was told it was harmless. The shark attacks in the region have been scarce, but there has been an incident where a Great White had clean munched off a man’s arm some two years ago.
Amazing sea-life of fish, sea urchins, shells, Dolphins and Phoebe the tortoise.
Some crazy tourists I guess really need to touch a shark in the water without a cage to feel alive. An electric shock can do that. Or a three-hour gym work-out where you feel your eyes popping out of your head, but then you sleep like the dead. Oh well, one man’s junk is another’s treasure. The rebellious spirit and belief system has been funky with some, and to each his own, so whatever rocks their boat. Just make sure I am not in the same boat when you decide to rock it with jellyfish infested waters, I have this phobia of jellyfish but was blessed to miss those alien like creatures in the Seychelles. Lanterns of the sea, as they are called in Arabic, one touch and you are poisoned, scarred, burned and it will continue to hurt until you amputate whatever limb it ever so gently touched. Or have someone urinate- and I am not kidding, scientifically proven- on the area to neutralize the acid that will burn you as it sticks like glue until the damage is done. Alright, I may be exaggerating a little bit, but one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoyed my sea dip was the tranquillity and safety of the surroundings, where one feels safe in allowing his children to float ever so casually with fish, an inquisitive tortoise, a few dolphins that swim too fast but still make your heart skip a beat when you see them. Correct me if I am wrong, but they always look like they are happy to see you, with a permanent grin on their face?
One compensates when over eating by rising with the Sun, to practice Yoga with the island expert. As with most hotels, the gym was well equipped but I skipped the machines and opted for the wooden deck with my Yoga guru. After the Sun Salutations, breathing and stretching, he seeks the inner strengths within the muscles that need to be fortified, nurtured and exercised. Not being one to shy away from life changing efficient tricks, I rose, saluted, stretched, breathed in the sea breeze, drank up the virgin green with its dewdrops and synchronized myself with the blissful heaven with which I Ommed myself into a trance. This was better than a double session with a shrink. The experience of detaching yourself is a necessary journey to be taken at least once in your life, because you now have an island, a safe haven your work laden adrenaline junkie self is drunk with, and now has a place within it to escape. It was better than a 4-hour Balinese massage, to clear your head, to rest your soul and return back a stronger warrior after you have had a taste of bliss.
Discover Six Senses Zil Pasyon Felicity Island.
The experience of detaching yourself is a necessary journey to be taken at least once in your life.