Seychelles Paradise

Suzanne Barney on 20 April 1996
When I was asked to work in the Seychelles it was a bit of a shock. It's not every day you can say 'when I worked in the Seychelles' but I am one of those lucky people. It wasn't my first visit to the islands - I had been there on holiday two years before as my friend Sue was based out there. It is a very beautiful place. The Seychelles must be the most romantic place in the world. When you fly in to the main airport on Mahe below you are hundreds of islands dotted in the ocean like diamonds.

I lived on the main island of Mahe in the 'Mahe Beach Hotel'. This was on the West Coast at Port Glaud about 15km from Victoria. I had a car so did the drive everyday from the hotel to Victoria. The island is very hilly and the roads are very windy within the interior so you needed your wits about you. The humidity is very high in the Seychelles and to keep its beautiful green interior it tended to rain every day just short, sharp showers which would clear the air. Around every corner the scenery takes your breath away. The most popular beach is Beau Vallon on the North West coast; here the beach was safe for swimming (not all the beaches are safe) and was popular for water sports. I am not a great swimmer so didn't take advantage of the 5* PADI diving services on offer, though I did attempt snorkelling. There is a very popular excursion that went to Cerf Island where there was an abundance of sea life followed by a slap up buffet. Other excursions I would recommend would be to visit the beautiful island of La Digue which is paradise on earth. They have no vehicles on La Digue only ox carts and it has been host to many films including Robinson Crusoe and Farewell Emmanuelle!

Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles and has a World Heritage Site -the Vallee De Mai - which is said to be the original Garden of Eden and it is great to wander around the virgin forests untouched by man. Just off Praslin you can access other islands such as Cousin and Cousine. Cousin is a sanctuary for birds and is an absolutely amazing place. When I visited the birds were hatching all the time and I am sure David Attenborough visited whilst I was on the islands. My favourite creatures on the Seychelles were the giant tortoises. They used to have an enclosure at the Mahe Beach and I would always smuggle food out of breakfast for them. Their favourite food was the pastries and they would surround me when I came to visit with some goodies for them.

Lots of people came out to get married on their own without family so I was asked to be a witness to quite a lot of weddings. The weddings on the Seychelles were only one a day and very tastefully done. As I had a car I would decorate my car with tin cans and ribbon and drive the couple to the beach afterwards for photos.

The Seychelles is very exclusive and you pay for the exclusivity. There’s not lots of night life and nothing is 'cheap' when you get there but there is nowhere like it for beauty and romance.