Sunday, 2 September 2012

La Digue - Paradise Found

Favourite place in the world, home (Doncaster or Angel-a tough choice). Second favourite place in the world, it has to be La Digue.

Public health warning, you are about to see some pretty obscene images below. If you're easily offended, don't scroll down. Close the window and pretend you never landed here.

La Digue is a 15 minute Catamaran ride from Praslin, lucky for us, as the alternative is an hour and a half from Mahe. Within the first 4 minutes it became obvious why our predeccessors had advised us a) to pack sea sickness tablets and b) to fly between islands where possible. Think of a fair ground ride, you lose your stomach every now and again but you do that for fun and you know it only lasts 5 minutes. It's predictable when your stomach will go as there's a rhythm and you can see stuff. On a Catamaran riding the seas, you get all the thrills but no pleasure whatsoever. Thankfully nobody vomitted, the same cannot be said about our 1 hour ride to Mahe the following weekend. It is also advisable to sit on the side where there is no splash guard, because the splash guard is there for a reason, it's the wet side of the boat. Primary source evidence below:

Gregoires is the big supermarket on La Digue, they have a wide range of stock and as is the case with all good supermarkets, Gregoires plays banging music. They also conform with Saselwa logic when it comes to energy efficiency. The freezer tops are white, not glass, so how do shoppers know what's in the freezer? Easy, they keep the freezer doors wide open. No Joke. It's like air con.

My favourite snack at the moment has got to be banana chips, don't eat normal crisps as they generally taste of soap! When payday comes, i'll be buying some of these biscuits. What a great name, a blend of English and Kreol for a Scottish product!

Captain M warned me that there was little contemporary art, especially of Miss Chan's main medium-moving image. However this really captured my eye. Living here for 7 days makes you realise that you don't really need or indeed want any material belongings. They cost a lot and you're only going to have to pay again to ship them home. If however, I did become a permanent resident of Seychelles, I'd probably buy this. Check out the Oxford geometry set, everyone had one of those. The door handle, flip flops, scissors. Ah this is beautiful:

Seychelles is mainly visited by Europeans and South Africans. There are few Americans or Brits and the European tourists are mainly Italian, French or German. Said Europeans like to rock speedo's, which is fine if you're ripped and moderately to well-endowed like the guy below, but if you're at pension age or if you've got the physique of a Telly Tubby, it might not be a good idea. They don't care though, if you're here as a tourist, you're probably a millionaire. Millionaires don't care too much about these things. Shout out to "Westbere Jill" (9 milli).

Captain M's partner, "Aunty" is not a big fan of Seychellois touristy arts and crafts as they're generally cliché. Some of the tat in the tourist shops is literally made in Asia and then the word "Seychelles" is just written on top. That reminds me of blackpool! On an amusing note, maybe Seychelles should sell rock. Eventhough this is borderline tourist tat, I still love it:
I'm not sure how long it would last and how much of a joker you would look wearing one, but you have to admit, it's very skillfully made. Hats off to the craftsman. Good pun there for Mr Flo.

Some couples even get married out here, I'm sure you've got to own a FTSE 100 company to be able to afford this, but on the plus side, they leave behind the most beautiful decorations.

As Werner Herzog says, "A good sun hat is essential". Everyone in our group apart from Dr G has got a pretty decent tan. Don't worry Dr G, it will come eventually. I've tried not to get too brown as my wife always says I look like a "mucky ducky" even when I'm in London; getting a deep equitorial tan would only add fuel to the fire, I'd never hear the end of it.

My sister, Ellie L inspired me to get more serious with the photography side of things, every corner you turn, you're blown away so you just go into happy snappy mode. Niraj also updated his blog for his Photographic company "Capture the Soul" and I was completely inspired by his images from Kenya. I simply had to sort my game out. So you've probably noticed I'm taking a bit more care with the composition these days. The things I do for my loyal fanbase which consists of 4 readers!

This reminds me of School of Saatchi, but the tropical version!

At this point, it's apt to give a shoutout to Carl Stratton, he gets his name in full because he's a pretty spectacular graphic designer / illustrator / webmaster , he made the t-shirt I'm wearing below. He also makes a mean chilli con carne, chilli butter and all. He keeps the butter in the freezer, but I digress and I don't want to be giving out his top secret recipe.

This is Anse Source D'argent it's pretty stunning, but don't get too jealous, the shores are shallow and the sea bed is dead coral, which makes it difficult to swim in. I also cut my foot open on this, so when you come, bring beach shoes.

I was going to Photoshop Miss Chan in the picture below, but clearly I'm a bit too much of a wideboy. I never thought a place could rival our wedding location, but this is it! THIS IS IT! Second honeymoon is definitely on the cards when Miss Chan gets out here.

Shooting with a fully automatic compact camera is pretty tricky. "Intelligent Auto" is about as intelligent as a can opener. 95% of the time, the photo isn't that great, but this one worked out pretty well.

E took us out to see a pirate ship, it's pretty spectacular, but like most pirate ships, this one is shipwrecked.

M is my neighbour. He's a different person to Captain M, who is our boss. From now on M shall be known as "Boatswain M". Don't complain, the other title would have been "Powder Monkey". I reserve that for myself. Anyhow, off on a tangeant again, Boaty M has these captivating sunglasses. He probably thinks I'm weird because I'm always shooting close-ups of his face. This shot paid off. Nike couldn't have done better themselves. Well they probably could have, they would have their logo in focus for a start!

A lot of Saselwa own dogs, they don't take them for walks and I haven't seen any vicious ones yet. Apparently if you have a noisy dog, your neighbour will just kill it. Seriously, Captain M recounted how someone fed their neighbours' dog a piece of meat which had poision in it. Moral of the story, don't own an annoying dog. Below is an example of a exemplary dog. It didn't bark and didn't pester us, it just posed for photos.

If you've done your homework, you will know that the only way to get around La Digue is either by Ox Cart or bike. There are roughly 20 motorised vehicles on the entire island-mainly pickup trucks used for trade. It is also hilly in places, so whilst trying to emulate Bradley Wiggins it might be an idea to stop once in a while and look around. This church is beautiful, the blues were the same hue as the sea.

As teachers, we love seeing students learn new things. Viv (wearing Maillot Jaune) had never ridden a bike before, but like all heroes, she conquered her fears and took to the road on a tricycle. It weighed a metric tonne-I know this because we had to push it together up the main hill, but the smile on her face as she cycled on paradise was more than worth it!

Mr Flo, you'll see your backpack is getting some good use and Eastpak is getting some good exposure.

The following photo's are taken from Le Domaine de L'Orangeraie Hotel. Apparently the best hotel on La Digue.

More Speedo's, just for the ladies.

This reminds me of you.

I think I've done a good job promoting the hotel, any chance of a free lunch now please?

Chilling, with a lot of sand in my hair.

Leaving La Digue, we see our founder's construction boat. He has 4. Shoutout to VJ.

I ♥ Lamp Digue

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