Saturday, 1 September 2012

Nature in the Seychelles

Our neighbour, AM is a fisherman; a good guy who loves a good brew. Unlike the British, he starts his day off, not with a Tetley's, Yorkshire Tea or PG Tips, but rather a Guiness, Seybrew or Palm Wine, known locally as Kalou. 10am is a late start for him. I went over to his house yesterday, he has 3 giant tortoises, they're literally the size of those electric cars that young children sit on. They must weigh 125kg easily! He keeps them for the manure, which is used to plant vegetables. It's impossible to grow anything otherwise around here as our houses are literally built on sand. To get off to a good start, I gave him a Guiness (cheeky shout out to TJ), AM seemed happy and told me to come back later for some fish as he was clearly lashed on the old Kalou. Kalou is made from the sap of a palm tree, it is fermented for several days, giving a spirit which at its weakest is around 60% Vol and at its strongest has made people blind or even killed them. Madame L's husband, Monsieur C had warned me against accepting AM's relentless offers of Palm, unless I wanted to be found in a gutter somewhere.

As there was no luck with the fish, I decided to get a bus to the end of the line (Baie Ste Anne Jetty) and back again to Mount Plaisir. On my walk, I just picked up whatever fruit was on the side of the road, on the path or in the forests. Here was my best find:

Total collection, 3 Coconuts, 5 Bananas, 15 Mangoes, 4 Jamalac and  Breadfruit:

Typography and design is a real mishmash here, some bits are beautifully hand-drawn like this piece, think L'oreal but with Kreol grammar:

BSA stands for Baie Ste Anne, I'm not sure what happened to the phone number though. Out here, nobody has an address, even when we went to licensing the other day to sort out our car, we were told to just put "Anse Kerlan" under our full address. Some people have PO Boxes, but these are scarce and in high demand; they are generally passed down from generation to generation. Apparently, the postal workers know all the local people, shops and services, so mail gets around, even if you don't have a full address!

Over at Captain M's house, he has all sorts of amazing art works, sculptures, lamps and just interesting objects lying around. The Mic reminds me of Elvis; long live the King.

Someone told us that Anse Lazio is walkable from our house, it is indeed, but it was a mega trek. Was it worth it, yes, but I'll definitely take the Bus up Mount Plaisir next time. It's voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It's pretty lush, but at this time of year,  the seas are a little rough. Still, we had fun. My neighbours M and C taught me how to dive through waves and swim in the open water. A certain JC was meant to be teaching me this out in the UK, but we were both too busy, alas JC and KOM, you will have to come out here yourself and we can have our lesson in open water swimming.

Here's the beach with the tide in:

There's an amazing restaurant at the end of the beach called Bonbon Plume, open only in the afternoon, it serves the best Octopus Curry in the world apparently. James makes a good cocktail behind the bar and Linda and co are entertaining hosts.

Name that bird?

Elle (L) is our resident photographer, she takes a good picture and we all steal her composition and take the same photo with our camera's haha. This is one of the giant tortoises near Anse Lazio. Its facial expression reminds me of our homegirl Nadia from Floorgangz/Born To Rock

Here's Nadia in action.

Do you see the similarity?

My neighour M with one of the little ones:

M told me a funny story that the former president decided to name villages after countries that he admired. So far we've seen Zimbabwe and Cuba. Yes, you've guessed right, Seychelles was once a Marxist-Communist state.

It's mating season for the Cardinals at the moment, so all the males turn a wonderful red to attract the females. There are hundreds outside our house everyday, look in the background and you'll see more in the tree:

As instructed, I popped back to AM's on Monday, he was out of Bourzwa (Red Snapper) and Zob (Job fish), but when I asked him if he had anything else, he asked one of his friends to hand me a bunch from the freezer. He wouldn't let me pay for this batch, "When I get Red Snapper, you can pay me then". To return the favour, I cooked him one of his fishes using my wife's classic Quick St Chinese recipe, I was greeted with the biggest smile from him and his wife. Here's to a long and fruitful relationship with AM, I just wished he'd stop drinking that Palm/Kalou!

Exciting news, the misses is due to book her flight today, so I'm pretty excited that she'll be joining us on this adventure pretty soon. I miss you!!!


End of Day 3.

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