Best of Seychelles - Paradise Perfected

By: Andy Miller

There is a remarkable animal..., no, bird-paradise at the inner Seychelles. The island`s name is Cousin. We visited this island as a part of an excursion (Curieuse-Cousin-St. Pierre) which started in Praslin (inhabitants pronounce it "Prale"). The island is a nature reserve inhabited by some ornithologists who do a great job as tour-guides and provide an insight in the fauna and island-history. We were really lucky because the birds began to nest one week before our arrival, so we could witness an amazing spectacle of nature: hundreds of nests on every tree. The birds are very friendly; you can almost take them from the nest with your hand in case their curiousity did not make them fall down already. I could not remember all the names of the birds but the picture-gallery contains some pictures of them. Other funny fellas are Geckos (small lizards, mostly active at night), who are quite gluttonous and help you to keep the room free from vermin.

I have seen a gecko that ate a beetle which was as big as his head. Respect! Somehow giant tortoises can be seen everywhere but only in captivity. It is strange but I do not like these animals. Perhaps their alien facial expression makes me feel like that. Ulli came to think about what mind an animal which can live 200 years in a muddy hole must have. In case I would be a philosopher, I would know which existencial question would bother me for the rest of my life.

The tortoises had many things in common with the mini-mokes (vehicles which once must have been cars). As big, as fast, as old as the turtles. This car was one of the many highlights of our holiday?. Despite my mental preparation for the appearance called "mini-moke" I was shocked when I stood face to face with this cute monster. If you want to drive a mini-moke you will need garbage-bags, nerves made of steel and of course the above mentioned ear-plugs. Garbage-bags are used for putting them on the sweat-covered seats to avoid contact with the body-fluids of many, many people. Nerves made of steel help you to survive the first three hours on narrow mountain-roads with two deep sewage-ditches on every side and left-hand driving. Our mini-moke served us for two days and transported us almost two times around the whole island. Hiring a car is a must if it is your first time on the island and you want to enjoy the beauty of this place entirely.

As usual, the tank was empty when we hired the car. We filled up the tank completely (petrol) because I thought that this 25 year-old wreck will always stutter uphill with the first gear and use up the petrol in no time. The result: even if you drive very often, a full tank lasts four days.

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