Chasing The Sun: Seychelles – Part 2 – La Digue

A #SeycHellYEa moment – Nudie styles

Words by Lauren Hill. Images by Ming Nomchong. Art by Felicity Palmateer.

If the little isle of La Digue were defined by a single sensory experience it’d be the spicy sweetness of ripening vanilla blossoms. Then I’d add: the heat of turmeric rich curry, the sweetness of some of the most beautiful beaches we’d ever seen, the saccharine façade of locals trying to get your business, and the searing heat of a windless noon.

 

After a pretty raucous one-hour ferry ride from the main island of Mahe (thanks to SeychellesBooking.com), we land on the jetty of La Digue, hauling boardbags and camera gear (a rarity, judging by people’s confused faces). Like all of the Seychelles’ islands, La Digue is the product of the intermingling of European and African cultures, with shades of Indian and Sri Lankan influences.

Our first sighting of La Digue and some rideable waves from the lumpy ferry ride from Mahe.

Unlike the neighboring islands, La Digue feels distinctly Afro-Carribbean. The colors of the Jamaican flag (and those associated with Rastafarianism) – green, red and yellow — are immediately apparent: on a beanie taming the dreads of a gardener, on the t-shirt of a boat captain, on the sides of little fishing dingys. The island vibes are strong, the pace is slow— toned down to a cruisy bicycle pace. There are few cars on La Digue, so the pace of life feels wholly human.

 

Everyone will tell you how small La Digue is, but those people have obviously never traveled with longboard bags before. What might be a 5-minute drive in a car turns into a full cardiovascular pump lugging a 9’6 boardbag over the river and through the woods, so to speak.

The port of tiny La Digue – We unknowingly arrived on the eve of the biggest festival of the year.

Our cosy accommodation at Domaine Les Rochers

Thankfully, the kind folks from Domaine Les Rochers came to our rescue with a golf cart to take our boards to their homely self-catering apartments while we enjoyed the stroll through the town’s main street, comprised of a handful of shops and restaurants. We were welcomed at Domaine Les Rochers with a tall glass of ice-cold coconut water.

Island transportation. After 5 days of pushing these things up hills with gear and surfboards, our backsides were feeling rather bootyliscous.

We were up early every morning while watching party people stumble home to bed from the previous nights festivities

Truly the best way to see La Digue

Aqua blue hues of La Digue

At dawn, we pedaled under the coconut palm grove at L’Union Estate, where the rich aroma of vanilla was intoxicating. More enlivening than coffee. We made our way past the penned, ancient Aldabra Tortises and the ox drawn coconut press toward what we’d heard was one of the most stunning beaches in all the world: Anse Source D’argent. Its dramatic boulders and series of beach nooks didn’t disappoint. I was (again) absolutely mesmerized by the ancient boulders, their flecks of light reflective quartz with spots of pink and browns with still slightly sharp edges, despite their generally smooth appearance.

We stopped to say G’day to the giant tortoises and watched in amazement at their inquisitive natures

This is what we came halfway around the world for. Anse Source D’argent

While there’s plenty of space to spread out, heavy media coverage definitely equals heavy attendance, so you’ll probably have to share Anse Source D’argent with other camera wielding tropic-gawkers.

 

Everywhere you looked on La Digue you were met with majesticness of the surroundings

Flickity Flick

Ming & Lauren location scouting on Anse Source D’argent

Seychelleios Wave Hunter

We scrambled around the rocks battling the incoming tide to snap some shots at this little cove before the ocean swallowed it up

It’s so Palmy on La Digue

Felicity in her own little slice of paradise

There’s not many places in the world where granite boulders jut from the sand. Creating perfect little hideaways and giant exploration pads

Exploring the many crevices around Anse Source D’argent

Putting things into perspective

Hat’s off to you La Digue. You are one beautiful lady.

Queens of the castle. Climbing up the top of these boulders provides the best birds eye view of the beaches below and the stunning coastline.

You could spend days adventuring over these ancient rocks. Infact, we did.

Taking the road less travelled meant that we stumbled upon some pretty as a postcard scenes without hoarding tourists

#SeycHellYea was our hashtag for CTS: Seychelles. It was very fitting.

Searching for waves in the most unusual places

Words can’t really describe the feeling you get when you first round the headland at Anse Source D’argent. What you feast your eyes on is truly breath taking

We did it tough for pretty scenes on La Digue

The next day we moved over to the sprawling Chateau St. Cloud, set back from the coast at a higher elevation with immaculate gardens and fewer mosquitos, where we were ecstatic to nosh on the variety of vegetarian options at their buffet — pumpkin salad, fresh greens, and slaw (that’s not to mention the array of fresh seafood).

 

You never know what’s around the next bend on the island.. It could be this.

Our kind of early morning surf checks

Felicity timing her paddle out

We wondered how many people surf this break as a few people stopped to watch Flick in action as they walked by.

Felicity – skilled and gutsy

I love watching Felicity surf. She’s so graceful yet she has the power to make the wave work for her.

Blues on Blues on Blues

Post surf chill out time. What better place than in the shade of a Palm tree

Soaked and stoked.

Clear warm waters of La Digue, perfect for shallow water hang outs

Stop. Hammock time.

Our colourful Yellow Leaf Hammocks came with us everywhere on the trip. We were always looking for the perfect spot to sling one up.

Hammaca daze

Lauren boulder tightrope walkking

Totally chuffed to be sitting in a place we’d only dreamed about for years.

A break in the granite meant a little shady nook for us to hide from the tropical sun

Palm shadows keeping us cool

This shot was on Lauren’s wish list of things to shoot. Palm frond reflections.

I think we found the best little nook on La Digue this day.

Stuck between a rock and hard place. Mini Ming and some big ass boulders.

The hang out.

Ah yes, more plams

You couldn’t turn a corner on La Digue without yelling “stop!” getting off your bike and taking a picture at some new beautiful scene

Walking through the main town mid festival.

Hanging out in town during the festival was always entertaining.

Lauren showing us how we wrangle a long board and a short board down to the surf with only a trike as transportation.

We got some funny looks as we walked down to the water edge, weaving in and out of party goers.

Pretty much was making this face the whole trip.

Surfing the break we spotted from the ferry. We paddled out from the marina, the girls dropped me off on the marina breakwall and I literally scrambled across what looked like stable ground but what ended up being a hollow forest of overgrown tree roots to find my vantage spot to shoot the girls surfing this fun little left.

Lauren surfing a “I don’t know what”

Scenic sunset surfing scenes

Lauren – sunset sliding

Anse Source D’argent was stunning, but we didn’t travel all the way to the Seychelles to hang out with pasty Europeans and their selfie sticks. We wanted to get off the beaten path, and so we did. But we had to work for it. As they say, great reward requires great risk ….

 

We pedaled to the higher altitudes of La Digue toward the wilder exposed East Coast, followed shady beachside tracks and cracked our own coconuts on the way to the secluded Anse Cocos, a sweeping beach with crazy beautiful rock formations that’s just far enough away to dissuade the uncommitted. We spent the day climbing over big granite boulders, sweating profusely and relishing in the beauty of another paradise.

 

Curvy palms

Flick and her shooting Star – fruit

Setting off from our second accommodation Chateau St. Cloud on another days adventure

They do it old school on La Digue. It just added to the charm of this little island.

After 1n hour bike ride up and down hills we arrived to Grande Anse but our final destination, Anse Cocos was still another hour and a half walk away…

Lauren got a little tired and stopped for a nap half way there.

Anse Cocos

At the end of the beach at Coco’s is an ocean pool where you can find shelter from the trade winds and soak your way into the sand

The colours are this blue in real life over there.

#SeycHellYEa #nopantsdance

Just another little nook to explore – Anse Cocos

Floating the day away. Or at least that 3 hour trek it took to get here

The ocean pool at Anse Cocos

We found a rock perching book worm there too.

Getting prehistoric on Anse Cocos

If we had a selfie stick we may of used it here. But the a self timer had to do.

Grande Anse

More Palm scenes

The view of Grande Anse from the walking track from Anse Cocos

Coconut pit stop

We’d hoped to jump on one of the many diving or snorkeling tours, but, alas, the presence of surf meant that the water was too turbid for good visibility. We took the opportunity to seek out other surf spots and definitely found more than we’d expected. Surf-searching is always somewhat of a mission, but this time it was especially creative since we had to figure out how to ride a bike for a couple of kms with a 9’2 log, a single fin and a water housing for Ming’s camera. For this, we scored a trusty red tricycle that blocked the entire road as we rode it with the log perpendicular, but it sure was funny.

Lucid reflections

Sunny water duck dives

The token Seychelles hair flick

Felicity Palmateer

Sunset sessions – you can’t beat them

Yet another #SeycHellYea moment

Felicity Palmateer

The backwards stance

Lauren taking off on a pearler of a peeler

Blue all the way to the sky

Mucking around on a surfing board? – S m u r f i n g

F O A M Y

This is how quite possibly, it all began.

In short, if you find yourself in the Seychelles, a visit to La Digue is a must. From self-catering to five star accommodation, the island suits a variety of budgets, but the best bits are always free: pink sands, prehistoric palms, remote beaches, biking adventures, and truly wild spaces to get away from our modern tech-saturated madness.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of Chasing The Sun: Seychelles – Vallee de Mai coming up next…

MAJOR SPONSORS:

Billabong Women’s

Sanuk

Summersite

  1. Conner Hats

Yellow Leaf Hammocks

Seyvillas

Four Seasons Seychelles

Accommodation on La Digue –Domaine Les Rochers & Chateau St. Cloud

FRIENDS OF CHASING THE SUN:

The Beach people, Faithfull The Brand, Arrow Divine, Mister Zimi, Spell Designs, Sunday Somewhere Eyewear, All That Remains, Seychellesbookings.com

 

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