Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Travel to the Seychelles with Mona Risk!

Today we welcome Mona Risk, romance author, to talk about her trip to the Seychelle Islands. Mona has done a tremendous amount of traveling and often uses places she’s visited in her books. Welcome!

Loraine, thank you for hosting me on your blog. I want to share with your readers a most unusual trip to a far away country few have seen. 

When my husband sold—on behalf of his company—the engine for the Boeing 767 bought by the Government of Seychelles, he had to participate in the delivery mission. I was invited to go along on the brand new plane.

The Republic of Seychelles comprises 115 islands, south of the equator and west of the east coast of Africa. Seychelles is a comparatively young nation which can trace its first settlement back to 1770 when the French occupied it. The islands remained in French hands until the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, evolving from humble beginnings to attain a population of 3,500 by the time Seychelles was ceded to Britain under the treaty of Paris in 1814.

MonaRisk-LaDigueUnder the British, Seychelles achieved a population of some 7,000 by the year 1825. Important estates were established during this time producing coconut, food crops, cotton and sugar cane. During this period Seychelles also saw the establishment of Victoria as her capital, the exile of numerous and colourful troublemakers from the Empire, the devastation caused by the famous Avalanche of 1862 and the economic repercussions of the abolition of slavery. 

Seychelles achieved independence from Britain in 1976 MonaRisk-SeychellesTurtleand became a republic within the commonwealth. 

A day before D-Day we flew to Seattle and attended an official reception gathering representatives from the company that built the plane, my husband’s company who made the engine, and the Air Seychelles’ officials who came for the occasion. 

I will never forget the reception that welcomed us at the airport of Victoria, capital of Seychelles, as the President of Seychelles, himself waited for us at the bottom of the aircraft steps and shook hands with each one of us, including me!

The cosmopolitan Seychellois are a colorful blend of peoples of different races, cultures and religions.  At different times in its history, people of African, European and Asian origin have come to Seychelles, bringing with them their distinct traditions and customs and contributing to the way of life and to the vibrant Seychellois culture. 

Seychelles is a living museum of natural history and a sanctuary for some of the rarest species of flora & fauna on earth.

We spent three days and visited four islands during this trip.

Mahé, home of the capital Victoria and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. (pictured above) 

La Digue known for its beaches with thin golden sand and granite rocks, giant turtles and huge coconuts. One fell from a palm tree on my arm and probably broke a MonaRisk-Coconutbone, but I didn’t complain, and I refused to see a doctor although my arm swelled and hurt for the duration of the trip. Back home I couldn’t wait to have it in a cast.

Pralin that hides a rain forest called La Vallée de Mai, believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden, where the tallest palm trees in the world bear female and male fruits similar to female and male sexual organs: the MonaRisk-maleCocoDeMerTreefabulous Coco-de-mer, the largest seed in the world. Nowhere else on earth will you find unique endemic specimens such as the jellyfish tree, with only eight surviving examples, the Seychelles’ paradise flycatcher and Seychelles warbler. A chapter of my paranormal fantasy, OSIRIS’ MISSING PART is set in the Vallée de Mai.

Cousin where I was eaten alive by ferocious mosquitoes. 

These are Birds!
From the smallest frog to the heaviest land tortoise and the only flightless bird of the Indian Ocean, Seychelles nurtures an amazing array of endemic species within surrounds of exceptional natural beauty.

Mona, thank you for sharing your trip and photos with us!  To find Mona Risk’s newest book, Osiris’s Missing Part, check out her website.


Stephanie Burkhart said...

Mona, your pictures are gorgeous. The turtle was breathtaking. Thanks so much for sharing. I could believe what happened your arm. Could you have had someone look at it there?


Mona Risk said...

Hi Loraine, thank you for having me on your blog.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Steph, the Seychelles are a gorgeous place, but medical is not their forte! They told me a lady died last year when it fell on her head. It was my fault for walking under a tree!

LK Hunsaker said...

Mona, I'm glad to have you and your interesting excursion! How big is that coconut? And I thought those birds were flowers when I looked at the photo, too. ;-)

Unknown said...

Mona--what an adventure! I've not heard of the islands that make up the republic. I also didn't know your husband was famous! He is, isn't he? Sounds like it to me.
I would love to have seen those turtles, and the big coconuts, but you can have the mosquitoes.
Thanks for the little journey...I enjoyed every minute.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Celia,

I was lucky to see the Seychelles under the best conditions. I went three times on three official trips to deliver planes. They cook the best fish and calmari! It's so far away, I doubt many people know about these islands.

Seychelles said...

Seychelles is known as a living museum of natural history and visitors get to see some of the rarest flora and fauna here. About 50% of Seychelles comprised of national parks and wild life reserves thereby many environment conservation policies are there to maintain the balance of the ecosystem.