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La Digue: Anse Source de l'Argent

What passes for "off the beaten track" in the Seychelles still offers enough bike rentals, dive shops, curio stands, and snack bars to satisfy even the most relentlessly comfort-driven traveler. But we crossed the channel in the early morning hours to appreciate La Digue for what it was, not what it wasn't. In that unpretentious light, La Digue was a lot of fun.

Northeasternmost of the Seychelles' granitic islands, La Digue is best known for its southernmost beach, the stunning Anse Source de l'Argent. It is reportedly the world's most photographed beach, and deservedly so, as the white coralline beach sands, picturesque, rounded boulders, and turquoise seas, all set against emerald islets and the broad, green expanse of hilly Praslin island are, to my knowledge, unparalleled. If the photos here look familiar to Mac users, it is because this is one of the images that comprise the tropical scenery of Macintosh's screen saver.

Needless to say, that is why when we visited it we did so in the company of dozens and dozens of other travelers, each hoping to enjoy a Robinson Crusoe experience for him or herself.

We dug into the sand in the shade of the palms and wild almond trees and watched the sea change color as the sun rose. Valentina took a nap in the sand, and I watched the brilliant fairy terns wheel circles over the reef. Behind us in the shade, a dog chased crabs around, barking.

If La Digue has one other attraction, I would posit it must be the quiet country lanes, and we enjoyed bicycling them in the cool morning air. Even then, the sun was bright. The gentleman who rented us bikes had a proposal for us, and laboriously wired a new umbrella onto the back of the baby seat. I was worried Valentina would not like it, but to my surprise she was thrilled, and gurgled happily as we slowly explored the island's quiet roads, La Digue is all but vehicle-free, and the heaviest vehicles were actually ox carts with the sole exception of a pair of pick ups schlepping construction materials. There are few places on earth where you can largely escape the roar of the internal combustion engine in one form or another, and that was nearly as precious as the beach itself.


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