Welcome to Mahé – Lost and Low on Petrol

(Last Updated On: June 15, 2021)

Our cab arrives (once the tropical downpour ends) and the next stage of our Seychelles vacation begins.

We need to pick up our rental car at the airport Mahé. When we arrive, I’m adamant that we be dropped off near the rental car pick-up.  That’s mostly because I don’t want to be schlepping luggage around. However, it turns out to be a good decision, as there is NO ONE working at the rental car desk. (It is Sunday and there probably aren’t any flights coming in or out.) Luckily our cab driver is committed to getting us to our car. It takes a couple tries, but eventually he assures us that someone from the rental company will arrive in 10 minutes.

10 minutes seems optimistic (so optimistic that our friend wanders off in search of beers for himself and Lane), but, sure enough, within in 10 minutes someone shows up with the paperwork for our car.


Base map from RD-deskkart – welt atlas.de (permission requested)

It takes a bit more than 10 minutes to fill out the paperwork and actually get the car, but soon enough we are off (sans beer).  There aren’t very many roads on Mahé, so I’m not too worried about the fact that the rental agent didn’t have a map (I didn’t think to pull out the one I had out for him) and gave us only the vaguest directions to the hotel – ending with “You’ll see it right along the road on the right.”

It may be true that the hotel will be right along the road on the right, but not, apparently, along the road he directed us to. We follow the road up and around the coast along the north end of the island until we come to the end of the road.  Cross consultation using our over-sized map and an intermittent iPhone ap indicate that the hotel is indeed located on this end of the island – but on the other side of the mountains.

With no road between here and there, we retrace our route back to Victoria, this time turning up into the mountains instead of following the coast.

Driving through the mountains seems a rather harrowing (I’m glad I’m not driving), but it is beautiful. We are pretty sure that we are now on the right track, even if we have no idea how far we need to go.  It seems like a good time to relax and enjoy the scenery.

This is when Lane informs us that we are almost out of gas, that –apparently – the car was almost empty when they gave it to us. He has no idea how far we can go before running out.This news significantly dampens my enthusiasm for sightseeing.Our map indicates there should be a gas station in the town near our hotel. There is not. On the other hand, we do find the hotel. At the hotel we assured that a.) it is indeed normal to rent out cars in the Seychelles without any gas in them and b.) these cars can run forever on “empty. We aren’t even on E yet, so we have nothing to worry about.Besides, we are in paradise and our room has a wonderful view and lunch in the hotel’s restaurant features delicious local fare with more wonderful views.

Why worry about a little thing like fuel for the car?

Next post: In Search of a Perfect Sunset
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