In the waters of the Indian Ocean is an island not many know about. With its hoary past it is sure to make for an exciting visit.
Did you know that there is an island in the Indian Ocean that seems to belong to another time and place? Silhouette, an island in the Seychelles, looks remote and forbidding, its peak perpetually in the clouds. The only way to get there is by boat. It used to be a shelter for pirates long ago.
One reason for its isolation is because no boat could get near it for a long, long time because of the coral reef that surrounds it. There is a pier now making landing much easier. But the boats cannot reach the island directly. There are rubber dinghies which ferry visitors from the boat to the pier.
In the past
The island is just three miles long and three miles wide. As you alight from the boat, the mountains seem to peer down. The peak, Mount Dauban, is 780 meters high. The marshes are overgrown with prickly pears and creepers loom up all around.
Hodoul is the pirate, who made Silhouette his home and is said to have buried his treasure here. Many believe that the treasure is still there and go to look for it.
Silhouette used to be the favourite resort of pirates, especially those driven out of the Caribbean in the 18 century.
This was their base and from here they operated and looted traders sailing along this route. In the marshes is a mausoleum with marble columns which belonged to the Dauban family who once owned this island.
Coconut palms and cinnamon trees cover the island. Copra is the main industry here and the main livelihood of the 300 or so people who live here.
They also grow coffee, avocados, cinnamon, tobacco and bigarades, a tiny fruit which tastes like bitter orange.
Close to the pier landing is La Passe’s main square, shaded by takamaka and bread fruit trees. Because no grains grow in the sandy island breadfruit forms an important part of their diet. The fruit is boiled or baked first and then either mashed or fried like potatoes.
Silhouette is a place for nature lovers and for those who love adventure. Two tracks join the island from north to south. There are no proper roads, no cars, no post office and no police station! And of course no mobile phones or iPads!
All around is silence and feel as if you must only whisper and never speak loudly! There is a rough track through the equatorial forest but it could be unsafe to venture there without a local guide.
Apart from its scenic beauty what makes Silhouette really special is its eerie and unshakable air of mystery.