Well, you may remember some monthy ago me rambling some nonsense about cartography and mapping. Well I finally finished creating maps for the Seychelles for the three main islands (Mahé, Praslin and La Digue). It took me a lot of work, and the maps should be pretty detailed. I make them available for free, you can download the Illustrator files of the map, the maps I created in Mapwel (thanks to Carlos), which are in the .mpw format and the Garmin compatible .img GPS maps. Unluckily, at this point I only can upload img files for Praslin and Mahé, and they may look a bit weird depending on your Garmin unit, so you may want to buy Mapwel to edit it to your needs. They have been tested on my new eTrex Vista HCx. I personally bought the Seychelles GPS map from this site and edited them to my needs (added some details from my maps, like tracks and streams), but of course I can't make those file available. Otherwise they are probably still worth their price. I still maintain the copyright of the files below, if you'd like to use them, please send me a comment.
Since I didn't really have a decent holiday last summer, and since I've been away for nearly half a year, Line and I decided it was time for a really special vacation this time, taking advantage of the fact that I haven't yet started my PhD yet, giving me more time off than the next couple of years. I always wanted to go to some tropical island, and since we both like the sun, the sea and the beach, we settled for the Seychelles, which most of us only know from the Baccardi and Raffaello advertisements on TV. But set aside these clichés, the Seychelles really do seem like a tropical paradise. They are in the Indian Ocean "near" Mauritius and Madagascar in a small archipel that is protected from most tropical storms, tropical diseases and overly destructive tourism, as the building of hotels is tightly controlled by the government in order to protect the islands nature from the masses.
We'll depart July 11th from Frankfurt and fly with the Emirates via Dubai. We decided to stay 3 weeks, giving us the possibility to explore 3 of the main islands, i.e. Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Mahé is probably 1/10 the size of Luxembourg and has some moutaineous areas reaching up to 900m, while La Digue is quite small and flatter. There are many trekking possibilities through the jungle which I'm really looking forward to, that's also the reason why I purchased a GPS from Garmin that I will use for trekking and geotagging (i.e. tagging the pictures I take with the exact geographic location). One problem is that there aren't really any decent topographic maps commercially available, needless to say that the islands are only a white dot on the digital GPS maps. That's the reason why I used these last weeks to familiarize myself to topographic software, which is in fact quite an interesting subject, which I will address at a later point.
As I'm always obsessed with such holidays, I spend hours reading through forums and books in order to optimize and carefully plan the stay, and I think it's really going to be great. So if you see my mind wander these next months, or the blog not being updated that frequently, it's probably because I'm in the middle of investigating the most pristine beaches or charting maps of islands I've never been to. I will regularily update my current achievements, though the main content for this blog will probably appear after the stay...