Seychelles Vacation of a Lifetime: Brandon Grimshaw and his private paradise on Earth
Categories: NatureBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/seychelles-vacation-of-a-lifetime-brandon-grimshaw-and-his-private-paradise-on-earth
Seychelles was discovered in the XVI century and due to their convenient location and rich nature, they immediately attracted great interest. A lot of time has passed since then and most of the 115 islands of the archipelago are far from being in their original form. But not all newcomers treated the islands as guests. Englishman Brandon Grimshaw became a legend of the Seychelles, devoting his life without a trace to their salvation.
The influence of man on nature is felt today on all the islands of the Seychelles archipelago, although only 33 of the 115 land plots are inhabited by people. Most of the inhabited islands are built up with luxury hotels and villas of the rich, and several of them are completely owned by billionaires or companies.
Today, only a few can buy a "piece of paradise" for themselves, but in the middle of the XX century one of the islands could be obtained into private ownership for a nominal fee. 36-year-old Briton Brandon Grimshaw took advantage of this opportunity in 1962.
Brandon worked as a journalist in Africa for many years and in the late 50s decided that he had had enough. From the exoticism of the Black continent, the man fled to his native England, determined to look for a quiet place where you can invest money in real estate and enjoy life. Grimshaw's plans were destined to come true, however, with a few adjustments of the mockery of fate.
During his vacation, Brandon visited one of the uninhabited islands of the Seychelles archipelago – Moyenne and decided that he would stay here forever. The former journalist found the owner of this piece of land and at dinner agreed with him about the purchase of the island.
A piece of uninhabited land with an area of 0.089 km2, lying 4.5 km north of Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles, Grimshaw purchased for 8 thousand pounds, which today would amount to about 670 thousand rubles. The island passed to the Englishman in full possession and he could dispose of it as he pleased.
Thus, Brandon's dream came true and he found a quiet and picturesque place. Only the island of Muayen was not adapted not only for a break from the hustle and bustle of the big world, but also, in general, for any kind of accommodation. In the new possessions of Grimshaw, there was not even drinking water, which had to be carried in a boat from the neighboring Mahe, not to mention such benefits of civilization as electricity or communications.
Therefore, the Englishman hired a guy from Mae Rene Lafortune as his assistant and, rolling up his sleeves, set about arranging his possessions. And there was a lot of work – Grimshaw and his assistant decided to make a real blooming garden out of an unkempt wild island.
The island acquired by Brandon was uninhabited in the full sense of the word, since there were not even birds on it. Solving this problem took a lot of time and effort from the two enthusiasts. Grimshaw and Lafortune caught birds on neighboring islands, released them on Muayen and fed them. Of course, they immediately returned home and the couple went fishing again.
Thanks to their perseverance, the men achieved that the birds got used to the island and felt comfortable in the branches of its trees. So the first inhabitants appeared in Brandon's possessions. Then the safety of the island was assessed by turtles, which have become very rare in most of the Seychelles. Giant reptiles chose Muayen and began to give offspring.
The islanders planted more than 16 thousand palm trees, mangoes and other fruit trees, cleared the beaches of rocks and debris, freed the forest from the bushes that choked it and did many other glorious things that took them only 39 years.
A lot has been done on a land area surrounded by the ocean and for people. First, electricity appeared on the island, and then telephone communication. A lot of time and effort were taken away from Brandon and his partner by the troubles of organizing a nature reserve on the island. The efforts were not in vain and, having broken the bureaucratic machine, the owner of the island achieved the status of a national park for his island.
Today Moyenne Island National Park is the most populated territory of the Seychelles with animals, a real oasis of pristine nature, which, strange as it may sound, appeared thanks to caring human hands. Tourists can visit the island without any problems, but only for a strictly defined time – it is strictly forbidden to camp on the island of Muayen and stay overnight.
Visitors to the reserve are charged $ 12, which is quite a bit, since this amount includes not only a tour of a unique national park, but also a rest on a beautiful beach and even lunch.
In 2007, trouble visited the island for the first time - Rene Lafortune died. But Brandon Grimshaw, having lost his only colleague, did not feel lonely, since he simply did not have time to yearn. In general, the Englishman once admitted that the feeling of loneliness visited him only once, and in a rather crowded place – in a London flophouse. Grimshaw always felt great on the island that had become his home for decades.
The small island, which has become a real pearl of the archipelago, attracted the attention of the rich. The prince from Saudi Arabia, visiting Brandon's possessions, was amazed by what he saw and immediately offered $ 50 million for Muayen. But Grimshaw would not have sold his island even for a much more impressive sum, because he was sure that after the sale this paradise would disappear forever, becoming another island hotel for rich people.
There were rumors that Grimshaw did not want to part with Muayen also because, according to legend, the famous pirate Olivier Levasseur buried untold treasures in the wilds of the island. But when Brandon was asked about this fact, he just laughed. According to the man, at first he sometimes spent time turning over stones, hoping to find a treasure, but then he just had no time to do these stupid things.
In 2012, Brandon Grimshaw passed away at the age of 86. But his business continues to live – Moyenne Island National Park has remained a state reserve and now the money for his visit is charged by the caretaker living here, who, like Grimshaw, jealously keeps order.