In 1881, General Charles Gordon (later known as Gordon of Khartoum) made the long trek from the United Kingdom to an archipelago off East Africa.
The Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, spent most of their existence completely uninhabited by humans. The British officer didn’t know what to expect – but no one was prepared for what he found.
Gordon, a religious man and a Christian cosmologist, recognized this land from descriptions in the Book of Genesis: it was the Garden of Eden.
Here, 135 years later, I stood in the same valley as Gordon on the island of Praslin, aware of what I had come to see but still equally entranced. Within the first few steps of entering the Vallée de Mai, I was enveloped in a world of intense greenery.