Socotra in the velvet season [Archives:2008/1148/Last Page]

April 21 2008
Photo from archived article: photos/1148/lastpage1_1
Photo from archived article: photos/1148/lastpage1_1
Photo from archived article: photos/1148/lastpage1_2
Photo from archived article: photos/1148/lastpage1_2
Nastia Popova
For the Yemen Times

From the first to the eleventh of January I took a trip to Socotra, situated in the Indian Ocean. The month January is called “a velvet season” in Socotra. It was an unforgettable week! The weather was smiling for us during all our time there.

In spite of the fact that Socotra is part of Yemen, people can see some distinctions.

The first difference is the people. People in Sana'a and people in Socotra are very different. In spite of having lived in Sana'a for only three years, I could see differences in characters, manners and the appearance of citizens.

The second, of course, is the climate. It is more humid on the island than in Sana'a. And the temperature doesn't drop when day changes into night. Also, the ocean is present everywhere on the island; you can feel a spirit of the ocean, the ocean's air.

Comparing these two distinctions, I can't say that Sana'a is better then Socotra or vice versa. These are two different worlds.

But I want to tell about my brightest impressions which I “received” on that week in Socotra.

At first I can say that the tour guides are very good. For short seven days there people are shown the most interesting and beautiful places.

The first sight was the North-East of the island. It is the place where the ocean shows its majesty in front of you, to your left and your right. Maybe it is difficult to imagine, but when you have seen it you can't forget it!

The next sight was the town Qalansiya. There is such a beautiful view no adjectives can describe it. It is next to a huge beach with the cleanest sand and water like crystal. Drivers let know us that a few meters away there was a sloth and asked us to be very attentive and careful. But Russian people don't have fears and obstacles and a sloth was the first thing that every person from our group came to see. Everybody took a photo of that beautiful creature.

The next place where we were taken was a canyon. I saw a canyon with my own eyes for the first time!

And the most beautiful place in the island was an oasis. The way there was very extreme! But that oasis is a place that everybody who came to Socotra must see. A river was leaking among rocks. Around the oasis there were many kinds of palms.

Everywhere on the island you can see endemic trees, for example, a blood dragon's tree, and a battle tree.

Nowadays Socotra is developing. The citizens are very proud of their native land. Many organizations all over the world are struggling to save the flora and fauna of the island. Now there is developing ecotourism – a special kind of tourism that doesn't harm the environment.

I would like to come to Socotra maybe in 30 years. And I hope that citizens of the island, citizens of all Yemen in assistance with international ecological organizations will save the nature of the island in its primordial and unique beauty. I would like it to be so.

Now, when my friends in Russia will be thinking about where to have a rest, I shall advise them to fly to Socotra. Such a pleasant and admiration they can't have after famous world resorts!