So I spent an absolutely perfect week in Mauritius with 4 other assistants (David, Matt, Ellen and Carly). Landed on the evening of the 16th after the shortest flight that I have ever been on. It lasted about half an hour and we paid 8.50 Euros for every minute on it, but it was worth every penny! As soon as we landed I felt like this was an island that I could call home.
On the drive to the apartment that we had rented for the week it was really comforting to be on the left-hand side of the road again and also all the road signs were made just like the English ones and in English too! Our apartment was in Pereybere, a small town just next to Grand Baie in the North (the hip and happening place) and just a 10 minute walk to the beach. On Thursday we bought some food for the apartment from the local supermarket which was an experience in itself! Everything was so cheap, especially in comparison to Reunion! You could get a huge baguette for about 20p and they had loads of imported foods from England, the USA and Africa which weren’t even expensive. Plus all the imported foods from France were cheaper there than it is in Reunion which is quite annoying. Then we took a bus to Port Louis the capital the check out the market there and I did a bit of early Christmas shopping (the market man called me “Princess” and I’m a sucker for that, so I spent lots of money at his stall).
Friday we spent all day on Pereybere beach which was so beautiful. The sand was soft and smooth like no other beach that I’ve ever been on and the water was an aqua blue and perfectly clear. I felt completely safe in it, no worries of sharks! In the afternoon we were given a free glass-bottomed boat trip from a man called Baba Cool who always wore a gold Stetson and with whom we booked a day trip to another island for Monday.
Saturday we rented a car for a day trip around the island which was very exciting, being driven by the 2 men who are used to driving on the other side of the road..
We drove down to the south-west of the island to the Chamoral site which was made up of some lovely tropical gardens, an amazing waterfall that looked like it must have dropped from heaven and the really cool ‘Seven coloured sands’. The viewpoint for the waterfall looked out over wonderful, lush, forest greenery surrounding a double waterfall that dropped into the chasm below; the most incredible sight. Mauritius really is a tropical island paradise. From there we drove down to Le Morne, a mountain on the peninsula of the island where we all had a nice swim in the lagoon and I nearly stole the cutest little mixed race baby. Finally around we went and sat on the Maconde rocky outcrop, admired the stunning sea stretching out in front of us and thought about how good our lives were before popping by a cute little fishing village for dinner at sunset.
Sunday we drove down to Quatre Bornes for the market there and ate Daal Roti and did some little bits of shopping before heading to Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens. Didn’t have much time there but it was very pretty and I hope to return in the future to see the famous Amazonian lilies in full bloom. (NB. Here I should have taken advantage of the fact that everyone thinks I’m Mauritian to get free entry, but I’m just not ballsy enough).
Monday we hopped on a little catamaran and were taken to the gorgeous Ile Plate, right next to the bigger and more popular Ile Gabriel. The currents were relatively strong around the this little island so the crew recommended starting snorkelling further up the beach and then using it to carry you round to the point where you should work back onto the shore or else be swept out to sea. I did try snorkelling, but I just hate the sensation of being partially underwater and hearing my own breathing and seeing everything in the sea so clearly! Definitely not a water baby. So I got out early, took a walk along the beach, gazed out onto this expanse of lagoon that was made up of so many different hues of blue and pretended that I had the whole island to myself. After a delightful BBQ lunch Carly, David and I decided to go a little swim in an area where 2 currents met, well not much of a swim; we just let the waves gently buffer us around.
A wonderful end to a perfect holiday, we were all very sad to be leaving Mauritius, but to be honest we couldn’t complain to be returning to another tropical island.
Oh yeah, the catamaran crew were shocked to find out that I don’t speak Hindi despite my traditional Indian name, seems that I can’t go anywhere in the world without being outed as a bad Indian!