Welcome to the next instalment of my “Road-Trip” experiences.
Hubster and I were lucky to be able to honeymoon in Mauritius and it was the only time I could tie him down to a beach based holiday, where he didn’t hire a car. With a June wedding we then headed to the summer hemisphere in their autumn, a twelve hour flight had us arriving at the airport which is found in the south east of the island. We were greeted in arrivals by a swarm of eager baggage handlers, grabbing our bags and taking them only a short distance to a waiting mini-bus, welcome to Africa.
We’d booked a hotel at Trou-aux-Biches (sounds great in French, the English translation is mouth of bitches!) It’s on the north of the island and settled down to a long ride, passing sugar plantations and the capital Port Louis as we dropped other passengers off at different hotels. The wait was worth it, we had a straw thatched hut on the beach- front. We shared this with geckos and one night a cockroach.
For a week the hubster prowled the beach, pool and gardens, we took a pedalo out to the reef where we got it stuck for a while and another time we booked a glass bottomed boat tour around the bay. We hired bicycles and rode to Grand Baie and walked along the beach to the local supermarket for affordable drinks and snacks, our package included breakfast and evening meals but no lunch. One of my favourite foods was delicious vanilla tea and one of the best meals was a honeymoon special candlelit dinner with lovely fresh seafood.
After a week we had a phone call from a friend of a friend, who lived on the island. They offered to show us some of the sights, which was great as we had little money left for excursions after paying for the wedding. The wife of the doctor came with her driver/ body-guard, they explained that people of many faiths live easily side-by-side in Mauritius, however there were obvious restrictions to how the Doctor’s wife spent her days, the body-guard paid for everything and negotiated all our entrance fees to places. There were many unfinished homes with scaffolding left up for years, because only when a house was finished did the occupants have to pay tax on it. They took us to Grande Bassin a natural volcanic lake and place of religious pilgrimage, where cheeky monkeys competed for attention. Next we went to the National Botanical gardens at Pamplemousse home to giant lily’s and wide variety of palm trees. Another day they took us to Ile aux Cerfs with its beautiful beaches and our final trip was to a Giant tortoise and Crocodile nature reserve without them we would have missed much of the local flora and fauna and it was great to see a place from the POV of those who lived on the island, rather than just from the tourist perspective.
Next week, New Zealand with a nine month old child.