Mauritius 2017 – a must visit

After a long 2 flights, totaling 18 hours – a nightmare for anyone with tailbone inflammation problems – we arrived in Mauritius around 7:00 AM in the morning.

The first thing you see once you get off of the plane and into the airport is the mountains.  I turned to my boyfriend in awe, he informed me that to go to his place we will be driving THROUGH the mountains.  Cue excitement.

Driving home was one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life.  I’ve always lived in flat-ole Ontario.  Never seen mountains with my own two eyes until this moment.  My boyfriend was right his father, the driver, took us on routes in between the mountains.  I probably looked dumbfounded to his mom, aunt, and sister the whole ride home.

His house was located in a small village.  I’ve been told that the house was build by his father when my boyfriend was very young.  Like most of the houses it was made out of concrete and inside it was painted beautiful vibrate colours.  Pink, blue, yellow.  You name the colour it was in the house somewhere.

After settling in, mostly and surprising a couple more family members with his arrival back in him home country we set out for the beach, because of course that’s the first thing I do when visiting a paradise island.  You may be thinking “Weren’t they tired?  They just did an 18 hour flight?” you should know that excitement and adrenaline do a lot for fighting jet-lag.  Despite that fact that when we landed at 7:00 am it was 10:00 pm the day before back in Ontario I was as awake as ever.

The beach we went to was called Belle Mare and it was the most frequented beach throughout the visit as it was the closest to his house.  I’d seen plenty a pictures of the waters around Mauritius and how turquoise they are but I was still astounded seeing it first in real life.  If you don’t know much about Mauritius it is surrounded mostly by a coral reef so the waters and some of the prettiest waters I have ever seen.

The following day, day 2 of our 3 week trip, we decided to go to the botanical gardens in Pamplemousses.  The botanical gardens is a man-made garden that houses many plants that are endangered or not native to the country.  It is large and beautiful.

My boyfriends father and mother work as fruit-sellers in the Flacq market.  The market takes place on Sunday and Wednesdays.  We went to the market 5 or so times during our stay it was very interesting and nice to see how the Market works.

And then my asthmatic self decided to hike up a mountain.  And may I just say that despite the troubles I had during the upward trek it was 120% worth it in the end.  You get an excellent view of the mountains and land from the high up.

First you make your way to the reception desk where you try to convince the lady that you are married so my – the non-citizen’s ticket – would be cheaper.  I don’t think she believed us but she gave me the price for a citizen anyways.  Then you take a bus that drives you up to the starting point of the hike.  Let me tell you that that was the most bumpy bus ride I’ve ever experienced, and I doubt will ever again – until the next time we go to Mauritius of course.

The next thing we did was go to Bois Cherri tea factory to tour the factory and hear how tea is picked, processsed, and packaged.  Afterwards we drove further upwards and had a wonderful tea tasting of all the flavours with a beautiful of the tea trees and a small lake.

The same day we visited the colonial house and vanilla house, with a short stop off at a mini petting farm to begin!  The colonial house is a historical house in Mauritius and now people can tour it as well as enjoy a – very expensive- lunch there.  I of course didn’t eat there because I was staying with people who live in the country and can take me to non-tourist cheap places to eat, that generally have more authentic Mauritian food than the restaurants catering to tourists.  The vanilla house has a video showing you how vanilla is made and a tiny little museum inside to take a look at some of the tools used.  I of course neglected to take any pictures of either the colonial house or vanilla house, so here are some other pictures I took around the same area that day.

Next up is preparing for and going to Grande Basin, the main Hindu temple in Mauritius.  And taking a trip to some beautiful view points.  His mother generously bought me a beautiful green Churidar, and corresponding accessories which I wore to Grande Basin, and his aunt also generously spent somewhere around 2.5 hours total doing mehendi on my hands, for free (I’m so lucky to have my boyfriends family!).  The next day we drove to Grande Basin, did some prayers and offerings and walked up 100+ stairs to a much higher part of the temple, took some pretty scenery photos and saw my first wild monkey.

One day we spent the whole day driving up a mountain finding more beautiful view points with the ultimate goal of going to Le Chamarel seven coloured earth (which we missed at first and drove all the way to the bottom only to be told by some locals that we had to go back UP the mountain).

With his aunt, mother, and sister we went to Casaela which is a nature park (aka tiny zoo).  I didn’t take any pictures of the animals however there was an epic staircase to climb to get to yet another view point.  There was also class 2 cyclonic weather which meant we ate home made Mauritian cakes and went to see the big ocean waves.

While we were in Mauritius a Tamil festival known as Cavadee happened which some of his family was participating in.  We visited his aunt and uncles house the night before to watch him make his Cavadee, I don’t have many pictures of the festival as many of them have family members in them and I wish to respect their privacy.  The following day we went to Ile aux cerf which is a beautiful little piece of land – largely visited by tourists – where a boat will come pick you up around lunch time and take you to another island for barbecue and then take you back for more beach time.

When we first got there it was pouring rain, so we stood under a tent for 1 hour before being taken to the barbecue, where I was served possibly the largest single serving of beer in my entire life.  By the time we headed back to Ile aux cerf the weather had cleared up and we had some fun with strong waves and sea urchins.

The night before we left his mother and father held a barbecue for a bunch of his family and us.

And for a bonus here’s a photo story of what it’s like to eat ice cream on a hot day in a hot country.

All in all it was an excellent trip and I would definitely recommend it to any one.  Although extra recommendation to those who burn easily maybe don’t go in Jan/Feb (aka middle of summer) the sun is Satan at that time of the year and I burnt myself so bad I was swelling and blistering.

Peace and love ❤

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