Being in the middle of a long and cold winter I was longing for some sunshine. There are closer options of spring, but I wanted real summer. I decided to be open for whatever good offer finds me, I just set the approximate time (end of February, the beginning of March, and about 10 days) and location (Caribbean islands, Thailand, Mauritius, Bali, Madagascar, Costa Rica, Zanzibar). I had checked the website fly4free.com 4-5 times daily to see if there is a good deal.
When it has arrived, I was so happy and excited that I just simply ignored the fact that the luggage is extra Ł70. I thought it was just some trick and I would manage it later for a normal price. I didn’t. Synchronizing with my connecting flight it turned out I can only bring the smallest hand luggage (by the Wizzair regulations) and max 5 kilos (by TUI’s regulations). I have always loved travelling with big suitcases, loads of clothes to choose from and now here I am with only the basic stuff for 2 weeks. I didn’t know if I shall cry or laugh, but I decided to take it as a challenge and adventure, let’s see how I manage it. Worst case scenario I will buy some extra clothes there. Long story short I was ready for the packing which was much easier than I thought. 3 bikinis, 3 dresses, a pair of jeans shorts, a skirt and 6 tops. A pair of sandals, a pair of textile shoes. I even brought my salsa shoes with me, hoping I will use it, but finally, I didn’t. I had a bar of natural soap with me, which is a shampoo, and I wanted to use it as a face wash and shower gel also, but my hair looked like a trashed mop and felt terrible with it, so I bought a shampoo there and used it for all the other functions mentioned earlier.
I had half a day in London, and I enjoyed the beginning of spring in Hyde Park and Portobello Market, had a light lunch there, and a coconut latte at Pret A Manger, next to Victoria station. They have several vegan options to eat also. Then I was ready for the adventure. Travelling solo.
Arriving at the airport I found my check-in desks which happened to be empty, no more passengers, only me. When I put my backpack on the belt, the man made a phone call and arranged to upgrade my ticket, which meant priority boarding, unlimited champagne and wines. The British passengers were drinking lots of GT. I was very happy with my situation and considered it as a good sign for my whole holiday. Even with the nice amount of alcohol I finished I didn’t sleep well, as when I fall asleep the plane started trembling which made my eyes wide open, and this was going on all flight.
I love the feeling arriving at somewhere hot when coming from winter. The temperature difference and the humidity hits you when you leave the airplane, and just immediately puts you into holiday mode. With the priority ticket, I got through the immigration office quickly, got my first dodo into my passport, and ready to leave.
I didn’t have a transfer ordered, as I wanted to take the bus, but first had to find the ATM to get some money. Finally, I had enough cash on me and found the bus stop to Port Louis. As I was waiting a young couple Mimi and Marcin joined me. After some negotiation, we took a taxi with Sunil for 1300 rupee to Perebeye (his details: +230 5 775 3829 and firstname.lastname@example.org). In Mauritius, there are no house numbers in many cases and even the street names are different than you can see in Google maps, but somehow locals still find their ways. Arriving at my accommodation I was really happy, as I have chosen the cheapest places always and still turned out to be lovely. A small kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom. In the garden, there was a lovely terrace also with a shade. I love plants so I enjoyed being there, arriving home to all the palm trees and scented flowers.
(If You would like to join to Airbnb, you can do it through this link and get credit, this is how I started, I got my first 2 days free this way: Free credits please note this is not sponsored, it is a normal affiliate link.)
This is where I stayed in Perebeye: https://www.airbnb.hu/rooms/4640413 It is 15 minutes walking from the beach, but for this price it worth every penny. The lady told me how to get to the beach and where is the bus stop, under the mango tree. Of course. ☺
North West Mauritius
Perebeye, Gran Baie, Trou aux Biches, Mont Chiosy beach, Pamplemousses botanical garden, Château de Labourdonnais
I have spent 4 nights in Perebeye. From there it was easy to reach all the places I wanted to visit. The bus goes from 7-19, in every 10 minutes. The destanation is always written in front of the bus, but you can always ask. Local people are super friendly. Many times they not just told me where is the place I wanted to go but also accompanied me there. So the buses go frequently, you get on the one you need, sit down and a ticket person will come and sort you out. It is good that there is no waiting for everybody to get the ticket, you can just sit and wait, and also when you want to get off, just ring the bell, wait till the bus stops and get down. They wait patiently.
The other option in this region (if you don’t want to rent a car) is to go with locals. Many cars just stop when you wait for the bus and people just get in, pay the same amount as the bus ticket and go together. Local people and tourists. I only did it when I was not the only passenger, but I never felt uncomfortable on the island travelling solo as a woman. Sometimes, even more people fit in than the expected ☺ You can chat with locals and get the latest news, like if there is a cyclone coming.
One of the nicest mangos I had was at the local bus stop from an old man who was selling it from his bag. It was cheap and juicy; he asked the question I have heard million times there: “You are from which country?” I bought several mangos from him and waited for the bus together while snacking on his unidentified black berries together.
The first afternoon when I arrived at the beach of Perebeye I was amazed. The ocean is really is that blue. When you walk through the bushes (“park”) to the beach you just see it sparkling. The beach here is small, and not among the fancy ones, but happened to be one of my favourites. There were local people; the water was super clean, soft, silky, warm, and just perfect.
The first pineapple I got was for 150 rupees, and while I was paying there was another girl asking for her last pineapple before going home. I asked her how much is the pineapple the last day. 50 rupees. So I learnt that I paid the stupid tourist price. Then as my tan was getting darker, the price of the pineapple was getting lower.
There is a big supermarket in Grand Baie (Super U: La Salette Road, B11, Grand Baie, Mauritius) As I was planning to eat as much fruit as much possible I bought a small but sharp knife which was very useful during my stay on the island. They also have in the shop lots of precooked food such as rice, grilled veggies, etc, so it is easy to grab some food when you don’t want to or can’t cook and had enough of street food. The only thing I didn’t like there is the temperature. Outside it’s so hot and so easy to sweat because of the humidity and when you enter it’s like entering a freezer. Easy to get cold and that is the last thing you need when you are on holiday. I bought a pair of flip-flops, the cheapest in lovely neon yellow colour which broke my skin between my fingers. It was a good deal.
On the way to the beach from the supermarket, I grabbed some papaya from a man selling it by the road, 2 for 50 rupees was worth it and I picked 2 weird looking stuff also, which happened to be custard apple, but not yet ripe. Normally, it’s soft and sweet when it’s ready but bit too much hustle with all those seeds and only a little eatable thing in it. When I arrived at the beach I was sitting in the shadow, cutting my papaya with my new knife, picking the seeds out, when an old, local man stopped next to me and told me to eat those seeds as they are good for my tummy. So I did. Even that eating mainly fruits I didn’t need anything extra “good” for my stomach.
I hopped on a bus south; my next stop was aux Biches. It is about 10 minutes from Grand Baie, there is a long golf resort on the right side, after that I got off and walked down to the beach. There are several street food options I didn’t try among the trees there. On the left side of the beach, there is no shadow so I turned right and the beach was amazingly beautiful with all the palm trees by the water. The resort sun beds are there to ruin the scene a bit but still so lovely. I didn’t stay at any place more than 1-3 hours so I never rented any beds. Here I could put my towel under a tree, eating my juicy papaya and mangos. I have asked a woman next to me to take a picture of me. This is the photo I took and this is the one she did from the same spot:
There was a couple from Asia with their wedding photographer. They were dressed up, flowers and all the romantic equipment you can imagine. It was funny and sad at the same time to watch them running up and down in the water only smiling when the camera was on. After lots of “spontaneous” photos they left.
I started to walk up on the beach, there is a nice stage where you can look back at the beach from a different view and watch this postcard-like scene.
I decided that I will just take a walk to the next beach what I wanted to visit, where I can not walk by the water I will just go into the road. There was a fruit stall on the way and got 2 mangos, 1 cleaned pineapple and 2 maracujas for 190 rupees. Lunch is sorted.
When I entered the beach of Mont Choisy, I have found a quiet and empty part where I could just sit alone and enjoy my fruits.
I have spent the rest of the day here, the beach is surrounded by pine trees. It is not always easy to make people understand what I don’t eat, but somehow I always managed:
– me: I would like to eat something local without meat, dairy and eggs
– them: maybe a nice rice with chicken?
But finally I got some not so local fried noodles with veggies, but the boys also offered some massage, can rent them out for a week for cooking, etc.. They are making the best out of their business. ☺
In the evening the beach was filled with local people enjoying family time by the water.
When I arrived back to Perebeye, I went down the beach to enjoy the sunset and found a sand artist in working. The last scene I saw there before leaving to home was a dog peeing on the face of the sculpture.
I love gardens, and all that is green. I took a bus (38 rupees) from Gran Baei to the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden . When I arrived there were people selling water, coconuts right before the entrance and I decided to grab something. The man asked me where I am from and then he started to say words in Hungarian. He was very proud of himself “speaking” 50 languages. He couldn’t change my notes, but let me bring the water with me and pay on the way back when I have enough changes with me.
The garden itself was really lovely with all those different types of palm trees, water lilies. There is a chateau in the middle but it was under construction, which made me really sad, as there are no too many colonial buildings on the island left, and I love these old buildings with all the history among the walls.
It is an interesting experience how my standards can go down in some countries. This “restaurant” was next to the water selling place outside of the garden and at home, I would call the authorities for a check, but here I just had my lunch, like that is the most natural thing on the planet. I didn’t drink any alcohol while I was there (except 2 dinners with a glass of wine), so I really don’t understand how my body managed to keep away nasty things (in Egypt I had started my days with a sip of whiskey with no digestion problems at all). I guess it was good for strengthening my immune system.
After the garden, I went for my first ever snorkelling trip with 3 Chinese people. They have been there for weeks now, they knew the “captain” well as it was not their first ride with him, but still didn’t know the name of the town where the boat departured. The boat had glass bottom, so you could see the fishes and giant turtles from the boat. First I got some life-saving jacket, I guess it’s not my size. But it kept me from putting my head into the water and was uncomfortable anyway so I took it off. The first time I put my face into the water I kept my breath back, somehow my natural reaction was holding my breath back while my face is under the water. But after a few minutes, I became a pro…
Next day I spent hours wandering around in the Chateau De Labourdonnais and its garden. Watching photos of people who have lived there before and trying to imagine what life was like that time. Writing letters in the small working room, drinking tea on the balcony which goes around the whole building, taking walks in the lovely garden… The building is still owned by the family and it is perfectly renovated.
There is a rum factory there also, so with your ticket you get a rum tasting experience. The sugar jelly they give first is vegan, and there are several options to try the around 50-degree rums. Nothing better at noon, in the heat, before lunch. That lunch though.. It was not typically local, but the fanciest meal I had on the island. They also managed to put some coconut cream (they use it for the curry) into my coffee from the kitchen, that even the chef came out to check who is the one who asked for it. In the coffee.
On the way back I learnt the lesson never sit in a taxi without fixing the price. When they stop at the bus stop with the new tourists in and the driver insist they only charge the bus fare, make sure you fix it. Probably that is the price I have to pay for being naïve and trusting people too much but still, find it better than getting bitter with time.
In the afternoon I went down to the small beach, La Cuvette and eat my 2 mangos I collected from under a tree and local people said I should leave it it’s too ripe. I would be happy eating this ripe of a mango daily at home.
Port Luis, Flic en Flac
After leaving Perebeye I headed north first for a quick visit, in about 6 km-s there is a small chapel by the ocean: Notre Dame Auxiliatrice de Cap Malheureux. Lovely but don’t plan too much time there.
Bus ride to Port Luis:
I was then ready for some big city vibes. I wanted to spend the day in Port Luis, visiting the market and wandering on its streets but made the visit shorter as planned. When I arrived there was some Hindu gathering next to a big station, with all its magnificent colours and scents. People in colourful dresses, leaving their sandals outside of the gate on the street.
I entered a small market, where local people do their shopping, had my cheapest pineapple ever (25 rupees), and grabbed some good looking veggie dish, but unfortunately, it went bad in the heat.
I went to the port, had some coconut there, and visited the Blue Penny Museum. I normally don’t like AC, but here it was really a relief to enter, so I guess I spent there more time than planned. They were among the firsts who introduced a pre-paid post, but the first set of postage stamps were spelled wrong, and there are only 2 stamps left from that collection which they bought back for a fortune and you can watch the originals for a few minutes every hour. There is a lovely collection of everything air post related, boats and a love story of Paul and Virginie.
Mauritius is famous for its sugar cane fields, and in front of the museum you can see how they press the juice out of the cane, and you can drink it. It’s super sweet, you can even drink it as a cocktail.
There is a big gap between the 2 parts of the city; one is full of people, raw, dirty and loud and the other one is destined to the tourists in the port which looks a little bit like Disneyland for me.
After this I went to the famous market. The streets are really busy, lots of people, small shops selling everything you can imagine. The market is cool and shadowed, and packed with fresh veggies and fruits. It is worth wandering around to see all the different things you cannot find at home. I felt sorry for not being able to shop for a good meal, as I was travelling to Flic and Flac in the evening and I already had my backpack with me, plus my clothes I was travelling in. I still got some fruits, though.
When I arrived back to the station, earlier than planned, as I was dizzy with all that sounds and crowd, I was longing for some breese by the ocean. I was bit worried as for how would I be able to find my bus stop on the overcrowded station, but one bus was leaving the gate and stopped for a minute when I arrived there and screaming Flic and Flac, so people could get on the bus on the last minute. They don’t follow the EU norms, but are quite efficient in many ways..
I arrived to Flic and Flac and headed to beach immediately. One of the most beautiful beaches there, especially if you walk South for a while and get out of the local people and the tourists. A man came to me offering mangos from his backpack, got 6 from him. My accommodation here was not that lovely, like my previous one, but still fine and cheap. The place was owned by an Indian couple and the first night there was some chanting going on for like 2 hours.. The good thing was that they had laundry services. One thing you should definetly do when you visit this place is to watch the sunset, which will astonish you with all its colours..
I bought dodo cards. Because, essentails. From Flic and Flac, going South you have to change bus at the mall next to the village.
South west Mauritius
La Galuette, La Morne, Black River National Park
I arrived to La Galuette after a huge rain. I didn’t find my accommodation as they didn’t give addresses or how to find them on the map, but a young boy helped me out, he accompanied me there. It was by the main road, but I still loved it. A big, light kitchen with a huge bedroom. I went to the supermarket as I had no food with me and didn’t find any restaurants opened. There were some people sitting in the entrance, but everything seemed close. I was wandering what a huge storm must have been there before I arrived that even the supermarket got closed, I didn’t even think about being Sunday for being the real reason.. Coming from a big city where there are shops non stop opened, one can be really spoiled..
La Galuette has nothing to offer as a tourist, but a good starting point for visiting the area, as it is much cheaper. In this part of the island the local bus replacement cars are not in fashion for some reason, so I had to take the buses. They go till 7 pm. Max.
After not eating for hours, I decided to go and see the big waves of Gris Gris. The island is protected by a coral reaf so the sea is calm by the shores, only at Gris Gris you can see big waves crushing the rocks. I was curious. It was already afternoon, I was a bit worried if I could catch the bus on the way back, but it is always possible to take a taxi. I had to change the bus at Baie du Cap. Then I went to Souillac. From there I had to walk, following the signs. It was a long road, no other tourists, only local men sitting in front of their houses with others. I felt a bit uncomfortable and I thought it would be more fun to do it together with someone. I kept on walking than a local woman with a huge smile appeared in front of me, waving at me and hugging me like you welcome a long lost friend. I looked around to see if she has mistaken me with someone else, but she seemed so sure about welcoming me. I asked if she speaks English, but she only spoke French. She hooked me and started to walk next to me toward the beach. It was obvious by this time that she has some mental problem as she acted like a child, but she was so happy and content, telling me stories and laughing on her own jokes, that I decided to go with the flow. Somehow I managed to tell her my name and she told me hers: Shirley. We walked on the road, hand in hand, laughing out loud, telling stories like good old friends. When we arrived it was a bit croweded, there was a big wind and the waves really crashed the rocks. I was afraid of giving my phone to Shirley to take a photo of me, as she was waving her hands busy telling stories, I thought she would drop it in the wind, down the ocean, so I asked someone to take photos of both of us. She was over the moon with her opportunity. There were some stands with food, so I grabbed some chips, and bought ice cream for Shirley. She really acted like a child, the ice cream was all over her in a minute, she couldn’t lick fast enough not to make a mess with it. It was time to go back to make sure I can catch some connected buses. On the way back, we passed a small house, and if I understood correctly that was where she lived, she invited me in, and I was really sad that I could not jump at the opportunity as I had to go back. At the station, waiting for the bus it was not easy to make her understand that Edit goes to Baie du Cap, and Shirley stays in Souillac. She kept telling me that Shirley is so happy, Shirley has a friend and Shriley goes to Baie du Cap.
Finally I managed to get on the bus alone, and even I could catch the last bus back to la Galuette. When I arrived back there was one small shop opened, but only through a window, and I was tired to ask and explain for anything vegan, so asked for a can of bean.. Lovely Sunday dinner I had 🙂
I had a catamaran tour booked with dolphin watching, but there was some cyclone situation going on, so it was cancelled.
Next day I went to visit la Morne. The underwater “waterfall” which is actually sand looks divine from the air, but it was quite expensive to have a look from a heli so I had to skip it. This is the view you can see if you search for images of Mauritius. I got off the bus at the entrance of the peninsula, but the road is long and in the heat, no shadow I would rather take a taxi or wait for the bus which goes in. The beach is very nice and clear like everywhere else. It is really fascinating to see all these beautiful white sandy beaches with its cristal clear waters. I had a nice swim, then I decided to go around the peninsula. I passed some resorts with lovely beaches, than at the southest point there were some people surfing in the wind. Than the east side of the peninsula is greener and wilder. As I kept moving forward, I went through a forest, then arrived back to the main road. There was a bus stop sign, and as I was waiting I heard some noise from above. I looked up and on the top of the huge tree next to me there were some cute monkeys. I opened my camera and started to film them, but as I zoomed in I had to realise they were not monkeys, but bats.. In every few minutes there was a hint of some liquid dropping down, I was not sure wether they were squizing the fruits or peeing, so I decided to step further a bit.
I wanted to hike in the Black River National Park, so I took the bus to the entrance road. I was told it’s not that far and when I arrive I can hire a guide there to show me around. When I got off the bus I was informed that it’s a lovely 5 km walk through the forest, and it was impossible to get a taxi in that town for some reason. I asked a couple of people working in a church’s garden, and one of them asked me to follow. He went in a house, came out with another one, and they told me to sit down and wait. They came back with a man who had a car, didn’t speak English and could take me to the National Park. When we arrived I thought there will be no one to take me back, but I was not worrying about the future. I went in the office to hire a guide, but the man sitting there just laughed at me, showed me the map, where we are, where I can cross the river, where can I swim in it, where is the nearest viewpoint I can reach before dark. So I went alone, met a few other tourists, but I was mainly alone. I loved crossing the river on the bridge which was a few cm-s under the water. I saw a few local people having a picnic with 2 tourits. I went up, it’s a bit challenging in the heat, but the view was worth it. My smile was wider on the way down, especially when I reached the river again and could have a dip. The local men from the picnic offered me to take a pic of me as I was alone, but I could manage to make a small video and it was enough. We had a chit chat, than I walked back to the entrance. I decided to walk back on the 5 km road, and it was a great idea as this was the only occasion I saw a pink pigeon, the island’s famous bird. It was sitting on the fence next to me. Many cars stopped, offering me a ride, but refused till that couple arrived after 4 kms who had the picnic with the locals by the river.
When I arrived home, I stopped by the supermarket and decided to cook some local food. I wanted to cook some ragu, but at the herb section I could only see herbs of Provence/Italian/Chinese, but no creol.. The young girls who worked in the supermarket couldn’t help with any recopies. There was one man, a customer who seemed to be an expert of cooking and gave me a local recipe, and showed me that they use fresh herbs and not dry ones, which was the reason I could not find any.
I went home and made the ragout which tasted great.
Here is the recipe: choose veggies you like, I used pattypan squash, local potato, 2 types of eggplant, avocado. First braise the onion on oil, than add the veggies cut into any shape you like, put the herbs on them (cilantro and thyme), salt, curry, when its soft add some tomato (fresh or from the can) and cook for an extra few minutes. I had it with rice noodles, but you can choose anything you like.
I have seen those chicken poxed cucumber-like veggies also, but no one could give a recipe for it, so next day I put it into the ragou with some bok choy and whatever veggies I found in the market. If you know some good way of using it, please let me know 🙂
As I write this blog after being in Mauritius, I don’t really remember which day is was 🙂 But that doesn’t even matter..
So the next day I decided to use the services of man who was our first day taxi driver. He was kind and didn’t overcharge us. I wanted to see many places, waterfalls, etc but I was told it’s not easy, almost impossible to get to them with local buses and within a day, while with a car it’s easier. So I called Sunil, he came and was my guide for a whole day. I recommend him, if you are there and in need for a taxi. I told him what would I like to visit that day and let him organise it. We started with a viewpoint over the ocean and the famous hill of Le Morne.
Sunil gave info about the island, about its people, their life and answered all my questions. One time, he was talking about a fruit I didn’t know and stopped on the side of the road to collect me some, so I could have an idea. We visited many waterfalls, and a lake with hindu Gods by the bank of it. Once I heard a big rumour, screaming from the other part of the lake and saw tourists running with a few monkies following.. In my video of Mauritius you can find more details of this lake and the waterfalls we visited. After the 7 coloured earth park we went to a town up in the mountains which is where also the rich people live as it is not that hot, and from there they can reach almost any part of the country in 20 minutes. There was some market there where we chose to eat. Sunil doesn’t eat meat and understand what being vegan means, so he made sure I ate accordingly. It was really cheap and delicious.
After lunch we went to visit another chatau, which was in a lovely garden, not renovated like the previous one, but so lovely with original items like clothes, magnetofons and cameras around.
After that we arrived to one of the highlights of my visit. The Bois Cheri Teafactory. You could walk around in the tea bushes in the pouring rain. Than in the factory there was a museum with old equipments and drawings about how they have been transforming the fresh green leaves into a black dry flavoured tea. It is possible to get a tour around and it is worth a visit. They still do many things in the old fashion way with some motorisation. When you get out you can go to the tea testing. I am not a big fan of black tea as the coffein makes me really high, but I wanted to taste them anyway. The road from the factory to the restaurant where I could taste the tea was the one of my fondest memories. There is a lake and there were purple trees blooming, and it was like stepping into a fairytail.. I like when nature is raw and untouched, but this garden is really amazing. Sitting on the balcony, sipping tea with caramel, vanilla, etc with the lake serving as the view.. Don’t miss it when you visit the island. I was told that the factory is owned by some rich families whose intention is to keep the traditions alive on the island and preserve what they have. I asked Sutil if there is a single man around 40 in the family I should make acquaintance with.. No luck..
From here we went to and other chataue which is turned into a restaurant, so I didn’t go in, but the garden has some herbs and fruits. There is also a small zoo there, which I didn’t know and didn’t like, animals are not for being captivated. There is also a vanilla factory with the field, but it was closed and I could only see shop with the video to get some know how and buy some pure black powder I still use for my smoothies.
Also there was a rum factory there, behind the restaurant, they showed me the process along with a French couple, and after the small tour where we could taste the sugar cane juice and we were also allowed to try as many rums as we wished. The couple was asking me about my poker face which I had shown during the process, but I told them we have some stronger palinkas in Hungary. Not with vanilla though.. On the way out Sunil grabbed some sugar cane sticks for me to chew on later.
As last stop we went through a field almost impossible with a car and arrived to a hidden waterfall. It was quite rocky and edgy and there was a local man standing on the top with a tourist. The local man was pointing to him the rocks he should step on to make sure he is safe and where he can jump from. That is his “job” if you are ever going there and in need of assistance.
It was a long and lovely day with lots of fun, we drove home by the sea..
In the evening I found out that my new friends from the airport are in the same town with me again, and we decided to go for a dinner together. They are a really nice couple and so cool that they live on their own boat in London.
South East Mauritius
Maheburg, Blue Bay
The next day Sunil came to pick me up in the morning to take me to my last town, Maheburg. If you take any advice don’t plan too much time here, it wasn’t my favourite. I stayed in a kind of hostel with a room and the place had a huge terrace on the top with sea view. The only advantage of the place. They only had wifi up there in the common room, but if I was lucky and I was standing on my bed holding my phone up I could catch it as well, as my room was under it. The town itself is an experience, raw, rural, busy but far from the size of Port Luis. I went for a walk, crossed a bridge, the view there was lovely. I was told that there was a cookie factory there somewhere. On the other side of the bridge I went into a small shop which was like a shoe box but contained so many stuff, like a magic place you just say the weirdest thing and voila the old Chinese man pull it out of one of his screwed up shelves. I was in search of a flag. The textile one you can sew on your clothes. Mauritius flag. I was really dissapointed that he didn’t have any. Actually I went in every kind of shop where you would normally buy this from, souvenir shops, supermarkets, petty wards, no luck.. Actually I had to order it from aliexpress.. I have bought a jean shorts for 2,5 euros in a second hand shop before my trip and decided I will put all the flags of countries I visit from that day with my new pair of shorts.
Anyway, after the shop I went on some narrow streets which some looked like favelas in Brasil, and I arrived to the gate of the factory. There was an old man welcoming me like Shirley did before, very happy to see me, didn’t hear about the factory though.. He was swiping at the entrance of the garden of it.. I went in to find out it is closed on certain days and I was there on one of these certain days..
Than I walked to the museum with the history of slavery. Refreshing AC again. The museum is free. It is really heartbreaking to see the drawings of boats with the slaves on them, 1 m2 for 3 people and there were drawing showing how they put people head to toe to maximise the space. In movies you can see slaves living in America, how they treated them, etc but standing in a place where it is in their history of grabbing local people to ship them away is very sad. The interesting thing is that anywhere I read, saw about their history, they were mainly dated from the day when “civilised” people has arrived. Maybe I was not looking deep enough.
On the way home I grabbed some weird looking basil seed mango drink.. I forgot what I had for lunch. In the supermarket everything was decorated for the upcoming national holiday, flags and paperdecos everywhere, still no flag for me..
In the afternoon I went to the beach near to my place, Blue Bay, which is 5 kms far. I was informed that the bus usually stops at the end of the street. So I tried my luck. There were other people waiting also, and I found out that they have the system just like in the North. People pick you up at the bus stop for the same price. I sat in a car with some other passanger. The beach was lovely, managed to get on a boat for snorkling. I enjoyed it, but 2-3 other boats stopped there at the same spot with Chinese tourists, so it was a bit crowded. When we arrived the guy showed me where the reef breaks the waves and told me it is only safe till that part. I was laughing not to worry for me as I won’t leave the boat further than 5 meters.. I know I am a chicken, but it was enough. I did the same on the Seychelles Islands, it didn’t help that the man who took me there kept joking about sharks 🙂
The beach is crowded, there were several people selling special jewelleries made by their family, with such special design they were all the same. There must be something in the air there..
I grabbed my last cocos (a coco a day can keep anything away), and my last indian kind of food. I got the question one last time: You are from which country? And had a chat with a man about life. He asked me what do I think about local people (they always ask it) and I told them how much I love them and had so many good experience with them. He said it helps that I smile to everybody and turn to people with kindness that can help the process. As he said: You smile to the world and the world smiles right back at you.
I had to catch the last bus at 5, as the local people taxi service is 10 times more expensive in the evening as they know there is now other option. There is one actually as Mimi and Marcin informed me, they walked back. There are villas by the sea, looks like they block the beach but they could get through and had fun time on the way home.
The last day I wanted to visit a beach a bit norther of Maheburg, but Mimi and Marcin told me they have found their fave ever, so I decided to give it a try. I had to go backwards a bit to the town where Gri Gri is with Shirley, and from there I had to walk to the other direction. I had to cross a cemetery, following an old man with his bycicle. It is a long beach with yellow sand. It was a bit rainy here and there. I was busy taking pictures of my fruits that didn’t see the waves which made all my fruits salty, one passion fruit was caught by a local boy sitting near. I went a bit further from the sea, where I saw no signs of water, made myself comfy, organising my salty fruits than it hit me again. A big one. So no more dry clothes for me. In the humidity I had no hope they will dry and they didn’t. I went to the small restaurant by the beach, ordering lovely salad with fruits and veggies together. I could manage a coffee with coco cream again, the chef came out again to see the weirdo drinking coffee with the curry cream.. Don’t even try to explain nutmilk. Even if they have plenty of coconuts there.
Then, I had a long walk on the beach in the other direction in hope of crossing a road later so I can catch a bus. I found one, was standing there, the heat was almost unbeareble, but no sign for bus. Then I saw a car passing, then a few minutes later saw the same car coming back from the other direction and slowing down next to me with a local man driving. I thought please no, I don’t want to chit chat or flirt. Then, I heard from the car: Edit what the heck are you doing here I already took you to the other side of the island yesterday. It was Sunil. He took me to the next bus stop where buses actually go. He asked me where are my clothes. I showed him my wet and dirty stuff and he was just laughing: You like some adventures, don’t you..
I was expecting big fireworks which I will enjoy from the roof terrace with a glass of drink, but nope. No fireworks. This year only in Port Luis. A girl can dream. So we ended the day in a restaurant with Mimi and Marcin as we lived only a corner away. It was a Chinese kind of restaurant. We walked up and down on the streets to find the one and only and the “bestest” local restaurant, and after half an hour later we were told its closed. Completely. So we went into this restaurant which was full of local people also, seemed very busy which is always a good sign. I am a vegan. Mimi and Marcin are pescetarians (only eat fish), and we had some other issues and thousands of questions to a lady who seemed to spend her first day there. I was expected to be put outside any minute. Finally we managed to order, everybody was happy. Than we waved to the waitress one more time I could see the horror on her face, not them again… But we just ordered a wine. Or we thought it’s a wine. Ingredients: alcohol (generated during process), permitted preservatives (sulphits), water. Island wine they call it.
The last day we agreed to meet at the corner at 9 in the morning. I got some toast and jam and coffee with no cream. I told them I don’t eat dairy. I got yoghurt. Classic.
The previous night Mimi and Marcin showed me a small little kitten, probably a few days old, on the street, under a tree. It was surrended with human food, so probably people took some dinner to the mother so she can stay, but any time we passed the tree the little kitty was alone crying. It was heartbreaking. I couldn’t forget, and didn’t know what to do as I only had a few hours left before my flight. The manager of the hotel came to tell me wish me good flight during the breakfast and I told him about the situation. He immediately asked me where the kitten was and I showed him. He made a call, and he reassured me that someone will come soon and solve the problem. I hope they have found a good home for the kitty.
I was waiting for my travel partners for 20 minutes with no luck (my phone was not working) than I went down-town to grab some postcards and find a post office. I know. Last minute.. It was more difficult than I thought. No post office around. Finally a man told me in a shop that there is one post office at the airport. Better later than never. While I was running up and down I met M&M they were in need of some souvenirs also, so we agreed to meet at the bus station to the airport in 15 minutes. I was there, found the certain bus also, chit chatted with the drivers, but no M&M.. I decied to leave as I didn’t want miss the plane. When I arrived I posted my cards and went to the check in desks. It was empty, only 1 desk was there with a lady sitting there reading a magazine. I asked her when will they open the desks, she said they have already closed them. I was the last one. I told her if they are in a need of a passanger replacement to the first class, she should not worry I am qualified, I have done that before, but I was lucky to get on the plane, not to choose seats.. I normally arrive in time, I don’t understand how could I be the last one twice in 2 weeks.
Once in Rome an Italian friend took me to the airport, we arrived 45 minutes before the flight took off. I rushed to the check in. It was empty. Than I a lady appeared, she was just bended, she dropped down something. I went there, she asked me:
– do you want to sit by the window?
– do I still have options?
– oh yes, you are not the last one…
I met M&M inside, they hoped on the bus at the exit of the bus station, was waiting for me there.. Anyway we managed to get back to London. I had several tomato juices on flight, kind of tomato soup, better than nothing if you are unprepared.
I only had a night to stay in London before flying back to Budapest, and M&M was so kind to let me stay at their place. On the boat. It was really cool.
You can find the video of my travel here.
Thank You for your attention!