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November 20th 2011
Published: November 26th 2011
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For a small island Mauritius punches well above its weight for two things – long, slow queues at the airport immigration counter and beautiful red Indian Ocean sunsets.

Actually, Mauritius no doubt has many other beautiful and worthwhile attractions, but having come to the end of our Africa visit we decided to just enjoy the beach and the pool and leave the rest. If there is a world-renowned shopping mall, or an escalator direct to the Lost City of Atlantis, we apologise and will be back to look at it one day, but for this trip if we were 50 paces from the pool it was too far.

The Sofitel, on the west coast of the island near a place rather quaintly named Flic en Flac, takes its French heritage quite seriously, and is populated mostly with French clientele. They seem largely aloof, and the older ladies are most elegant and wrinkled in equal proportions. The bikini might well be the preserve of the younger female in Australia, but not here. Once you are accustomed to this, and to the French habit of lighting up a Gauloise wherever and whenever they please, it’s not a bad place to relax for a few days.

We did get invited to the Sofitel Management Cocktail Party. After a meet-the-staff session, which we largely bypassed, we indulged in the free cocktails, well, rather freely. Free booze is a great leveler, though, and there were quite a few well-dressed Francaises doing exactly the same thing.

This will be the last post for thedickosgapyear. After sleeping in 16 countries and 77 different beds, and driving just under 20,000 kilometres in Australia and Ireland, it’s time to put the rest of our travel aspirations (and there are plenty of them) on hold until we have a good solid dose of domestic reality – and save up some more money.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback, either through comments on the blog or otherwise. If we didn’t respond properly to your comments it was as likely as not because we didn’t understand how to – we certainly enjoyed reading them all. And thanks also to the friends who have inspired us through their own travel adventures and helped us to map out our plans for the year.

So, due to the lucky accident of having been born in a rich country at a time when the world is easy to travel in, but varied enough to still be fascinating, we have had a year we will remember for a long, long time. Hopefully next year our generous and indulgent employers, to whom we are most grateful, will turn a blind eye to the occasional reflective expression or furtive glance at the Lonely Planet website.

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


26th November 2011

Welcome back to Australia
Okay you pair! Time to settle back into domestic bliss after an amazing year of globe trotting.How come we never got to be in places where they handed out free booze??? Hope to catch up and hear all your stories soon!
27th November 2011

first and last
As is the norm I have enjoyed your blog and revelled in the photographs. Well done and thanks.
30th November 2011

What a wonderful trip! I've greatly enjoyed following you around the globe and rest-assured your own travels have inspired wistful sighs and longing looks out the window towards the world at large. Enjoy a well-deserved stint at domesticity, but hope to read of your future travels again when the time comes. Cheers!
30th November 2011
Mauritius Indian Ocean sunset

Great sunset picture.

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