Our first visit to Mauritus
Our flight from Melbourne left a bit later than scheduled, however they made the time up somewhere over the Indian Ocean. For the most part it was uneventful, but seemed to take forever. We landed on time in Plaisance and cleared customs in no time at all.
Our first impression of the airport was that it was not unlike Fiji, but there was nobody hasslig us to buy this or that or to take their taxis, so it was quite pleasant... A guy called Manuèl met us with a sign and took us over to his van for the trip to the hotel... What can we say, but WOW
that was some hell of a ride... The main highway in Mauritus is quite well built, but the traffic is something else... there are bikes and motorbikes and slow cars and pedestrations everywhere!!! Manuèl drives not unlike Pat, and if anyone would appreciate the driving conditions there it'd be Patrick... heheheee
Immediately we could see that Mauritius is a poor country. Everywhere we looked there were signs of poverty and the daily struggle that everyone faces to merely exist. Having said that, even though people's faces betrayed the massive burden they carry, nobody seemed particularly angry or dis-spirited...
The drive from the airport took 90 minutes because we ahd to negotiate Port Louis at peak hour, but that allowed us to have a good look at the place from the relative comfort of our little van.
We checked in to the Veranda Hotel in Grand Baie some time around 7pm and settled in to our room... I then made a call to let my cousin Josian know that we had checked in, and Pepe answered the phone... We made small talk and then he told me that Josian was on the way to come and see us...
Not log after, we were in the lounge area sipping on our drink, awaiting the family... 😊 Sam had a Monkey Business
and I had a Qui Manyer
... Josian, Claileen, Clency and the now famous Laurent de Quatres Coco arrived soon after and we all had a drink together and a lovely chat... Sam and I weren't much company though because we were so tired from the flight and the drive in.
On Wednesday we got up early and had breakfast, which was awesome.. The food at the Veranda was FANTASTC. We then spent the rest of the day relaxing and shopping around Grand Baie. The town was quite nice, and the locals friendly enough... Specially when they sussed that I was Creole and my name was Prosper... It seemed quite a few know the name and I was a bit of a minor celebrity weherever we went.
On Thursday Clency picked us up and drove us up the coastal route to Port Louis and then to his place. There we met Josian and Claileen and went on our merry way. First we dropped off Clecny's courtesy car (his car was in the shop getting fixed), then we went for alittle bit of a drive!
Without going into too much detail, we managed to see about two-thirds of the island, up thru the hills, along the plateau and thru numerous towns. We stopped along the way to have a look at the old Prosper house in Vacoas and to have photos taken at Prosper Road! We had lunch at the Tamarin falls and continued on our journey... Among other things, we managed to see the Mare-aux-Vacoas, the statues of Shiva and the Hindu Temples and shrines at Ganga Talao, the Black River Gorge and the volcano.
When we got to Port Louis, we stopped in to Josian's place and met Pepe and Mamita. what a nice bunch of people they are... Unfortunately Pepe is a Man U supporter, but in good time he might come around to see the light! Mamita is very nice too and looks at least 10 years younger than the 71 years of ages she claims to be!
We rested there for a while, then went off to dinner in China town, which was quite nice. When I tried to go up and pay, Josian spotted me and yelled out to Clency, who quickly ran up to the counter and obstructed me from paying. Josian meanwhile contiued to sip on his jasmine tea...
The next day we spent the entire day in and around Port Louis. We went up to the Citadel and took in the view across the city and to the port. From up there we could take in the extent of the housing and economic hardships of the local population, and it was quite sobering... Mind you, it wasn't all as bad as we had been told by others, mainly because we were never fooled by all the travel brochures and so on.
We spent quite some time in the Port Louis Bazaar
and thanks to Claileen and Josian managed to get quite a few bargains. We then had lunch at the Keg and took a scenic cruise around the port... I have to say that it's not unlike Docklands and the water actually looks cleaner!
Josian and Claileen then tooks us to Josè's place, and we took Mamita along as well. There we got to have all the sisters in one place, with the exception of course of Renèa! Madoue is very quiet and shy and sat in the chair quitely, Josè was defintely the life of the party and was very talkative and cheeky. Mamita sat in her chair quietly and giggled at everything Josè and I had to say.. Poor Sam struggled in the heat though...
We left there and Josian took us back to our hotel, where we said our goodbye's.. for now. I left Josian with a few tasks and then Sam and I relaxed by the pool until dinner time with a few cocktails.. By far the best (as the name suggests) would be the Sa Ki bon Sa
Saturday morning we got up at 5:45 and our little van took us to the airport... We got on and headed into the wild blue yonder.. Destination Londres!!!
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