PORT LOUIS, MAURITIUS - 14th April
Mauritius lies in the Indian Ocean, due east of Madagascar, it is just north of the Tropic of Cancer. Port Louis is on the north west coast and main port.
The beautiful island boasts moonscaped mountains that dominate the interior with wild gorges and sweeping fields of green sugar cane (for the rum).
Mark Twain said in 1896 "Mauritius was created before paradise came into being, and served as an example to the latter".
Our tour took us to the south of the island and high into a mountainous region and as we drove it became darker and more gloomy.
We had left the port in glorious sunshine.
The first stop was the Trou aux Cerfs crater, formed by an extinct volcano. Not much of a crater to look into but its position in the central plateau of the island provides a tremendous panoramic view.
Down from the crater for the shopping experience, every tour should have one!!! It was billed as the comfort stop. 5 buses 2 loos equals long queues equals retail therapy!!!
The weather at this stage was turning decidedly cloudy as we
headed further South and higher into the Island.
The Grand Bassin is considered a sacred lake for the Hindu community, nestling in a volcanic crater and interesting for both its beauty and legend. It is said that the water in the lake communicates with the Ganges in India, making it a site for pilgrimage for Mauritian Hindus. The road up,to the site is "guarded" by two statues one is still being built.It was at this moment the rain started and unfortunately it didn't stop until we came out of the mountains later in the afternoon.
I'm sure that the scenery would have been spectacular on a clear sunny day but when it is constant rain it puts a damper on things.
The Black River Gorges viewpoint should have given views over Mauritiuss deepest gorge and we had lunch in a restaurant close to the gorge with some magnificent scenery.
After lunch we drove to Chamarel to see the waterfalls and the unusual seven coloured earths.
The soils colourful hues of red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow never erode (in spite of torrential downpours).
rain does dampen the colours as you can see from the photos.
Our return trip saw no let up in the rain until we came down from the mountain to be greeted by glorious sunshine and to those people who hadn't ventured far afield saying "What Rain?"!!!!
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