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Published: June 30th 2017
June 30 - Where even are you, Jenn? Right. Remember the dodos? The big goofy birds that went extinct when we ate them all by 1681? I'm on that island where they used to live. It's off the east coast of Madagascar, which is off the east coast of Africa.
I decided I would get moving and back to my normal travel self today. No more lying around on the beach. I got up at 7am and was ready to leave by 8:15. I saw Bernard and he said the technician would be in to fix the tv and when I got home, the tv worked. Magic. I walked over to the bus stop and waited for a bus going to Port Louis (Louie), the capital. I waited 5-10 minutes and then I was on my way. It's one of those buses that stops everywhere, so I was surprised that it did not take that much longer than what google suggested for driving. It's all very orderly - the bus stops and the money taker makes sure everyone is off before anyone gets on. Women board first, unofficially. A million stops and a little less than an hour later and
I was at the bus station in Port Louis. My goal for the day was to check out the town and also to visit the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Gardens in Pamplemousses, which required another bus ride. I decided to go for it then and there, so I asked and someone walked me over to the right bus, which left about 10 minutes later. It took another 45 minutes or so, but the bus basically stops right at the gardens, so it was easy.
The botanic gardens are quite nice, and feature huge water lilies, baobab trees and lotus flowers, just to name a few. They also have a giant tortoise pen, where I watched a few tortoises going about their business. Most people there were on a tour. I kept coming across the Germans, but only saw the Spanish group once. Shame, as I was learning something when they were near, but I didn't want to obviously follow them around. In the bus on the way there, I read in the guide book that you can get a tour guide to show you around. I thought "Why would I need a guide to walk through a garden?". Of
course, as soon as I'd arrived, I thought "What are these plants? Where is my guide?". But it was nice to wander around. I stayed about an hour and a half and then was just about to leave when I remember that I'd read there are wild Mauritian flying foxes hanging about in the gardens. I had looked earlier, but hadn't seen them. Despite sleeping during the day, they are usually quite noisy, and right when I started to remember about them, I heard them. It's quite a distinctive sound. So I had a look, and sure enough, they were not far from where I was standing. So glad to have a chance to watch them for a bit before leaving.
The bus stop back is right across from a school, and there was all kinds of singing and music coming from it. I walked over to have a look, but then the music stopped. I could see all the kids sitting outside and someone was talking to them. A guy outside told me that once a year is a big music day in school, and today was that day. Fun.
I caught the bus back to town
and decided to see what I could see in a few hours. I wanted to get back before dark, but also the buses stop running around 6:30pm, so I didn't want to get caught out. I visited a renovated windmill, the large market, the waterfront, a couple churches, a Hindu temple, and a mosque. Turns out people from different religions get along here. Who knew? I also had a weird experience when I went to the citadel. As I started to walk uphill to get to it, a guy offered me a lift on his motorbike. I was short on time, so I accepted. It was a very short drive. I thought that was it, and started to wander around, but no, he wanted to show me around. I hate when this happens. Either he wants money or to feel like a man. Both options are highly unappealing. But I also don't want to be rude, though I should probably get over that. So he showed me the sights - really, we were just looking down on the city from different angles. He used my camera to take a million photos of me. Creepy, unless you're a photographer, which he
isn't. He drove me back down the hill, to the point where I had originally accepted the ride. He asked if I wanted to meet him for a drink later. No, thanks. He wanted a kiss on the cheek. Sorry, no. Respect women, dude. No wonder you are still single.
I got the bus back to Flic en Flac around 4:15, and this took a little longer, due to the time of day and traffic. It took several minutes and a lot of physical negotiating to even get the bus out, as all the buses tried to leave at the same time. Organized chaos. It had sprinkled a few times throughout the day, but no real rain, and on the way home it got better. There was a partial rainbow that became a full rainbow as I watched. Beautiful. And the sun was setting behind some clouds, lighting them up really well. I'd hoped to get to the beach in time for a photo, but I only just got there as the sun was close to setting. A very different sunset from the last two nights, but still nice.
A bit more tuna and pasta, another chat with
Jeroen and the cats, and the night comes fast.
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