Mauritius and the voyage home

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February 23rd 2016
Published: June 26th 2017
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Geo: -32.0531, 115.746

We landed in Mauritius on a very hot and humid day. The tour excursion guide said that it was a pleasant 10 minute coastal walk into the city of Port Louis. It lied!! We walked along a very dusty road for over half an hour to reach the main part of the city. I was not feeling the best. So far on this trip I had been exceptionally well but this morning the 24 hour lurgy started so I was struggling a bit. I was determined not to miss out though. On the way to the Caudron Waterfront complex we passed both a Buddhist, Chinese temple and a Hindu temple under construction. Mauritius has a very multicultural population with many citizens of Indian descent who were brought here as indentured labour to work in sugar fields. There are also African, Chinese, French and English descendants but all are now just Mauritian.

We reached the Caudron Waterfront, a shopping centre and restaurant complex a bit like the V & A in Cape Town and Darling Harbour in Sydney. Here we stopped for a much needed cool drink and a sit down with WiFi for a while. Refreshed we walked on to the main part of the city. Here there were the usual statues of the politicians who established independence and some interesting sculptures. We continued into the city itself and headed for the markets. This certainly was the bustling heart of the place with all sorts of goods on sale. We walked through the fruit and veggie market and the aroma of Spices, chillis and coriander dazzled the senses. Outside from there were the usual souvenir places with T shirts and saris etc on sale. We bought some for the grandsons (T shirts, not saris).We also found the Fish and Meat markets which by this time( about 11 am ) were depleted.

By this time I was wilting so we walked back to the waterfront and found a place to sit down. We chose an upstairs Chinese restaurant for lunch. Food was excellent, not that I ate much, and we had a nice white, again not much for me. Fletcher tucked in though! We left there and descended to another café. I managed an icecream but I was really feeling off. So we went back into the complex and visited some of the craft shops and browsed for awhile. Our friends, Kay and Trevor had seen us and told us that instead of walking in they had taken a water taxi. We decided that that mode of transport would be both fun and less taxing than walking back to the ship. Although it was only 2-30pm I needed to lie down so we went to the dock and boarded the water taxi.
The short trip back to the ship was interesting. Fletcher had been intrigued all morning by a "mystery" ship in the harbour so we got up close on the trip back. Its purpose still remained a mystery though. Back at the ship I went to the cabin and slept. I stayed there through the night until lunchtime the next day when I was much recovered. Fletcher ventured out for food but otherwise kept the bedside vigil. At least I had seen some of Mauritius.
We then had seven days at sea before we arrived back at Fremantle. Our days fell into a routine of morning and afternoon quiz( we did win a few more), with lunch in between, then dinner with our excellent table of great people. I went to Pop choir rehearsals as we learnt new songs for the final performance the day before arriving in port. We had our shuttlebaord challenges with Fletcher winning most of the games but I did beat him a few times. We had a doubles match against another couple and drew one game each.

All this was made a little more difficult by Tropical Cyclone Uriah which was directly in our path between Mauritius and Fremantle. The captain had to divert on a more southerly course so we only skirted the edges. Even so there was some rocking and rolling of the ship but not too extreme. We also had a couple of great nights in the Wheelhouse bar listening to the 2 Cool duo(Bill and Fiona) whom I have mentioned before. They got better as the trip went on and the audiences certainly increased. We also caught up with some movies like The Theory of Everything, Bridge of Spies and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

The grand finale was our final concert of the Pop choir. I had encouraged a young girl, Bronwyn who has cerebal palsy and is confined to a wheelchair, to come to rehearsal and join us. She had been a member of the Australian Girls' Choir and I had seen her singing all the songs the 2 Cool Duo played. Her mum was grateful as she really enjoyed being part of it. We had a great audience and reception and felt very proud of our efforts.
We arrived back in Fremantle early this morning. As our flight to Adelaide is not until 5-10pm we were almost the last off the ship as we had booked a shuttle to take us to the airport. We are now in the Qantas Lounge awaiting that flight.

It has been a fantastic cruise, with many new places and experiences. We met some lovely people, but after two long cruises virtually back to back, we are both now longing for home and seeing the family. I doubt whether we would do another as long as these have been.

Additional photos below
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Lyn and Steve SmithLyn and Steve Smith
Lyn and Steve Smith

Two of our dinner companions

23rd February 2016

Welcome home :o)

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