Mauritius is known to be a ‘honeymoon destination’. So when I decided to visit this paradise island with my parents I was a bit skeptical on how good a destination it would be. Fortunately, it turned out to be much more than for mere romantics.
A little about Mauritius
Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean, more than 2,000km from the East coast of Africa. The 70km long island lies in the middle of the ‘Deep Blue’, it’s really far away from everything and noteworthily, it is very small. Figuratively, Mauritius , on the whole, is just a bit bigger than Delhi.
To create a mental image of this island country, let me divide it into 4 parts – the North, the South, the East and the West. Port Louis, which is the capital of Mauritius is in the North end of the country. The North, in general, is a bit more developed than the other parts. The South with its tranquility and turquoise bays serves as the perfect travel destination. Mauritius’ western wonderland is the nation’s most diverse coast with this part of the island encompassing fauna-filled Black River Gorges National Park and beguiling Chamarel. The East feels blissfully untouched by mass tourism and has some of the island’s very best beaches including the famous Île aux Cerfs.
The Mauritian people are mostly immigrants from Africa and the Asian sub-continent countries of India, Nepal and Bangladesh. The Mauritian Constitution makes no mention of an official language and its one million citizens speak English, French, Mauritian Creole, French-based Creole, and ethnic languages such as Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Urdu, Tamil or Mandarin. The amicable localities live a very easy to go life without giving much about material success. On an average, shops close at 7 in the evening and then people spend time with their families at the beaches. I could feel the sense of contentment and the vibes of a country which is happy with what they have, a thing which we as Indians lack.
My one week in Mauritius
We landed in Mauritius at about 3 in the afternoon and the journey from the airport to our hotel in Bel Ombre( the southernmost part of the island) was about an hour long. The terrain changes in a matter of minutes in Mauritius. This one hour drive was through some dense forests, breathtaking seaside roads, and turquoise coral bays. We were greeted at the Outrigger Resort with a local cold drink of tamarind. The view from the reception alluringly set up the next serene week for us.
We decided to give ourselves a much-deserved rest after an arduous 6-hour flight. In the evening, we strolled lazily on the beach, dipped our legs in the quiet Indian ocean and had some wine at the resort bar with an imperturbable blue expanse in our background. We had a south tour planned for the next day and thus we decided to retire early at night.
The southern part of Mauritius is a bit more laidback and easygoing than the rest of the island. The first stop was Floreal, a customary stop for the travel company to earn some money by taking to model boats workshop. Next, we headed to Trou aux Cerfs, a huge natural extinct volcanic crater. More than the crater, I found the panoramic view of the town of Curepipe more captivating and mesmerizing. Next, we visited the mysterious and enchanting Grand Bassin, a holy lake for Mauritians of Hindu faith. It is said that the water inside the lake communicates with the waters of the holy Ganges of India. Our final stop was the Seven Colored Earth of Chamarel. Again, it was not something extraordinary. We did a quad bike ride, without which I am certain Chamarel would have been a disaster.
The evenings were the most tranquil part of the day. Playing table tennis, reading books and sleeping cozily in my bunk-bed are some of the things that I still miss.
We left for the Ile aux Cerfs tour, fully dressed in our beach wear ready to indulge in some exhilarating sea rides. The short burst of seaside rain couldn’t let our spirits down, and even though drenched in salty water, we savored every bit of the day. The best part was the scene where the ocean turned greenish blue with corals on each side of the boat.After a tiring yet exciting day, the evening was serene and refreshing. A glass of local beer with dad, soulful music after dinner and a comfy bed at the day’s end. What else do you want from life!
Maybe this was the most uneventful morning of the whole trip. We visited the North, including the capital city of Port Louis. This part of the island is more happening and we could see traffic for the first time! I would suggest you to skip this part and rather relax in your resort itself.
Unlike the morning, the evening turned out to be just perfect. Ever since I had joined college, quality time with my parents came at a luxury. To have a deep conversation with your dad, on your future, your present and meditating at a poised locality was deeply enchanting.
This trip was more about leisure and less about exploring. I spent the major part of the morning reading by the beach. Dad meanwhile learned to snorkel and it was heartwarming to see the child in him still alive. The evenings were again about having some beer, strolling down on the long beach and listening to the music at the bar.
The day when I jumped down from an airplane, experienced free fall for 30 seconds and then glided down at a thrilling speed of over 100km/hr. To say the least, it was stupendo fantabulously fantastic. The experience requires a separate blog post. But you have to try sky-diving at least once!
The last day on paradise island. All three of us tried snorkeling and spent the major part of the day inside the sea, observing the world underwater. The corals were beautiful and so were the occasional sightings of fishes. Snorkeling turned out to be the apt ending for a trip to Mauritius.