This blog is adapted from handwritten entries I wrote in a notepad over the course of the two unforgettable weeks I spent in Mauritius. This blog has been created because the remarkable landscapes of the island, its people and its culture, really ought to be shared.
I woke up in my plane seat at about half past 6 in the morning, (I’m not sure whose half past 6 it belonged to, I think France’ s because that is where we flew from), which was situated in the nose of the ginormous plane which is part of the company Corsair. The flight was very smooth, I watched the very sweet and touching ‘Philomena’, with the total babes that are Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Dinner was white fish served with green beans and cumin (yes, cumin) potatoes, bread and camembert with a tiramisu for dessert. Breakfast was apricot compote with Greek yoghurt, orange juice, black tea, and brioche.
The plane landed at La Reunion, Mauritius’ next-door neighbour, its runway was right next to the gloriously blue sea and on the other side were a lush green mountains with houses trickling down them into towns. When the walkway was attached, about about 3/4s of the plane’s passengers left, which I was quite surprised about because I was thinking ‘um guys, sit down, we’re not there yet!’, but also quite excited, as it felt like Mauritius was a special secret no-one but the few left on the plane knew about. (Unless of course, you know, they were getting off the plane for families, jobs and stuff in which case I completely understand.)
When we were coming over Mauritius to land I looked out of the window, and all you could see for miles were sugar cane fields with hamlets dotted around them. The airport is situated on the south-east of the island, we were staying in the north-west in Trou Aux Biches, and so after we had collected our suitcases from the carousel, a car from the company ‘Summertimes’ picked us up to take us to the Hotel Casuarina where we were staying. Our driver was called Raj, and immediately he started telling us facts about the island, what everything was as we drove past it, the reason for all of the construction (and there was a lot due to mainly either tourists building holiday homes or very cheap yet safer homes for those living in areas where cyclones mainly hit), all of which was very interesting to both myself and Loums, who is half Mauritian on his mother’s side, but had not had the opportunity to visit the island for 10 years.
We finally went down a very narrow road lined with colourful houses of pinks, oranges and pastel blues, and then after a little while we arrived at Casuarina. After checking in and unpacking there was only thing to do, go to the beach! So we headed down after mooching around the grounds, which were very green and the buildings were white and winding and they reminded us a lot of a village on a Greek island.
There were beach loungers which belonged to Casuarina, we chose one at the end and out of the way and went for a swim and water was unbelieeeeevably warm and clear! Now, this was my first holiday abroad where I had properly been to a beach, beforehand the holidays which I’ve been on have been city breaks for example Paris, Rome, Barcelona (yes there’s a beach there but the city is the reason you go!) etc. because a) Europe’s amazing with SO much history behind it and history is great, and b) It was always cheaper to go on city breaks then further afield. So, to go from never going to a place like this to then swimming in the sea next to the clean, vast, quiet and pure beaches of Trou Aux Biches in Mauritius, and to have Loums be there as well, who I think was just as in awe as I was, was pretty extraordinary.
At around 6 we got ready for dinner which was all very traditional Mauritian food, to name a few things: Marlin (the most commonly eaten fish on the island), lentils and beans cooked in various sauces, braised aubergines, raita, saffron potatoes, pumpkin purée, white cucumbers cooked in every way you can think of; the list goes on, needless to say we had eyes bigger than our stomachs and we finished our meal with a bowl of fruit salad each and mango mousse. One thing I did notice was the service, because no sooner after setting own your knife and fork was your plate whisked away by a waiter or waitress, after a while we began to play a game that if it wasn’t taken away within 5 seconds then we’d start to worry that something was terribly wrong.
We then went down to the beach to see the moon and start (the beauty of there being virtually no pollution meant that you could see every star in the sky so clearly), after a short walk we then went to the bar for a drink, a jazz band had just started their set
so we decided to stay there for a while, talking about our day and trying to come to terms with how truly content and happy we were in that little piece of heaven in the middle of the Indian Ocean.