A change of plans for the better…

Morning, world.
Morning, world.

Earlier that week we made an appointment with Vijay to go to Ile Au Plat, however during our visit to Ile Aux Cerfs, the French couple we met told us that the sea is very unpredictable and their trip got cancelled at the last moment. As we had a very short amount of time left in Mauritius, we decided to not take the risk (after all, we would come back), so first thing in the morning before breakfast, I found Vijay and he was very understanding and in fact the sea was very choppy for the catamaran, so he gave us back our money because he was an utter babe.

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Loums, just taking it all in, in a white cotton dressing gown.

We went to the spa and asked to get ‘Shanti’ massages because they looked awesome and also I thought it would be good cos that’s a name of a song of Madonna’s ‘Ray of Light’ album, and that it one amazing album, luckily the word continued to sit up on its pedestal because this was 60 minutes of one very relaxing massage – I think I also dosed off at one point.

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Probably the best dumplings I have ever eaten, and I love me some dumplings.

After we slowly drifted out of dream mode, we decided we wanted to go to Grand Baie again, because it’s a lovely part of the North-West of the island, and also Loums’ mother told us about a restaurant she used to go to when she lived there called Ocean Restaurant and we were on orders to go there.  After walking around the area, we stumbled across a film crew and realised we were walking through a set, very random but also pretty cool to see it on the island. We walked down a couple of back routes and found the restaurant and I have to say, Josiane was right. Loums had mine frites and declared it probably the best version of the dish he’d ever tried and I had Beef Samuta (I’d never heard of it before and haven’t since) it was very very ginger-y and even though it was beef it was still very light, with a side of dumplings. This meal was of course drunk with Pheonix.

Samosaaaaaaaa!
Samosaaaaaaaa!

We talked for a while after we finished the meal because it was just so good, and then we went to SuperU to get wine for dinner for heading back, as Loums’ aunt and uncle Leticia and Jean-Noel (remember them?) were picking us up that evening to go to theirs in Pamplemousses for a family meal. When we were there Loums’ grandmother was also there, it was lovely to see her again. We had more Pheonix and Jean-Noel put on Sega music in the background, Melissa and Gladys then arrived and Jean-Noel turned up the music so we could dance which we did. Dinner of chicken with lots of salad was then served, we talked and listened to more music, had a bit of rum as an after-dinner cleanser and eventually we were driven home through the sugar cane fields and the crop dusters back to Trou Aux Biches.

Family home.
Family home.

It was all going so well…

The Spa!

So naturally, as the place we were staying had a spa we just HAD to go and get a massage, darling. It was in this little, tranquil, mud-hut looking, wooden-covered courtyard with little round rooms dotted around with the thatched roofs on the top which looked like meringues. We had a steam for 30 minutes (it’s like steaming your head when you have a cold, only it’s for your body, and it smells like olbas oil, so it’s like telling your entire body it has a cold), I had to lie on my front because the whole of the back of my body was still very much suffering from sunburn. After that you had to go into the pool which is SO cold but so pretty because apparently it ‘has the effect on your body like a blacksmith dunking a hot horseshoe into water.’ – oh okay… Either way the best thing after that is to take a massage apparently, we both went for the ‘Anti-Stress’ massage, because I’m a reluctant Account Manager in IT Sales and he’s a Supply Chain Manager so by ghaaad we needed it. It was oh so lovely, even if we did have to wear what was effectively nappies, but all in all it was an hour of bliss, so blissful in fact that we would return two more times before the trip was up.

Then the less chilled part of the day began. We got ready to go to Chateau de Labourdonnais which, whilst doing research before the trip I found on Tripadvisor, it was an old Creole house which looked like it belonged in Louisiana and also a rum distillery where you could have a tasting and a meal after, HELLO! Anyway it all went wrong, we set off too late, missed our bus, had to wait 30 minutes in Triolet bus station for the next one, when we left the driver said she’d tell where to get off and when she did we realised we forgot the map so had no idea where to go, we asked a couple of people where it was but they had no idea, so we thought ‘oh balls, where are we?’ and after walking over a flyover twice it wasn’t looking good. We then found a very friendly and helpful fruit seller on the side of a road who told us where to go, so we started walking down a dual carriage-way (so safe), after walking for about 45 minutes we realised it was quarter to 4, it shut at 5 and we still had no idea where we were going. This was all in 30 degree heat so we gave each other a look which meant that we’d both had enough, so we carried on walking until we found a school nearby where there were taxis lined up, we asked a driver if he could take us back, he agreed as long as we wouldn’t mind having school children with us which of course we didn’t. The children arrived, were very talkative and sweet, after about an hour-long drive we were back, showered, had dinner and a couple of very large cocktails before agreeing to try again the next day.

You would stop and go back too...
You would stop and go back too…

Lazy Sizzling Sunday – Wear Suncreen.

Today was the day we decided to tackle Trou Aux Biches and its gleaming white beach. After breakfast (easing up on the papaya intake), we got our bags together and set off to find a good spot for reading and swimming.

Trou Aux Biches!
Trou Aux Biches!

We walked for about 15 minutes along the beach, passing many many sun loungers and we came across a really lovely and quiet area in between the sea and palm trees *sigh*. We swam lots, I started writing postcards and reading (I’ve started reading Sherlock Holmes from the beginning), all of which on my front and then I realised I hadn’t put any sun cream on! By which time I had been in the sun for over an hour, in Mauritius, in the middle of the day, bloody moron. After drowning my skin in factor lotion, going in the sea to cool off, applying more sun tan lotion, moving under the shade of the palm trees, more factor 30, starting a letter to Baz Luhrmann telling him he was right, Loums decided that what we really needed was food.

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This boat was pun-derful.

He went for a walk to seek out food and drink and returned with fresh mint and lime water and Marlin Fumé baguettes with chili. One thing I really love about Mauritian food is that lemon is used in the same way we use salt, and therefore all of their food always tastes so fresh! As the day went on, more people arrived on the beach and more vendors shouting ‘Ananas! Coco! Passion Fruit!’ or selling sarongs, bags and bracelets, would walk past. It sounds a bit too busy but it wasn’t loud or invasive, as everyone was there for the same reason and the vendors would never hassle you if no interest was shown (did you hear that, Paris?). We swam some more, the sea water is incredible, you can be up to your chest in the water and still see your toes, there were no rocks, only bits of coral here and there, and it was so warm (the only time we ever went in the pool in our hotel was to do the scuba diving training)!

Eventually and slowly, we started winding out way back to our room, stopping off at the shop to buy Biafine, a cream which Loums knows of, apparently every good French household had it and is used for first and second degree burns. I duly drowned myself in that, also started to look like Ross from ‘Friends’ in the episode where he has no clue how to fake tan and ends up looking like a one man performer of ‘Ebony and Ivory’, but in my case it was half lobster half idiot. After a small dinner as I was feeling a bit woozy, we took a walk down to the beach for a walk as there was a nice cool breeze, we wound our back to the room and watched ‘The Lego Movie’ (which is an uh-mazing film).

The moral of the story.
The moral of the story.