The first glimpse of magnificent Mauritius is available from the air, as Air Mauritius lands just after sunrise. And what a view it is! Enough to tantalize the curiosity for more spectacular views and inquisitiveness as to what else the island has to offer. Here goes a plan for a relaxing, on the beach holiday and an adventure packed exploration of the island begins.
Luxury coaches are awaiting arriving passengers at the airport to whisk them to their hotels by the most direct route. I decided to take a slow road (or so I thought before I experienced the local bus driving technique) and do some sightseeing on the way. Travelling on a local bus allows for a discovery of villages and towns on route and meeting the locals. If you speak French, that is. English is the official language of Mauritius but everybody speaks French and Creole. Only some of the local population speaks English.
"We are in 16 eme Mille," said Mina. Mina was sitting next to me on a local bus. She was on her way to work in Curepipe and working in retail she spoke English. 16th Mile is a little town we have just passed. By 8 am I have also already visited Rose Belle and Nouvelle France on my way from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam airport to Port Louis.
Local bus ride is quite an experience. There is no place for amusement parks with scary rides on Mauritius. They would not do well at all. Anybody wanting to encounter a scary ride, near death collision, adrenaline pumped to its limits only needs to hop on a local bus and hold on tight. The driving speed on narrow roads is unlimited, overtaking or passing within an inch of a car or another bus quite common. It is easy to get used to this way of driving though. I found it an exciting and enjoyable part of my sightseeing. I visited most of Mauritius traveling on a local bus.
The diversity of landscapes is astonishing. Mauritius is not just a beach destination. Surely the ocean, its golden beaches, islands scattered off the shores of Mauritius play a major role. Sailing, diving, snorkeling and water sports are the definite part of the holiday. However, Mauritius offers also some unique scenery of natural wonders. Chamarel is a small village and a definite highlight of the visit with Seven Colors Earth on its footstep. The Seven Colors Earth is an unbelievable collection of colors - from pink, red, purple to gold, orange & brown depending on the iron content of the volcanic eruptions and different temperatures the lava was cooling at. The Chamarel Waterfall springing from lush green jungle is an invigorating scene.
Irrespective of the entire natural wonders and dramatic scenery the ocean and its beaches are a major part of enjoyment. Flic en Flack is on route from Chamarel to Port Louis. It has an amazing sandy beach to swim of, crystal clear water and is the spot to enjoy a spectacular sun set from.
Mauritius has many natural treasures but the best treasure it can be proud of is its people. They are friendly, helpful and always smiling. "This is ourite," said Mme Lise serving a delicious octopus dish, a Creole delicacy. Mme Lise is an expert on Creole cuisine. We were having a picnic on Ile aux Cerfes accompanied by Sega singing and dancing.
Mauritius leaves a memory of constant happiness. The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular. The nature, scenery and people enchanted me. Many call Mauritius A Paradise Island and they are not wrong.