Sunday, November 18, 2018

(Backup) North Side of Mauritius

It was Saturday night and some neighbours had a very loud party. 

Travel tip: always bring a few pairs of spongy earplugs on your travels. They don’t take up much space and they can save you a good night sleep.

Due to the ear plugs, I was still able to be up and chipper at 6:00am on Sunday morning.

We headed to the north side of the island which is the most touristed. Since the weather forecast predicted sun in the morning and rain for the afternoon, we left our place at 7:45 am and drove  into Trou six Biches beach at 9:15.

Parking was at a premium. This long beach is mostly rimmed by resorts. 

I immediately jumped in the warm waters. I found a few small reefs close to shore and spotted trigger fish, chromos, convict tang, raccoon fish, a lion fish, black with white polka dot box fish, two eels and many more fish that I couldn’t identify.

The water here, although turquoise, was still not as clear as Le Morne. This is probably due to the larger amount of tourists and boat traffic. As the morning wore on and the crowds increased, the water became murkier.

At this beach the sand is like talcum powder. The sand at Le Morne was much rougher and harder to walk on. 

We next checked out the aquarium. It was small (1/2 hour visit), but it helped us identify the fish we saw when snorkeling.

Across the street from the aquarium was a small waterfront park where we ate a picnic before heading to Mont Choisy Beach. 

This beach was not lined with resorts. It was long with white fine sand and filled with mostly locals and a few tourists. Many large groups of friends or families were enjoying their Sunday here. People of all ages were playing games such as boules or ball games. Many were bbqing, chatting, playing music and dancing or playing the drums and singing. People seem very connected here. This place has so many positive vibes.

I couldn’t help it, I stripped down (I had my bathing suit underneath my clothes) and jumped in for a quick snorkel. Unfortunately, I did not see a single fish and the water was not clear....probably the powdery sand.

We got in the car again and headed towards Chateau de Labourdonnais, a beautiful old sugar plantation house.

We drove through Grand Baie; a bustling and very touristy town filled with hotels and resorts on a beautful bay.

We couldn’t resist...we had to stop at Pereybere Beach, the tires of the clown car practically screeched as we quickly stopped, parked and walked around to soak in the sights. Many families were here to enjoying the day.

Throughout the day we also saw many groups celebrating weddings. I loved all the beautiful saris; so elegant and flattering.

We finally made it to the Chateau just as it started to rain. Since we were both still in our wet bathing suits, John parked the car in an empty part of the parking lot and we inelegantly changed.

The Chateau was gorgeous, very similar to the southern USA plantation homes with a boulevard of banyan trees, a huge fountain out front and a delightful veranda that wrapped itself around the whole house.

The Chateau property also had a rum destillery and rum tastings were given in a special tasting room in another building. The weather had cleared by the time we returned to our car.

We made it back to our place in Flic  en Flac, just in time to find ourselves a spot on the beach to watch the sun set.

Many families were at this beach as well. A local women had been taking a picture of the sunset and managed to get John and I sitting there. She came over to show me the picture and her daughter joined her. They were kind enough to email me the picture. People here are very kind and friendly.

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