I woke up feeling much better because of a good sleep, thanks to my cold medicine.
Tip: no matter how much you may be mocked, I find taking a full compliment of various medicines usually comes in handy. After all, you can never predict what may happen.
We were joined by some friendly birds during breakfast on our balcony. They were more than happy to share our crumbs.
With picnic packed, we hopped into the clown car to explore the highlands and south side of the island. We checked out the Martello Tower (a fat round tower about 10 meters high with a cannon on top) and beach (also with a cannon on it) before heading up into the mountains to Chamarel to see the beautiful waterfalls and the seven colored sands. Due to the chemistry of these dunes, they truly are seven colors and they do not erode. For some reason, the colors always stay separate. Very cool.
We had tea at the restaurant overlooking the dunes and watched the brazen little birds begging for crumbs. Nearby was a pen of large tortoises...and let's just say, love was in the air, very slowly and cumbersomely, with our big shelled friends.
We couldn't resist touring the nearby rum factory. It was interesting learning about how it's made but John and I didn't drink much at the tasting area, after all, there was still a full day of touring ahead of us.
A scenic lookout over a lush valley took our breath away but what really stole the show was a family of playful monkeys. Let's just say, love was in the air with them too. Sheesh, what's in this air?
A short drive later we came to Grand Bassinet, home to two gigantic Hindu statues and a temple on a picturesque lake. Some tourists were exploring the grounds but many local families were worshipping.
Everywhere we go in Mauritius, there are many dogs roaming free; some have collars on them but most don't. Many of the dogs are pregnant. It seems like people just let their dogs roam around all day at will. I also noticed that there are no wild chickens roaming around. I wonder if there is a correlation.
After driving past it once, we made our way to the Bois Cheri Tea Plantation. We noticed many other clown cars in the parking lot. After the tour, we drove through the grounds (past a herd of deer) to a lovely tea house overlooking a lake for some tastings...of course I bought some.
The next destination was Rochester Falls. As I mentioned before, things are not always well signed here. We finally discovered the signs to the falls that took us first down dirt roads then narrow, rocky, pot holed roads through a large working sugar cane plantation. This was definitely four wheel drive country...which the clown car was not. However I noticed a couple other clown cars going to the same destination. We were not disappointed after we parked the car and walked down a hill. The falls fell into a large pool where people were swimming.
By this time it was early evening. We stopped at Gris Gris Beach and watched the large waves pound to shore. The water is so clear here. When the waves are out, you can see through to the bottom.
We made our way back to our apartment along the coast. We stopped a few times at beaches along the way to admire the scenery and take in the gorgeous, magenta sunset.