Ok so here it is, my long awaited next blog, and thankfully, it’s a bit more light-hearted then my last.
A LOT has happened since my last post, a whole season, a couple of holidays and my wedding ! That alone will be a blog in its own, I can go on for days about functions 🙂
For our honeymoon we went to Mauritius, its so cliché for honeymooners I’m almost embarrassed, but so well worth it ! The embarrassment probably stems from the “all-inclusive” beachcombers package we took.
When I lived in the Caribbean we used to laugh at the Sandals tourists as all they would do is swim in the pool and stay in the hotel 🙂
I don’t actually know where to begin with Mauritius is certainly has all the same “French” influences as the Caribbean, in fact my husband got sick of me as around every corner I would say “wow the buildings are so similar to the Caribbean”. It’s famous for things like vanilla tea (yummy), and being the last ever place that Dodo’s existed.
We stayed at the Medium ranged (in terms of price, not quality) Le Victoria Hotel, its rated 4.5 stars and is part of the beachcombers group. We wanted to explore as much as we could, and knew we wouldn’t be in the rooms that much (although we could have as they were lovely). The drive from the airport was horrendously long though, and in peak traffic (probably the only downfall of the entire trip).
What stood out the most in Mauritius was the service. 5 star all the way, attentive , hard-working, polite. All round; so refreshing !
Secondly there is so so much to do ! So much so that on our 4th day all my husband wanted to do was sleep! He came on honeymoon to “relax” and not to explore all day 🙂
So what to do there?
Mauritius undoubtedly provides the A-list treatment – you can walk with lions on a safari tour, take a helicopter over the island, swing on a 6,800m golf course or dine by candlelight on the beach. There really is something for everyone. Keen on Water sports? Mauritius is surrounded by water and has every water sport imaginable. Adrenalin junkie? Climb the Mountain or parasail, or for the braver try kiteboarding. Spa Treatments? Check again. Amazing snorkelling? The water is so clear and temperate you can literally spend the entire day and not even notice. Nature Lover? Mauritius Safari and Bird Park, Yemen Natural Reserve Park, safari quad-biking adventures the list goes on..
A definite must? A trip on a catamaran to one of the nearby islands, we did the popular trip to Gabriel Island. It was a full day of relaxation, a brilliant fish braai and a chance to see some of the most beautiful and preserved islands of Mauritius. Our crew were friendly, vibey and our entertainment was provided by some French tourists that had a fabulous time with the rum punch 🙂
Of course you cannot come to Mauritius without taking a dip in the turquoise sea and lie on the white silky sand. In the north the beaches are mainly white, fine sand, but as you go east, the beaches change colour and texture and the sea changes from calm lagoon to full on “surfing” Ocean.
Do not let this beauty full you however, Mauritius is surrounded by coral reefs and as a result there is an awful amount of coral off most beaches. For a shorty like me, this wasn’t that much of a problem as I couldn’t stand most places, but for the taller folk such as my husband, aquatic shoes are a NON Negotiable. Certain individuals ended up with cuts on their feet and it tends to ruin walking on the beach or swimming in the sea at all.
Grande bay is picturesquely beautiful and reminded me a lot of the Spanish colonized islands in the Caribbean, window boxes with flowers and thin cobbled streets. It’s also the hub for clubs/ restaurants/ cafés. We attempted to cycle there one day from our hotel; Not even a Kilometer from the hotel, with sweat dripping down we decided to turn back due to the heat 🙂
The Best part of the trip? Swimming with dolphins! What a magical, surreal experience; to swim with wild dolphins and to see them playing in their natural habitat. You have to a strong swimmer to keep up with them, and if the current is too rough the tour guides won’t let you jump in, but just the experience alone of being surrounded by about 200 hundred wild dolphins is extraordinary.
After the 2 hours outing with the dolphins, we travelled to L’ile aux Benitiers for lunch on the beach (a fish braai again followed by yummy banana/ coconut dessert) . The afternoon was spent snorkeling and swimming in the magnificent lagoon. We also visited the Crystal Rock and you could jump off it into “the swimming pool” around it.
Come 17h30 every day we were in the glorious pool at the hotel, sipping cocktails, where we stayed for hours on end. Every evening we were blessed with a short rain shower, with warm drops of fresh tropical rain falling. It was glorious. Big contrast to sitting in rush hour traffic on your way home from work 🙂
Prices are shocking in the hotels, they will try to spin you for every ride they can! If you can go into town and stock up on your waters/ drinks etc,
Every island has its “ugly”, thankfully if you are a typical “package” tourist you wont even notice them. Gridlocked traffic. Unchecked pollution. Dirty Grey walls, Debilitating shortages. Slight racism and definite corruption !
I think ill write a separate blog on the fantastic Le Victoria Hotel, it needs its own dedication. The Food was insanely amazing (not at the big generic restaurant) , but at the two smaller “smarter” restaurants. L’Horizon, which specializes in seafood and we got to experience Marlon Carpaccio, and the Italian restaurant of La Casa. The hotel would be the PERFECT destination for a whole group of friends/ family as well. It boasts a kids club, Gym, Tennis courts, Bikes for Hire, Boats, paddle boats, jet skiing, beach volleyball, table tennis, pool tables, the list goes on and on… It was an absolute dream! But more on that later xx
What are you waiting for? Explore Mauritius and for South Africans it’s a mere 4 hour flight ! I’m definitely going back, there is no better way to spend your days than canoeing, paddle boating, snorkeling x bliss xx