Arriving in Mauritius

Mauritius Travel Blog

 › entry 38 of 77 › view all entries
We had decided to stay in Mauritius for a week, rather than the planned two days, which all of a sudden struck us as silly. We almost changed our mind again, however, as the welcome to Mauritius was somewhat of a rude one. We were basically conned into paying a $60 fee for a hotel room we were not even sure we wanted, and the fee for changing our tickets was somehow altered from $25 to $70 in mid-transaction. Also, while we were taking care of all this, our baggage was moved from the belt by somebody who helped himself to our sailing knife. We would not let anything perturb us, though, and made our way to the guest house we had been made to book into where we found the decor somewhat garish, but the Indian landlady, Shakira and her family lovely, and our room nice and clean.

Shakira was overwhelmingly helpful and so frugal in our interest that we hid certain plans from her, such as the renting of some motor scooters, since we knew she would not approve of the (low) price we paid and would try to haggle with the rental place.
When we wanted to go diving, she made her daughter call and pretend that she was searching for a deal for her (local) friends. We did get a very good deal, yet she found it still too dear and pronounced “I don’t approve of this plunging!” (fr. plonger = to dive)
But she was very sweet, cooked us dinner on two occasions, lent us bicycles and gave us her chauffeur, Sailesh (or Shylock as we preferred in secret) to drive us all around the island. He was simple but endearing up to the point when he declared, “Mauritius is paradise, a beautiful place, a peaceful place. Everybody gets along. Except, I do not like these Muslims. They are bad people, they want to fight all the time.” Luckily, he only divulged these opinions the day he took us to the airport, so we did not have time to get irate with him.
The day we rented the scooters, we drove all around the island, saw mountains and beaches, villages, towns, forest, fields and water falls (we took the little scooters right through the sugar cane fields into the rough – it was such fun!). We met a funny man who was building his own wooden high sea fishing boat, complete with luxury cabins, an observation deck and heavy-duty steel braces to place the rods into. It was very beautiful but so high above the waterline that I doubted its seaworthiness. I hoped I was wrong. We stopped at an ancient but modernized distillery where we had a taste of the local vanilla flavored rum and purchased a bottle, which was delicious and traveled with us half way up to Mozambique.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!