I haven’t written in my blog in a YEAR! It was a memorable one…I got married.
I went to Paris twice, once for my wedding shower which was totally surreal,
(Me and my Muriels in the Luxemburg Gardens…awww!!)
again in October which was short but sweet.
I went back to Hawai`i, kind of a working honeymoon, which included a return to the awesome Ha`ena as well as a visit to a live volcano on the Big Island.
(whew we are HOT!)
I feel remiss in my blogging. So I am making up for it (hopefully, for anyone who cares to read my silly little ramblings) by trying to recount my recent girls’ trip to paradise aka Mauritius, hon.
Backstory, my PPBFF Candace left me and Baltimore behind in August of 2916 to follow her college-age dream of joining the Peace Corps. She’s in Botswana, and although I feared that I wouldn’t see her for two and a half years, I have actually had the privilege to spend some quality time…first in PARIS where she surprised me by coming to my awesome shower, combat boots and backpack in tow. 🙂 And then again in Baltimore.
But I wanted to spend some time with her in her part of the world. Hmmm, where to go with just a week off? I thought about Capetown, then Durban…Mozambique…but when Candace mentioned that she knew of some PCV’s (Peace Corps Volunteers) who had gone to Mauritius and had loved it, Mr. Google convinced me that THIS was the place I wanted to see. So despite never having been to Africa, Mauritius won my travel roulette, especially when I discovered how cheap it was to stay there. (And for those of you wondering where in the hell is Mauritius, that’s ok, I really wasn’t sure either. It’s an island located about 1,000 miles off the east coast of Africa, in the Indian Ocean, past Madagascar. In other words, very far from the US!)
I found our lovely apartment on HomeAway, what a bargain!!
A whopping $39 per night for two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room and a beautiful porch
where we spent many contented hours drinking coffee and wine, having dinner and chatting away. The landlord was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and his beautiful wife cooked for us 3 nights! Fish and chicken curry (which was THE best food we had the entire time) and Nargisi Kofta, or meatballs stuffed with eggs. And fresh mangoes couertsy of our German neighbors…heavenly.
But of course the star of the show in Trou Aux Biches is the BEACH. We packed our beach bag every morning and walked the lazy five minutes through town
to the public beach,
We spent many many many hours floating in the turquoise water. People the Indian ocean rocks! So peaceful and relaxing.
We used our privilege to snag some deluxe beach chairs courtesy of the Trou Aux Biches resort (that cost almost 10 times more than our sweet abode), until we got kicked off by some Germans. Oh Well….
We walked the powdery sand in search of street food like mines frites from Pierre’s Noodles, $2.00 of deliciousness
And Jus de Friuts Frais (sic)
We also splurged on a lunch in Grand Baie, fresh seafood and margaritas for margarita day! All served with a killer view
We had steaks and wine from South Africa too, and fresh shrimp curry and Mauritian rum…mmm
We did alter our beach food drink routine to venture into Port Louis for a day, We went to the covered market hoping to find some handcrafted Mauritian art but instead found lots of cheap goods from China. But we made up for it with some really delicious biryani and soup.
Port Louis was hot and a bit crowded
So we were happy to have ventured out but so glad to return to our slice of paradise
We were blessed to have had the opportunity to experience a Hindu festival while we were there. Maha Shivaratri, the festival of Shiva, where thousands of pilgrims walk from all corners of Mauritius to a sacred lake at Grand Bassin. We walked to the local temple and were allowed to watch some of the preparation ceremonies.
While I’m sure there are some conflicts and issues amongst the population, from what I could see and what I read all of us could take some lessons on embracing multiculturalism and religious harmony from the Mauritians. There are no indigenous peoples on Mauritius, just descendants of the slaves who were brought to work the sugar plantations and the people who brought them. (UGH colonialism!) Mauritius was a French colony then the Brits took over, but I read that the French stipulated that French had to remain the official language. Of course I couldn’t understand very much, except when I eavesdropped on some French tourist. Anyway, all that to say that I found the people to be very welcoming and kind, and was happy to see the temples and mosques and churches side by side in the sun.
We learned some island insider facts from a dear friend of a dear friend of mine who has lived on Mauritius for many years! We met when my friend introduced us in college. It was nice to reconnect and visit her in her lovely home, I neglected to take pictures but merci Lee!!
Sigh. The trip was WAY too short. I miss the warm ocean breezes, the lazy days spent chatting about everything under the sun, the people, the food, and oh my, the sunsets…
And I especially miss my dear Candace…bisous ma cherie, merci for hanging out with me in paradise. On to our next adventure!! xoxoxo