Truth be told, if I didn’t spend 4 1/2 years in Cape Town, I would probably struggle to find Mauritius on the map. Since it was my first time, I didn’t know what to expect. Hopefully my simple insights will give you a little inside track on Mauritius.
1. They speak French…
and the French influence is apparent. Cheese, Nutella, bread and wine were in abundance….
2. It’s Small...really small. We’re talking 42 miles long and 29 miles wide.
3. Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice. The tropical climate makes for some pretty delicious agriculture.
4. Mauritian People are some of the kindest, most generous people I have ever met.
I didn’t mention it before, but I had a little episode a couple days into my holiday. It was VERY embarrassing and involved me passing out at a fancy restaurant, flashing my panties to the fellow diners, and a grand finale of me throwing up on the beach in front of the restaurant. Needless to say, I was quite sick and stayed in bed for 48 hours. Our butler Sinita took it upon herself to take the BEST of me. She ordered me fresh juices, she showed me pressure points and breathing exercises to help with nausea and headaches, she brought me ice and towels when I started to fever, and she put beautiful notes and surprises in my room. I was completely taken by her care and kindness. She also made the most delicious vegetarian Indian food and spicy coconut chutney the day before we left.
5. It has an Indian flair. I expected the French, but the Indian influence took me by surprise. Many of the native people I came in contact with had very dark skin and Indian heritage. Their currency is also called “rupee”, just like India!
6. Lots of Bugs, but NO SNAKES. This meant I felt confident and secure to use the 8km trail run path that went through sugar cane fields and through the “jungle”. It was all fun and games until I got stung by a wasp!
7. The sun is more intense than I anticipated. I wore spf 50 all day, every day and still got a rocking tan.
8. It has a special untouched beauty.
Yes, there is a vibrant tourist scene, but it really feels like you are a world away. The simple fact that you are on a tiny island 1200 miles off the east coast of Africa puts it in perspective. There is something magical about being so far away and isolated.
9. The dodo bird may be extinct, but there is still some spectacular animal life on the island, like this Mauritian tortoise that is 105 years old.
The bird life was equally impressive. I have never seen such brightly colored birds!
10. It’s hard to find on the map, and hard to get to…but it’s worth it.
Biggest surprise when traveling abroad?
American stereotypes that get under your skin? Anything you agree with?