Few places can compete with Mauritius when it comes to exotic sounding French names (from an English language perspective). In the north there is Cap Malheureux, and as you move down the west coast you find Péreybère, Grand Baie and Trou au Biches – all places with good or splendid beaches. Inland from there you have Pamplemousses which boasts a large and impressive Botanical Gardens.
Should you take the metro-line from Port Louis, you would pass places such as Beau-Bassin and Quatres Bornes. You might even get off at the end of the line at Curepipe (pronounced as “cure-pip” in English and “curi-peep” in Francais) where you could visit Trou aux Cerfs, which is a large dormant (and overgrown) volcano crater where the island’s meteorological department has it’s main tower.
Since I arrived at the end of January I’ve made stops at all the places mentioned by way of public transport, which is always my preferred method of travel. Some other names I’d like to add to the above list would be Flic en Flac situated south of Port Louis and Mahébourg on the other side of the island, in the east. If all goes well I hope to also make it out into the interior to some of the national parks for trekking and visits to waterfalls.
I’ve experienced monsoon rains (for the first week and a half) and since then hot and humid weather with bright days and occasional showers. Presently the weather is about to change again as a cyclone is approaching the Mascarene islands (Mauritius & Rodrigues plus Réunion Island). Turbulent seas and heavy winds are expected to last until the end of next week as the cyclone is expected to pass to the north of the island from tomorrow (Monday).
Needless to say that this is an island of great diversity in every sense of the word, whether one refers to it’s variety of cultures, foods, peoples, languages or religions, making for a smorgasbord of visual and sensory experiences. That all said, Mauritius is a tranquil island overall from what I’ve experienced, and its people are friendly and laid-back (except for the hustle and bustle of Port Louis and the traffic jams in and out of the capital).
The tranquility of the island is off-set by extreme weather events, though, and cyclone-season is a way of life here. There have been cyclone warnings on the radio since yesterday and this morning (Sunday 19 Feb) the supermarket was packed with people doing preparedness-shopping.
The wonder of travel, for me, has always been the contrasts that we are exposed to when we venture away from our comfort zones and our permanent abodes (which is why I’ve rarely had these for a long time, long-term), – which is probably why I’m always much more in my element when I’m on the road, as opposed to when I’m not.
Below follows a few pictures of some of the spots mentioned, tranquility being the main theme, followed by a couple of screenshots of the cyclone’s trajectory.
Yours in travel – as always,
19 February 2023
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