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

© Copyright. All Rights Reserved. Gypsy Café.





Explorer, Philosopher, Photographer


  1. Debra

    Beautiful. Your pictures always convey a sense of being there. Thanks for sharing, love, in lak’ech, Debra

    • Jean-Jacques

      Hi Debra. Thanks for your feedback on the photos! I’m happy with how these came out – the beach photos were taken with a new camera that has a manual focus lens which I obtained before I came (rated quite high for sharp focus). The Botanical garden pics were taken with a bridge camera also recently acquired, rated high for aim-and-shoot style pics, so your comments tell me I made some good choices 🙂
      In lak’ech,

  2. Martina Ramsauer

    Thank you, Jean Jacques for your explanations and lovely pictures of this mangnifique île 🙂 I hope, however, that the indigenous people are not ousted from the main attractions!

    • Jean-Jacques

      Hi Martina, thank you for reading and I’m glad you liked the pictures. The good news is that all these pictures were taken at public beaches on the North-West coast and Mauritians can access them freely. I saw many people having picnics and swimming and there were families on the bus from the capital with me who went for a day-trip to the beach. It is the case though that there are quite a lot of private beaches in between these public beaches that are exclusive for the tourists at the resorts. Mauritius has a tourism oriented economy so there’s kind of a dual-economy here. I’ve been living like a local since I arrived, which is usually my way of traveling. Sometimes I’m charged a bit more for things than locals (I suppose I have not blended-in enough yet, but I’m working on it!) 🙂

  3. M

    Heh J
    You’re right on track as usual.
    Thanks for sharing magic pics.
    Our souls go on a journey, through your lens.
    From sunny South Africa.

    • Jean-Jacques

      Thank you for stopping by M – eye of the storm passing us right now – heavy winds and rain, but should hopefully pass in a few hours for tranquility to return. Enjoy the sunshine and do stop by again! 🙂

  4. Brigido Anaya

    First time I read about Mauritius was when I was very young, reading the books of Captain Costeau, the diver.
    In a way those books had a place on the way my destiny was set off at a young age.
    But that it’s a long story, that has no place here.
    I enjoyed the post, Jean-Jacques.

    • Jean-Jacques

      Hello Mr Anaya, Great to hear from you! Thank you for relating your thoughts on Mauritius and I would indeed be interested to hear about how those books influenced your destiny (here, or perhaps on your blog?) Interestingly the film ‘Le Grand Blue’ which is not specifically about Captain Costeau, but a very inspiring (and very mystical) story about diving and oceans very much inspired some of my own early spiritual and well as travel aspirations (I was a surfer/bodyboarder in my youth, but in the end never became a diver).

      The waters of this island are stunningly blue and so transparent – the beaches are superb, but I spend more time in the villages and the city – I really like the Mauritian people – they ar every laid-back and easy-going, cool with everyone.

      The most famous story that ever originated from the island the story of Paul et Virginie (by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, 1788) about a couple that lost each other during a shipwreck incident on the coast – there are some statues dedicated to the story and I believe it’s very famous in the French-speaking world. I will still be here for a few months and then we will see where the journey takes us… Thank you for stopping by, Mr A!

  5. Katharine Otto
    Katharine Otto Reply

    JJ, From the other side of the world, in North America, above the equator, I had to go to great lengths to locate Mauritius Island on my various maps. I like to be able to visualize the geographic relationships between various places.
    I like your descriptions of the people and how they cope with the erratic weather. Although the photos are nice, too, your personal preferences for public transportation and your interactions with the greater culture of the place vivify my inner screens.

    • Jean-Jacques

      It’s a small island Katharine, so I’m surprised you found it at all! I’ve traveled across the island a couple of times from West to East by public bus and it’s no more than an hour and a half (including all the stops along the way) – great way to see all of the island and get and idea of what’s happening in the villages. Great seafood restaurants as you can imagine! All in all I’m happy to be here for a few months – it was a good choice. Culturally very diverse and interesting place with down-to-earth people. Thanks for visiting my post!

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