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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Green & Lush Mauritius

I can't postpone it any longer- I need to finish up with our Africa trip photos & show you all the fun things we did on Mauritius. After our whirlwind, packed trip to Dubai, Cape Town & Lion Sands, we were ready for a little relaxing time on a tropical island.

I was so excited to get there & loved our view from the plane as we landed on this island. I'm sure most people haven't heard of Mauritius- I hadn't until I started planning our trip. It's a small (less than 800 sq. mi. ) island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, just east of Madagascar & South of Seychelles.

We had several choices to go to a tropical, beach place after South Africa, but I was immediately drawn to Mauritius as I love the mountains formed by volcanic activity.

As you will see with the rest of my blog posts, the island revolves around sugar and sugar cane products. Mauritius was influenced by Dutch settlers and was colonized by the French, which left a lasting legacy & a language before it was controlled by the British.

But, due to it's maritime ties, a large population on the island is of Indian descent, with a few native Africans who ended up here as part of the slave trade. The island is really a fascinating mix of cultures, religion and people.

As we drove the island, I was really convinced that this is very much what Hawaii looks like- we saw fruits and plants growing everywhere!

Unfortunately, we rented a standard car at the airport & also neglected to take into account that they drive on the left. So the steering wheel is on the left, the shift in the manual transmission is on the left, and the blinker is on the left. It really made of one of the worst rides in my life.

I was trying to snap pictures as I could out the window while navigating the very confusing roads and roundabouts. I didn't even realize I'd captured this Texas billboard until I was editing my photos. Most visitors are French & we were the first Americans that many people on the island had met.

It was quite the mix of under-developed world. Many people walking in the streets, many people on motorcycles, some people riding bicycles, tons of buses for transportation. It all made for a huge nightmare when trying to safely navigate the streets.

As we made our way across the island, we were thankful we didn't kill ourselves in traffic & vowed to return our rental car & use a private hire car the rest of the trip. As the rain let up, we were treated to a spectacular sunset.

This is my husband in his near death experience & I think he almost killed me for taking this photo.

Sugar, sugar everywhere.

The beautiful mountain was shrouded by the early evening clouds.

This little wispy things atop the sugar cane mean it's ready to be harvested.

Just getting to Mauritius and across the island to our hotel was quite the adventure, but once we ditched the car- we had a blast!

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: I'll be posting intermittent Mia & Zoe photos with my Mauritius blog posts- got to get caught up on my photos!


Dennis the Vizsla said...

It looks gorgeous. Wasn't it Mark Twain who said, "You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius"?

Christy said...

Beautiful pics, Beautiful place!