Kite Surfing – The 1st Lesson!

Mike booked for the two of us to have our first kite surfing lesson for my birthday. We didn’t go on my birthday as our bodies were too stiff and sore from the ziplining. So we decided Friday last week, we would go. We called Christopher our instructor and he gave us the thumbs up to come through to Le Morne. We quickly got our stuff together and off we went. 

Le Morne was pumping with kite surfers, as we drove into the main area, it just looked like a sea of colours with all the kites on the ground. We met Christopher and he explained that our lesson would consist of how to build the kite and then how to fly it. 

So we build the kite with him, step by step and then we went to suit up. Not the most fashion forward gear but hey, we’re still learning. We both were given body suits, helmets, aqua socks and helmets. I personally really felt kind of dork-ish. Not cool like the other kite surfers but as mentioned above we’re still learning.

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We were then taught all the emergency brakes, how to power and de-power the kite and how to steer. Now was time to get into the water. The sea floor in this particular lagoon is weird, I cant explain it. It’s kind of swamp like, mooshy yet crunchy at the same time with plenty of sea weed. Totally bizarre to walk on.  We walked for a while and then got the kite into the air. It’s a whole lot more technical than it looks. Each of us would have a go. Whilst one of us was flying the kite, the other was anchoring the person flying the kite and then we’d switch. Flying the kite was hard, hopefully its one of those things that gets easier the more you do it. After flying and parking the kite for 2 hours in the water. The lesson was over. Christopher was a great instructor with a great sense of humour. The one word I heard come out his mouth the most was – DE-POWER!

Cant wait to go for our next lesson! We are even analyzing our budget to be able to afford it. We gotta get it right!!! Any donations to our Kite Surfing lessons would be most welcome.

On a serious note: if you are in Mauritius or coming on holiday and want to learn how to Kite Surf, these are the guys!

Check out the website : http://www.air-switch.com

Contact No. : +230 756 2627

Email : info@air-switch.com or oliver@kitesurfing-mauritius.com

Casela – Nature & Leisure Park

Since the past weekend was my birthday and anniversary, I wanted to do something to remember, an experience. So I booked for Mike and myself to do a full day of Zip Lining at the Casela Nature & Leisure Park.

Saturday morning we drove to Casela, which we often pass when going to Black River. You cant miss it, with their beautiful gardens along the road. We walked in, paid and were introduced to our guide – Jayson. He seemed very quiet and contained. We followed him though the park to go and get ready and put on our gear, where we met our main guide Chris. Really friendly and welcoming! We geared up and hopped on a bus and as we started leaving a tiny girl (lady) came running towards the bus, it was Juanita our photographer for the day. Brilliant as we had left of camera at home.  And off we went to the first zip line.

We were given our instructions and told not to be worried but just enjoy and have fun. And we did! Over and over again. 200m, 300m and then the longest zip line in the Indian Ocean 400m. Upside down, backwards, Awesome! We did quite a bit of hiking too, until we got to our last zipline for the morning which would take us to the waterfall and where we would have lunch.

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We got to the platform, took off our gear and clothes and went for a swim in the waterfall, we jumped off high ledge into the water but then it was time to zip line, more like foofie slide into the water, we had a quick demonstration by Jayson, who at this point was no longer quiet or contained, he was bubbly, chirpy and full of fun and laughter. We climbed up the volcanic rock (not so nice on the feet) and one by one zip lined into the water like a pelicans landing in a lake.

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We then sat and dried off before lunch. Chris went off to check something, so it was just the 4 of us. Juanita and Jayson gave us some Sega dancing lessons which we then practiced whilst listening to a combination of music from a mobile phone and Jaysons singing. Lots of fun was had. A few moments later, the Chefs zip lined in to cook our lunch. And boy, was it good! Fish Kebabs, Vienna kebabs, potatoes, rice (amazing rice-cant explain it), fresh bagette and fruit. It was delicious! Really out of the world, and the closest we’ve been to a braai (BBQ) since we got here.

We all finished up, got dressed, geared up and off we went. We hiked again until we reached a swinging bridge, cross the bridge and hiked again. Jayson and Juanita split off whilst we followed Chris, over rocks, under trees, through bushes etc. Chris spotted a deer, so we got a glimpse of her just for a few quick seconds-beautiful. He then showed us all the fruit bats sleeping in the trees. We hiked for a long time and me being so clumpsy, I don’t know how I didn’t fall. I tripped and slipped but I didn’t fall. We finally reached the canyon which I was a little hesitant to swim in as I knew there were eels in the water. But we did it! The water was very cold as the sun never gets to it. Whilst swimming, Jayson sang for us, we joined in from time to time.

“Hello, is it me you’re looking for?”

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We arrived at the end of the canyon, got out, got dry, had a smoke and carried on. We hiked some more. At this point my legs felt like jelly. We reached another bridge but this one was long and high, really high. And so we walked, slowly, carefully. Jayson was trying to scare us by wobbling the bridge, but just looking down is scary enough. Problem is: you have to look down to see where to put your next step!!!!

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I wont lie, I was relieved to have gotten across. We then continue on our last few zip lines and then the last one was the double zip line. Mike and I jumped off together and laughed the whole way across. Was sad it was over, but it wasn’t quite. Chris had found a hedgehog crawling through the grass. I have always loved hedgehogs but never seen one in its natural environment! Too cool. We walked back to park and the 5 five of us reflected on the days events, at this point we had become friends. And that made it even more special.

Back at the entrance of Casela we were introduced to Bob and John, 2 massive iguana’s. And there were just peacocks and parrots everywhere. Juanita did a great job! Our photos came out great! All in all- it’s a must do. 3 years ago, Mike and I came to Casela with my family and went quad biking and that was so much fun hence I decided to go back. Great team of people! Beautiful surroundings! And Loads  of fun, what more could one ask for!!!

Thank you to Chris, Jayson and Juanita! You guys were amazing! You made the day so special and so much fun!

There is something for the whole family as Casela. Something for everyone.

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Saying that, my body is still aching from the extremely active day but totally worth it!!!

www.caselayemen.mu

(+230) 452 28 28

Lets go for a drive…

In the last week, we’ve scoped out the shopping malls and checked out the best supermarkets. Today we decided to take a drive towards the south on the coastal road to see what there was to be seen. And mainly to go check out the crystal clear waters of Le Morne.

Sky was clear, sun was shining an off we went. Once we got past Tamarin, Black River’s vegetation has many similarities to South African Bos Veld. I can see why so many South Africans live in this region as it does kind of feel like home. A home comfort in a way.

We carried on south until we turned down to Le Morne. Some of the island best hotels are situated in Le Morne. A beautiful odd shaped mountain (looks like a massive rock) overlooks the turquoise bays of Le Morne.

We stopped at the public beach, so quiet and isolated, so untouched. Unreal. Never have I seen such clear water.

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We carried on around the corner to find what Le Morne is famous for. KITE SURFERS!!! So awesome, need to try it. I’m sure it’s a whole lot harder than it looks but why not give it a shot.

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From there, were headed back the way we came and took the turn to Chamarel to stop at the viewpoint on the mountain. We were so lucky, the day was just glorious and so was the view, we carried on further along the mountain, past the Rhumerie until we reached the Black River Gorge National Park. We pulled over and took a walk to the viewpoint, and what a view it is. Just stunning.

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We walked back to the car and across the road was a stand selling fresh sugar cane juice. After seeing it being made on Masterchef South Africa I was curious to try it. 50 Rupees later we had a cup of sugar cane juice and a piece of sugar cane each to chew on. Loved chewing on the sugar cane. The man who sold us the juice couldn’t speak English but was trying to tell us something. Possibly – “chewing sugar cane is like brushing your teeth”or “chewing sugar cane is good for your teeth”. I would think quite the opposite but hey who knows. The juice, hhhmmmm, not too sure about it. Was kind of brown in colour with a white froth, looked as if I was drinking an iced coffee. VERY sweet but that’s a given. I think I need to try it again to make up my mind.

From there we got a little lost in a forest, found our way out and back the way we came.  It’s truly a beautiful part of the island and something everyone should do.

The beauty on the island kind of makes up for the extremely scary drivers on the road! The locals like to take risks and one would think being South African you would be able to handle almost anything- not this.

Mike said, “People say we need to adapt, I’m cool to adapt but does this also mean I must drive like a crazy and not give a damn?”

 

Ile aux Cerfs

We booked a day trip to Ile aux Cerfs through a tour guide in Grand Baie. Not knowing we were in for quite the experience. We woke up early, had breakfast early and made sure we were ready to go. Our driver arrived at the hotel, rather quiet man and escorted us to the mini-bus. There was 1 lady already in the mini-bus, she was small, petite and also very quiet. And off we went to pick up the other. When the drive started I did think to myself that this man must be in quite a hurry to get to the next hotel. We got to the next hotel and picked up the rest of the people and off we went! Literally!  Our driver was driving so fast that people were hanging onto their seat praying. I genuinely thought we were all gonna die in this mini-bus. In South Africa, we have lots of mini-bus taxis which are dangerous and drive terribly, never did I think I would experience it in Mauritius. The quiet lady was still very calm whilst the rest of us were almost in tears. This driver was coming around sharp bends, in the wet weather, on the other side of the road, with just a honk of the hooter as warning to any oncoming vehicles. Eventually when we were traveling 140km/h through a small town did my cousin, sitting in front of me, scream out, “Hey Louis Hamilton! Can you slow down! You’re making us all sick-and if you can on driving this way, we’re all going to get sick in your car- so slow down!”

This man didnt quite understand what the problem was, he just kept looking into his rear view mirror with this puzzled look on his face. The quiet lady turned to us and said, “Don’t worry, everyone drives like this.” Finally we reached our destination. People couldnt get out of that mini-bus fast enough and the first thing everyone did was light a cigarette.

We were greeted by a strapping young guy to told us what we would be doing for the day and off we went on a small speed boat to Ile aux Cerfs. The weather was not great but it was still humid.

We went past the famous and renowned Le Touessrok- magnificent! Bordered with black rock and turquoise water. Google it or see the link at the bottom. Really stunning resort! Looking down into the water, it is so clear that you can see everything as you pass by. We also passed many fisherman along the way.

After an early wake up, traumatic taxi ride, and a thankfully calming boat trip we reached Ile aux Cerfs.

Ile aux Cerfs is so beautiful, definitely worth the trip. We walked around to explore our beautiful surrounding before we hopped on speed boat that would take us to lunch.

We hopped onto a boat to take us to our lunch. We arrived at a little remote  beach, with an odd little doc and what looked like a make-shift marquee made out of french racing green tarpaulin. This was our little restaurant we would be eating at. We were greeted by our “waiter” who had a fabulous mustache and were shown to our (outdoor plastic) seats.

The quiet lady from the mini-bus joined us for lunch. We started off with drinks, most popular was the jungle juice which consists of pretty much everything: Rum, wine, beer, vodka, juice and who knows what else. Along with the drinks arrived garlic bread for the table in a white bucket-didnt look very appealing but my goodness was it delicious! The kitchen was separated just by a simple “screen” type structure. Whilst we enjoyed our garlic bread and drinks, we were given a show, with drums and singing and dancing- was a really cool atmosphere. Waiting for the main, we were rather intrigued by the number of crabs that were on this tiny beach, what looked like rocky sand was in fact millions of crabs, all shapes, sizes and colours. Was fanscinating to watch how still there were until something or someone moved.

Main course was outstanding. It consisted of a piece of fish, a piece of chicken and a simple coleslaw! Really loved it- so simple looking yet so full of flavour! And our hosts were not shy either, if you wanted more you could have more-no problem. Our plates were taken away and as we were getting comfortable, waiting for our food to settle, a fork and a serviette were placed in front of us. Then out came a flame grilled rum banana. My cousin was horrified with the fact the banana had been placed on this serviette and not on a plate. Yet once again, simple but delicious! Really was once of the best meals I have had.

From our lunch we took a speed boat to go see some waterfalls-we went past a part of the island where there were massive houses, really pretty. The tour guys told us that celebrities like David Beckham owned those houses. We arrived at the waterfalls, felt as if we were in a jungle. Once we had spent some time there we went back to Ile aux Cerfs. Got back, ate some ice cream and then the rain came! It was time to go back anyway. The rain fall was heavy, so heavy that it took us 3 times longer to get back. We all had our towels covering us, trying to break the wind and stop the rain wetting our cameras. We were soaked by the time we got off the boat, even worse there was our Formula 1 taxi driver waiting for us. We tried to chat to him again and explain. To his understanding, the route he took was too windey and that was why we were complaining , so he would now take us on a different route. Bless him!

http://mauritiusattractions.com/ile-aux-cerfs-tours-i-36.html

http://www.threebestbeaches.com/mauritius/2006/06/ile-aux-cerfs-beach-mauritius.html/comment-page-1/

http://www.letouessrokresort.com/

The Rochester Falls

Hidden amoungst the sugar cane you’ll find the Rochester Falls. Beautiful and untouched.

One must follow the signs that lead you to the Rochester Falls- I wouldnt advise walking, much better if you have a car as the path takes you up through the sugar can and on a path that feels like a maze as you’ll be towered by sugar cane, sugar cane and some more sugar cane until the dirt road become impossible to drive on-then I advise you to walk. Reaching this point, a man offered to show us the way.Being from South Africa, I was a little skeptical about the situation but followed him anyway. We walked what seemed like forever trying not to slip on the muddy slopes whilst wearing my cream espadrilles which were now covered in red mud. You could hear the roaring sound of the falls but it was nowhere in sight. This man then takes us through the sugar cane and show us this truely hidden beauty.

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Whilst walking back to the car, our “tour guide” told us his story. He was the one who put up all the signs leading to the falls. He comes to the falls everyday to show people around. He’s been doing this for 15 years. He didn’t ask us for any money or a fee for his service, we did pay him though as we ourselves would have never found the falls. He offered us some water to clean the mud off our feet then went and sat down on his make-shift chair under the banana trees. Quite the experience!

Many sites will tell you there are “guides” up at the falls but will charge you a huge fee and that you should rather go with proper tour guide agency, but wheres the fun in that.

Rhumerie de Chamarel

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Every tourist should make a mission to visit the Rhumerie de Chamarel. Placed in a beautiful location amongst the mountains and lush green vegetation. Its a mauritian gem. Would be a stunning venue for any occasion-especially a wedding. As you enter, you are welcomed with a friendly smile and escorted through the lovely landscaped entrance to the rhumerie and restaurant.

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The Rhumerie itself is just gorgeous with lovely decor contain photographs of the sugar cane and the workers. It really portrays a great sense of integrity and authenticity.

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Do the tour-enjoy the tasting and afterwards have a seat at L’Alchimiste –  the restaurant at the Rhumerie. Also beautiful decorated and a lovely atmosphere. If you’re having a seat to enjoy a drink- hungry or not – I highly recommend having lunch. The elegant and flavourful cuisine is just heavenly. You can taste every ounce of freshness in the produce and the presentation is a work of art that you’ll feel guilty to eat it. We had a fabulous waiter-Jason if I’m correct who gave us great service! ImageImageImage

Possibly the best piece of fish I have ever eaten. It was the perfect portion, I didn’t feel heavy and uncomfortable, I felt ultimate satisfaction. Absolutely Delicious. High five to the Chef! The meal was so superb! Dessert was fantastic-packed full of flavour!

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Food – Superb

Atmosphere – Peaceful

Service – out of this world!

Heavenly!!!

10/10

http://www.rhumeriedechamarel.com