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?”

 

The first few days!

Right, lets get everyone up to speed on our first few days of the Mauritian Expedition.

Saying goodbye to everyone was very hard- we had tears in our eyes right up until the food was served on the plane (we not had something to distracts us).

While eating my chicken and veg, served with bread rolls, salad, crackers and eclairs – I watched “The Descendants”, lovely movie, sad but lovely

We came in over the west coast (our new home) where we could see the colourful bays and greenery of the mountains but then as we reached the centre of the island-straight into thick cloud, all the way up until the last few seconds before landing. Having been to Mauritius a few times, the landings are always so intense, shorts and forceful. The pilots slam the brakes as if they plan on doing a hand brake turn.

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We got to passport control and the man behind the counter wasnt too sure of us, after giving us a little bit of a hard time (story for another day) we went through to collect our suit cases and find our rental car. When we walked out the airport building, there were 2 men, one young, one old, holding a sign for us. Both were wearing jerseys and jackets, so I had to ask, “Are you cold? And the answer I got was “YES!” It was humid and roughly 20 degrees but I guess for Mauritians they are used to the heat and this is there winter. We followed them to the car, a very sweet, postman pat like, red, Hyundai i10. after signing away and manoevering the cases and ourselves into the car, we set off on our ±45 min drive to Flic en Flac.

We arrived at our new home welcomed by our land lord Mr Dove. Fabulous man! and we helped us up to the apartment. Not long after the estate agent arrived to do an inventory. Once that was done and everyone had left we unpacked and were now able to unwind. We knew there wouldnt be food so we packed some 3 in 1 coffee sachets (coffee, sugar, creamer), chocolate and ostrich biltong. We decided to go out and get a pizza from the Debonairs up the road, when we realised that our sliding door to our balcony didnt lock. Being the paranoid South Africans we are, even on the 3rd floor, we were worried so we locked our bedroom door and took the keys and off we went to buy some chow.

With our chicken and mushroom pizza and 2litre coke we were happy chappies until we got to the apartment and couldnt unlock our bedroom door!! Instant panic! There was nothing we would do. so we decided to sleep in the other room and sort it out in the morning. We woke up and had to put on our same smelly clothes from the day before so we could go and find some WD-40. We found some in this strange little hardware store on the main road and rushed back to try it. Needless to say, a can of WD-40 later, we still could not open the door. The search to find a locksmith started, went to a few different places, no such luck. Last resort-call Mr Dove! Problem was, both our phones had gone dead as the chargers were locked in the room. So we walked to the nearest pay phone which isnt really that near. We managed to get a few seconds to tell Mr Dove the problem and then the phone stole all our money. We then decided to go to the Internet cafe and ask if we could use a phone. The kind owner allowed us to use his office to make the call and didnt charge us. Really genuine guy! So Mr Dove was sending us help!!! YAY! 

 A few hours later, his nephew arrived with a bag of tools and his son. The two of them also tried and tried and eventually the only solution was to break it open! So they did! Happiness filled my heart at that point!!! And once they left we went for a relaxing walk along the beach to watch the sun set!  Phew!

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Beautiful pic taken by Mike

You’ll be happy to know now,  both doors are fixed. Mr Dove bought a very skilled young carpenter to fix the door, he did an amazing job. And his nephew came to fix our sliding door! Thank you!

We have gone for morning runs/walks along the beach and have been exploring the supermarkets to find the best deals close by. And we finally bought beach towels so we can have a swim in the sea.

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Our friend who run/walked with us for about 3 kms.

Everyday is new and exciting! 

Especially the last few!  

Check out the sunset pics on the sunrise & sunset page!

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 start of something new & exciting

I’m not the best of writers – so please bare with me.

My boyfriend and I made the decision to do something we’ve always wanted to do- have the island life. The 2 of us have lived in Johannesburg for most of our lives, along with the hustle, the bustle, crime, corruption, traffic, pollution and stress. Don’t get me wrong- Jozi is a vibrant and diverse city but all these other elements seem to compromise our way of life. People have high wall, electric fencing, security guards etc and we still don’t feel safe.

Gauteng being the land locked province it is, living by the sea has always been a dream. It’s the one thing I would really look forward to when we went on a vacation-the Ocean! The smell, the view, the beach, the sand between your toes! Heaven.

So why now?
November 2011, my fellow creatives and myself were told that the account we worked on had decided not to continue the contract with the company. We had a chance to re-pitch for the business-which we did and we did well but another company did better. Around 65 of us were retrenched.
Most of us saw this as an opportunity to do something we really wanted to do. I dont know how my boyfriend (Mike) and I decided to do this but we did! Move to Mauritius and live our Island Dream!

Why Mauritius?
I have been to Mauritius a few times and each time I fall in love all over again. There is just something special about Mauritius. We could have moved to the coast of South Africa but its just not the same. Cape Town is beautiful but you cant really swim in the sea because you’ll freeze or get eaten by a shark. Durban- also beautiful but never really felt connected to it and jobs don’t come easy.

We just wanted to do something different and for us!

After much thought and research.

The date is set!

16/06/2012

Ile Maurice-Here we come!