The Flic en Flac Festival

On Sunday, after a swim in the sea and a chill on the beach, we headed back to the apartment to go and check the Flic en Flac festival. As we reached the turn we came to a halt due to the incredible amount of traffic trying to get into Flic en Flac, we sat in the hot car and waited and edged forward slowly but surely. Most roads had been blocked off so all traffic was being diverted through the side roads where people were also parking and hundreds of people were walking. It took us a 1 hour to do 4.5km to our apartment. Once we got back we heard the people gathering on the coastal road ready for the parade. A quick shower, quick change of clothes and we were ready to walk the streets of the Flic en Flac Festival.

We walked, without even realizing how far we had actually gone. The streets were packed, people were crammed onto balconies of the apartments that lined the streets, teens were sitting on top of bus stops, whilst the kiddies were placed safely on their daddies shoulders. People were walking, drinking, smoking, dancing, eating, laughing, wearing wigs and masks. The air was full of celebration.

The Flic en Flac festival is to boast tourism and the country of Mauritius. There were floats of all sorts that came down the road, generally followed by a band or dancers. The parade opened up with Brazilian dancers that had specially been flown in from Brazil. The costumes were unbelievable-for a moment we could have been at the Rio Carnival.  We also saw Miss Mauritius, Miss Reunion, Miss England and Miss UK, each on their own float. There were a few Disney floats, with people dressed as characters. There was fire breathing, Sega Dancing, Marching bands and crazy costumes. Some floats were sponsored by a Hotel, Restaurant or Club.  Each float was themed: Pirates, Princesses, Under the Sea, Africa, Design, Parisian, Chinese, Mauritian. Most floats had a bunch of balloons attached to them in the Mauritian colours.

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A helicopter was circling and filming the event and everyone on the street was waving. The vibe was so festive and exciting and you could almost feel it running through your body. It was so awesome and something we’d never quite seen before.

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Before we knew it the festival was over, they ended it with Brazilian dancers strutting their stuff done the street. The people started to disperse but the party wasn’t over. People were partying in the streets, on the beach and in the restaurants and bars along the road.

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We walked to the beach, and since it was my birthday, my grandmother had wrapped up some Christmas cake and a candle for us to celebrate as how can you have a birthday without birthday cake. So we sat on the beach, lit the candle, blew it out, sang happy birthday and ate the cake whilst watching the sunset.

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The Beach Party!

So our new friends had invited us to a beach party for their buddies birthday. We umm-ed and arr-ed about it and whether we were going to go or not. But our new friends insisted we come and were not letting us go home. We were exhausted, our bodies were sore but our friends were so excited for us to come that how could we not. We reached the public beach between the hotels on Royal Road in Flic en Flac, we parked the car and were lead through the forest of casuarina trees, where we found people setting up DJ equipment, getting the braai ready, making a fire and the cakes and booze were placed on the table ready to go.

It really was something we had never experienced as here, in Mauritius it is allowed, you’re allowed to have a good time and a few drinks on the beach with your mates, you’re allowed to set up a camp site and go camping for a weekend with your family. Where as in South Africa it is definitely not allowed so this was all new. We met some interesting characters, a guy named Danny for invited us to stay at his home in Vacoas, a really drunk elderly-ish man named Jake who couldn’t speak much english and just kept asking us if we like Mauritius and if we like to Sega. Both these guys couldn’t be happier to share there booze, Danny would come with another glass of rum and juice and Jake with another beer (have no idea where he was getting these beers from).

Whilst we were meeting new face, others were plying traditional music, singing and dancing. Was really cool, we stood around the fire chatting to all these new faces. We chatted to a guy named James, he is a French Mauritian and because he was talking to us, everyone who didn’t know him automatically assumed he was a tourist. Really good guy.

The DJ-ing started, the food was being passed around and people were just having a great time. It was around midnight when we were physically exhausted and need to sleep. Our hosts didn’t want us to leave but we had to as we had a full day planned for the next day. But just as sad they were that we were going, they were so pleased that we came.

Was an experience to remember, so awesome! A real beach party, not by the hotels-by the locals!!!

Thank you guys! (you know who you are) It was Awesome!

Standing around the fire

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