mauritius: this is paradise
Hearing Mauritius always conjures up images of exclusivity, honeymooning, palm trees and beaches. And we suppose that those are the right images. But, there has to be more… and there is!
We arrived into Mauritius later than scheduled and were promptly picked up by the transfers. But as we drove into the night, we began wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. Was this a tourist trap? Were those idyllic images all misleading? Why did we feel this way, you ask? Well, we were driven in a van along roads that were NOT well-lit, actually pitch black to say the least and the only light we could see were spot fires off in the distance – and as the van sped on, the fires got closer and closer.
We soon learnt that they were sugar cane harvesting and not anything more to worry about. Sure enough, upon driving up to Le Meridian, all of our worries dissolved. The resort was amazing! We could not fault it in any way other than to say it was so big :-), our legs got sore from walking to the room. The view from our room was spectacular. A week of relaxing was in store.
But after one day of relaxing at the resort, we got itchy feet and wanted to do some exploring so we booked in a few day trips to see more of the island. We had not flown all this way from Sydney to sit by the pool – you can do that ANYWHERE! We visited Port Louis, temples, waterfalls, markets, volcanoes and truly got a taste of the real Mauritius that lay beyond the resort. Amazingly how many people at the resort had not ventured out the gates – they didn’t know what they were missing!
One particular thing we were ever so keen to see were the giant water lily pads at Pamplemousses Royal Botanical Gardens. Having read in travel guides, we were ready to be blown away. Its pretty obvious already from this build up, that it was a let down. Sadly, Mauritius had experienced a wet winter and therefore the lily pads were not as big as normal.
One thing that we hadn’t expected to see was Chamarel – which we didn’t know about until we were in Mauritius. It is basically a geological formation made up of dunes comprised of seven different colored layers. The colours were incredible.
As far as beaches go, Ile aux cerfs has to be one of the nicest we’ve ever seen. It was a lagoon in fact but that doesn’t stop it from being picture perfect and the spot to relax.
View more photos of our trips in our Photo Gallery.