Thursday, 4 September 2014

not such a jolly holiday blog

When MP's Dad died he requested that his ashes be scattered at his favourite place in his birthplace Mauritius so he left some money for the 3 boys to travel to Mauritius to do this. MPs youngest brother took out the ashes earlier in the year (another free trip) and plans made for us all to fly to Mauritius in September where a service would take place and Henri's ashes laid to rest.

So I write this from Mauritius.

MP and I arrived late afternoon on Saturday 30th August after a hard 16 hours of travelling. After collecting the hire car it was a short drive to the villa we had rented. We were met by the owner and the maid who had kindly prepared a meal for us, so after dinner and a shower it was off to bed with the mosquito net wrapped tightly around the bed.















Huge cactus tree in the garden






The house we have rented








Sunday 31st we went to find the local supermarket to stock up on provisions. I love exploring supermarkets in other countries, the unknown products, the familiar brands and fascinating vegetables. After stocking up we went to the villa for a lazy day. I needed to put my feet up as my ankles and calves were so swollen from the flights. In the evening we walked to the only local eatery where I had some oyster type thing which was very nice.

Monday 1st September we drove to the recommended Maheborg (My Burr) market. Busy, hot, smelly like most markets. Into KFC for a cool down and free wifi then a drive  along the coast road south of the island. Almost home we took a detour to Blue Bay to check out the 
snorkeling potential but got distracted by the most gorgeous friendly stray pup who wanted nothing but a cuddle. So awful to see all the dogs there sheltering in the shade, terrified of the people walking past. God knows what they are subjected to!

Now if like me your mental model of Mauritius is white sands and turquoise seas you wouldn't be far wrong but what the brochures don't show you is the utter poverty here, the inhabitable tin shacks that people live in, the stray emaciated dogs, the high unemployment or the drug problems.

You may say this can be seen in most countries and you'd be right but you kinda expect it in Thailand, which is improving. Mauritius is basically a third world country telling the world it isn't. So really not what I was expecting and a real shock. Consequently I am struggling with it. 

I find it upsetting to see the poverty, the people and dogs with no chance or life and the hypocrossy of those with housemaids/cooks. What makes them better than others?

The capital Port Louis was our destination Tuesday 2nd. Just an hour from our base in the south at Pointe D'Ensy via the M1 (evidence of the British occupation) Port Louis is a modern developed harbour front for the docking cruise ships and tourists (doubt locals could afford to eat or shop here) with a mix of colonial and modern buildings behind forming the centre.

We headed to the market as all tourists do but didn't stay long as it was hot and the constant hassle from stall holders became a bit annoying. A walk round China town, a call in to the Mauritian institute and museum to see the (badly) stuffed bird collection and the dodo, coffee on the waterfront and we had seen all we wanted so set off back to the villa. A quick stop at another supermarket to buy some dog food for the pup and a stop at Blue Bay to feed her.

I'm tired now and it's taking ages to type this on a tablet never mind add in photos, so enough for tonight and days 4 and 5 tomorrow. Till then x

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