Mauritius

My family and I visited the beautiful Indian Ocean island of Mauritius in 2015. Known for its for its beaches, lagoons and reefs - you can imagine I was excited to spend the December holidays experiencing all this island had to offer.

We visited the whole of Mauritius in the space of four days. Its a very small island which is abundantly blessed with lush rainforests, magnificent waterfalls, adventurous hiking trails and amazing wildlife.

We stayed on the east end of the island at a seaside hotel called Trou d'Eau Douce, close to Palmer Beach. We booked sea facing rooms and the warm and crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean was a mere one minute walk from my doorstep. The hotel was nothing short of spectacular, with top notch service! It has a spa, a shop, live entertainment, Wifi in public areas and a heated pool on site. The people and staff of the hotel were beyond friendly and provided a comfortable and homely experience for us. This was my view from my room.

Mauritius is generally a very spiritual place - with majority of the people being of Hindu faith. On or long drives through the different parts of the island I spotted many centres of worship - these being churches, mosques, temples for both Tamil and Hindu citizens. It was a scene to see all these places of worship located so closely together and so beautifully designed and maintained. We visited the Grand Bassin where the sacred lake, which is about 1800 feet above sea level situated two kilometres to the east of Le Pétrin. The crater lake is one of the most important hindu pilgrimage sites outside of India, as well as the very well known 108 feet Shiva Statue at Ganga Talao - located south of the island. It was an overwhelming yet refreshing experience.

Further down south we visited the grounds which is the home of the seven colour sands. The seven coloured earth is a natural phenomenon and a prominent tourist attraction. The colours evolved through conversion of basaltic lava to clay minerals. It is a relatively small area of sand dunes comprising sand of seven distinct colours (approximately red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow).

The only thing which saddened me a bit was the poverty in Mauritius. I came to the conclusion, from talking to many locals, that the island is built for tourists and not for the actual people who occupy the island and keep it alive. As their tourism sector is their flagship industry, much of the businesses, houses, cars and food is priced for tourists. Locals cannot afford to live a quality life due to this. There seems to be no middle class - you are either extremely poor or very wealthy. Majority of the people in Mauritius are poor. For people like us, with an exchange rate which doubled our rands, things were still very expensive and unaffordable.

This is some of the city in Mauritius - Johannesburg town times 10 and the authentic indian dishes we ate throughout our stay. The best tasting curries and eastern food can be found here! I wouldn't say it's a shopping destination - but you can find some amazing deals on the street - and luxury brands are sold north of the island at a place called Grand Baie - however still too expensive!

Mauritius is probably the most obvious and ideal honeymoon destination - there was at least 10 couples, mainly from other parts of the world, who were on honeymoon there. I will not recommend this destination for a honeymoon but ,definitely a little part of the world you should visit if you crave adventure and experience!

Peace&Love

Prelene

XO

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