Photo Credit: HusbandTravel is everything I have always wanted, waiting patiently for my turn to explore. Material objects are worth the rat race for many, but experiences are what I crave. Mauritius was everything I expected and more. A different take on the Africa I know with its turquoise waters and swaying palm trees, that makes me love this beautiful diverse continent even more. I pray my next destination will be another African country. Here I am ready to share my experience with you. Mauritius will always pull at my heartstrings, so where do we begin?
Mauritius is Summer. Stepping out of the airport, I remember being smacked in the face with such intense humidity that I almost immediately started sweating. I was in no way prepared for this heat, wearing my sneakers and jeans. My husband smirking at me lugging around our jackets, the jackets I insisted on – just in case there was the rarity of slightly cooler weather. Over the next few days, we had temperatures reaching the highs of a mere thirty degrees Celsius. Nothing I haven’t experienced since relocating to the East Coast but the constant heat knocked me out. My hair misbehaved, any attempts of applying make-up became futile and the only highlighter I unwillingly wore was au naturale sweat edition. Pack light – trust me.
Mauritius is a French Affair. Sure, of ourselves, we embarked on this trip assuming English was widely spoken along with French/Creole. Fools we were, carrying around six basic phrases in French and then realising we needed to know more. A lot more. The islanders speak French and Creole primarily, a mesh of local tongue and French. English is secondary to them. Accents were so thick but beautiful, that even after being spoken to in English we still weren’t sure what was said. We had underestimated the power of language and vowed never to visit another country until we could at least communicate efficiently. Everyone told us we would be okay with the language barrier before we flew, but we weren’t. Our cab driver, a colourful chap too spoke probably the best English we heard on the Island and I am grateful we found him. Do buy a phrase book.
Mauritius is Fast and the Furious. I have always thought that South African taxi drivers were an acquired taste, but here I was blood draining from my face as our driver overtook three vehicles with a bus on the oncoming lane. The roads are long and winding, people barely slowed down and I honestly said a prayer under my breath a few times. Everyone is in a rush and yet not quite in a rush at the exact same time. Dangerous driving, but everyone was still so easy going. As if it was expected not to use their brakes, miss other vehicles narrowly and be on their merry way. In fact, we had even seen our driver do some dodgy lane changing with the police just casually gazing at us. Expect amateur racecar drivers.