When I sat on Traux Biches and watched as the boats came and went I thought this was the highlight and it couldn’t get any better – I was wrong. When I sat on a bolder and dangled my legs over the precipice of Lion Mountain I thought no, this was the highlight – but I was wrong again. When I swam in the sea at midnight under the stars, I thought this was it, this was the point in which my trip had peaked – but nope, still wrong. Because as it turns out, the second I landed in Mauritius, I had flown unknowingly into the personification of perfection in its entirety and not one singular place or location was better than another. The island itself IS complete and total uncompromising paradise.
“Mauritius? That surprises me. I thought you’d go somewhere more adventurous” Truthfully I thought the same. This teeny tropical African island had never been on my radar or even crossed my mind as it always struck me as just an expensive honeymoon spot, but flicking through National Geographic I read an article and suddenly couldn’t think of anywhere more I wanted to be. “Mauritius Conscious? What’s that?” – I brought up a google page. The first screen asked “What type of holiday would you like?” I opted for “Adventure”. Suggested features included sea kayaking, hiking, surfing, local food tours, canyoning, self guided road trips, home stays… Oh and your trip is environmentally conscious, empowers local small business and guides, offsets your airline carbon emissions whilst immersing you head first into the culture – Et Voila! I was sold. No ifs or buts. I gave my contact – Romina – a budget, and she seamlessly juggled dates and prices with no hesitation.
Now, we filled my week with an awful lot but I still don’t feel I am anywhere near finished on the island. Had my flight been amendable I was ready to stay – and long term perhaps even indefinitely. Every time I look I find more and more hiking trails I want to trek, waterfalls I want to swim in, restaurants I want to eat at… the list could go on. What’s more, before this trip I was yet to visit a country where perfect strangers will wave as you drive past or greet you on the street. Yes, my GSCE French failed me miserably but it didn’t matter, my efforts seemed welcomed and appreciated nonetheless and were met with nothing but warmth: from the immigration officer wishing me a happy birthday and saying he’d put my present in the post, to the traffic officer who stopped me on a busy roundabout to tell me my Hindu bindi looked lovely and to Romina who was only ever a WhatsApp message away when I needed her help or advice. As a young girl traveling on my own I have never felt safer or more looked after by a nation.
So I’ve come away with a brand new list of all the stuff to do when I get back out there, a Skyscanner price alert on future flights a phone full of WhatsApp contacts of the people I met and a renewed sense of self direction and self worth. Mauritius has well and truly stolen my heart. You can bet your last rupee I would happily endure another 12 hour economy seat flight for just 1 more day back there. But for now … Au revoir mon petit sucre d’orge.
T: +230 5981 8746
La Case Mama – Pointe D’Esny
Andrea Lodges – Souillac