Chapter 4/4: Mauritius, all inclusive for the Olgiatis
The tropical cruise, Port Louis and final goodbyes
After spending two lazy days at the hotel, it was time to go on the second booked tour, the tropical cruise to Ile aux Cerf.
If the excursion to the South West was great, this was fantastic.
I didn't know what to expect, and since I was never a big fan of boats I just hoped that they would provide us food or drink on the way to the island.
We visited the Waterfalls at the Grande Riviere before embarking the catamaran. The day was ideal, hot but not boiling and with a lazy breeze. We stopped to snorkel, and for someone like me, who never did if before, it was quite an experience. I never realized how the fish strangely looks at you while you're invading gently its territory!
Again we met the same South African couple and while the ladies were talking, the boys were drinking the local beer.
Food was served on the boat, and there was plenty to choose from the BBQ they provided.
We arrived on the crowded Ile aux Cerfs Island, a notorious destination for tourists staying on the east cost due to the perfect beaches (coral-free) and even warmer sea, for our 2-3 hours stay. We decided to do some para sailing, available on the beach, and again, it was another new experience for me. The take off was painful like hell (I hurt my neck!) but once we were up, everything changed. If some days ago we were exploring the submarine world, this time we were invading the birds' realm.
After the short "flight" we were back at the beach to relax before returning to our hotel with the same catamaran.
The whole day was really cool, and the amount of pictures taken is there to prove it!
We visited the capital, Port Louis, only the last day.
After a bad experience with taxi some days earlier (they left us at a fashion store where they tried to force us to buy some 150 pounds worth of clothing in not a very polite way), we decided to go straight there without stopping to shops on the way.
Once in Port Louis, we used the Lonely Planet map to visit the town in as little time as possible, just to say that we actually went there. The city wasn't really impressive, the waterfront was nice but the more we walked the more we tried to visit it quicker since we soon realize it was a dud. Yes, some buildings are nice, but if you're not into architecture you would just take a quick picture for the sake of it.
The most important feature of the town was the market.
So far I didn't really talk about how to buy stuff from Mauritian. They expect you to try to get the lower price, and they are ready to drop it to a certain amount. As a rule of thumb, as soon as they tell you a price you should slice it at least by 30%. They will moan but they will know they can still make a profit. Then you just bargain until you get to a price that you think is fine (usually 60% less of the asking price, whatever it is). They will moan and cry but eventually, if they can still make a profit, they will even follow you in the market to give you the shirt/souvenir/item at the price you wanted.
The Central Market was just more and more of this madness, in an enclosed place, with so many different smells in the air. No wonder we stayed only 20 minutes before escaping in search of fresh air.
We had better luck at the National Pamplemousses Gardens. There were so many different kinds of strange plants, including giant Victoria Amazonian water lilies, nice on the surface but quite scary under the water (kind of the plant in the Little Shop of Horrors). It was our final occasion to relax, take some pictures and be surrounded by typical Mauritian plants, without having to interact with the local people.
Then, it was time to go.
Yes, it was sad, since we knew that after this short break (8 nights) our life, with all the joys and problems would start. But I guess this is the whole point of the honeymoon, to be able to have one final break before moving on. Just like school summer holidays.
Hello Lindsey, my lovely wife, let's start our life together now