Mauritius

Trip Start Apr 12, 2008
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Trip End Jul 20, 2008


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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

With Croatia behind us we headed for London and a final night with Jayne before taking off to Mauritius. Jayne knew exactly what travel weary Aussies need 90 days into their journey- a home cooked roast lamb and a comfy bed. Just what the doctor ordered.

Our idea of spending time in Mauritius resort for 7 days R & R turned out to be a great idea. Both of us were so tired we slept the whole first day and unfortunately missed one of the only sunny days, but we needed the rest. Pure luxury - accommodation booked in a lagoon view room and meals provided, no hassling for a bed and a meal mmmmmmmmmmm. Paul et Virginie Resort is on the northern tip of Mauritius fronting one of the many tropical lagoons - away from the hustle and bustle of towns and tourists. Brimming with staff to meet your every need. We spent the first few sunny days lounging around before deciding to hire a car and explore. Mauritius has 400km of roads, most very narrow with dogs and people and crazy buses sharing the bitumen. A bit unnerving at first but it did allow is to explore outside the sterile confines of the resort, markets in Quatra Boune, touristy Grand Baie, busy Port Louis, Pamplemousses botanic gardens and the rugged mountain plateau. The rural areas are not unlike the sugar cane and mountain areas around Murwillumbah, but with a splattering of poor roadside villages.
The Mauritian people have a wonderful friendly and optimistic outlook even though life seems tough. Indian in appearance, they speak French, Creole and only a little bit of English even though it is the official language.

By day 3 the wind and rain set in, but who's complaining - it was the only bad weather we had in 96 days and we had the comfort of the resort for chilling-out.
As there are no direct flights to Australia, we backtracked to Johannesburg to spend a eye opening (in many ways) 24 hours with our last hospitality host Ricky and his housekeepers. Only trouble is Ricky had to work and Joburg is no place for unaccompanied tourists. So we spent our day inside the razor wire and padlocked gates, sort of content to read books, watch a video and view the city from a distance. Maybe a hotel and guided tour would have been a better choice this time.
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Flew into Sydney to a warm welcome from the kids and family and spent a great day and a half, including a fabulous lunch out for Lance (Michael's father) 80th birthday.  A big finish to a big trip.  Off to start planning the next one!
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