Diary: Tuesday 10 May
Before I arrived in Mauritius, there was one thing I said to Mr Gochugaru…
…”what I need is a complete rest…please don’t take me to any sugar cane plantations”.
Well, that kind of talk was short lived. We have been out every day since arriving, and I have enjoyed every single view of the sugar cane plantations.
Realistically speaking, we aren’t really sit-by-the-pool-all-day people. It is a nice thought, but when the opportunity presents itself to see something interesting, we happily pack our sunglasses and head out the door.
We start the day by driving up to the very north of the island, to Grand Baie, where our Australian friends take a boat out to do an undersea walk. My impression is that this whole area is more densely populated with businesses and hotels than other areas.
There are many high end hotels including the Royal Palm where Mr Ban Ki-moon stayed on his recent visit to Mauritius. The beaches are lovely, with Pereybere to the east of Grande Baie highly recommended for its fine sand.
The beach at Grand Baie and the shops opposite on Rue Royale
Whilst waiting for the sea walkers, we head to the supermarket where the two aunties spend a happy hour shopping for souvenirs. I check out the rum section and it is wonderful, just like coming across all the different brands of chilli paste and bean paste on our trips to the Korean supermarket.
If you intend to bring some rum back home, then it is better to buy it in town. For some reason Mauritian rum at the airport costs much more and there is less of a selection.
A small selection of the rums at Super U supermarket in Grand Baie
Our guide Sudesh tells us that the Red Church in Cap Malheureux is a must. I am not certain why it is so popular but I guess because it is near a pretty beach and it has a red roof.
After this foray to the north coast, we head south to L’Aventure du Sucre for lunch and to visit the museum. Everyone found this interesting as the history of Mauritius can also be told through the history of sugar on this island.
First tip: buy your museum entry ticket (380 rupees) before lunch to get a complimentary cocktail with your meal. Second tip is to buy the guide book which costs 250 rupees, as this contains almost all the information you will see on the displays in the museum. Final tip is that the gift shop here has many lovely souvenirs you can pick up if you have no other time to shop elsewhere.
These metal cutters were used to cut the sugar canes by hand
Lunch…a selection of Mauritian food on a platter. First, a rum punch. The unique feature of this one was that demerara sugar was used as a sweetener instead of sugar syrup. When you suck the drink through the straw, you get a crunch of the granular sugar on your tongue.
Did I say I didn’t want to visit any sugar cane plantations? I never said that!
At the end of the day we have dinner in the hotel which features a different themed buffet each night. Tonight it was a Chinese buffet and fruits and lychee pie were part of the dessert table. The aunties dined with us and once again this was a happy end to a fun day out.