Making The Most Of Our Last Days.......

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Mauritius  ,
Sunday, December 2, 2007

Our Mauritius stop over was probably very different from most people's image!

For a start it was no swanky hotel on the beach, but rather La Bamboo, a guest house quite a distance from the beach in the town of Mahebourg. Whilst the idea of relaxing on the beach had some merit, our plan was to experience a bit of the real Mauritius, not just a multi national resort.

We arrived at about 9.30pm and immediately fell into conversation with our fellow guests, who were sitting around the family kitchen table, Cyril from Switzerland, Chris from UK and Alex and Marian from Germany. They had eaten with the family and were now swapping travel stories and planning to watch a DVD. We moved into the lounge and watched the movie Madagascar, enjoying some laughs. Next morning at breakfast, we said goodbye to Cyril who was heading off to see a waterfall, then to one of the other beaches to stay. New arrivals of a Canadian couple and their two teenage daughters took up some talking time, then Alex, Marian, Chris and ourselves decided to go and look at the markets, the waterfront and go to the bank.

Alex and Marian were going to catch a bus to their next destination at 1.30pm, Chris and ourselves decided to join them for part of the journey, so we could all see the waterfall together. Local buses are very cheap and cover most of  Mauritius even the airport. We grabbed some fruit and boarded the bus, which took us on a slow two hour journey to the town closest to the waterfall. Luckily there was a five seater taxi waiting and Chris negotiated a fare that would take us to the waterfall, then onto a crocodile park that had giant turtles. The waterfall was nothing special, but the park was excellent and we had a great time together. Having Chris, Alex and Marian to sight see with was very relaxing for us, given all three had a pretty good command of French and conducted most of the negotiations.

After arriving back at the bus stop, we said our goodbyes to Alex and Marian and they caught their bus, and a few moments later our bus came along to take us back to Mahbourg.That night we enjoyed a sunset drink on the roof top and then traditional Mauritius food at the guest house and the company of the Canadians and Chris.

The next morning was pack up time, as our flight to Australia was due to leave in the evening. At Chris's recommendation we decided to spend the day at Blue Bay, a beautiful public beach and caught the bus there. We relaxed and had a fabulous, long, slow, lunch at a restaurant and while eating, our fellow guests, the Canadians spotted us, so we enjoyed some chit chat and travel talk. After such a beautiful lunch we decided we would walk all the way back, to walk off the calories, a distance of some seven or eight kilometres, which we could do mostly along the beach.

Arriving back, with not much time to spare, we finalized our bill and our hosts gave us a lift to the bus that would take us to the airport. The bus didn't look ready to go so Heather raced off to get some fruit and next minute Avan is frantically shouting that the bus has left - hurry up! The bus driver had said to Avan leave the luggage on the bus, go and get her and meet us at the next bus stop! The next bus stop was to the side of the markets, not too far, so it all worked out and gave the bus driver and conductor a good laugh as we hightailed it to meet the bus - all hot and bothered. They didn't know we had already had our exercise for the day - and some.

It was poignant to be at our last airport before Perth. The adventure over, and us not ready for it to be. We freshened up in the toilets, for the long overnight flight ahead and played the usual airport waiting game.
Finally we arrived in Perth and met with the up scaled WA customs. No green line, "just walk through" any more, all bags are x-rayed and everybody questioned. There was a moment of dread when we realized we hadn't declared our Vegemite, packet soup and tea bags. We simply forgot we had them, since we didn't have our luggage for most of the trip. We belatedly volunteered the information, explaining they had come from Australia anyway and we were waved through.

So, the end of our African adventure. four and a half weeks on the go, traversing huge stretches of Africa, has been an amazing experience. It was challenging to manage without our luggage and even though we were travelling light at 13 kilos for each of our packs, we have learned through hard experience that we can manage with less.

Now to the planning of our next travels!
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