Picnic and hotel hopping
Trip Start Mar 26, 2012
32Trip End Apr 29, 2012
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As I drove out of Quatre Bornes, I saw that there was road work ongoing so that the main road to Flic en Flac was closed and we needed to follow a detour. It was rather slow going, on narrow back streets where traffic going one direction often had to pull over and stop to let vehicles coming the other direction swing around parked cars or pedestrians.
After lunch, several of us drove up the hill behind Flic en Flac to look at a house we might rent to use as a meeting hall for services this fall. The house, brand new, in fact not fully finished, has a very large and nicely done main room which would be suitable for up to 30 people, more than we usually have in Mauritius. We talked briefly with the owner; he said the dates would be open, so we’ll reserve this house with its beautiful view as our meeting hall. The church members here on Mauritius hope they will have some visitors for the festival; that really helps make the time special for them.
We headed back to the beach where the rain had started again and heavier. We gathered up the picnic supplies and headed the cars. Then we drove farther down the beach strip to two hotels that could be offered as lodging to visitors from abroad. These two are a little more expensive that the first one we saw, but are located right on the beach “les pieds dans l’eau” as the French like to say; “your feet in the water.” One of them also had several conference rooms, which we visited. As a manager prepared to take us around, Jocelyn whispered to me in French, “speak English with him – that always impresses Mauritians.” English-speakers in Mauritius usually have more money to spend than French-speakers, so they attract more attention.
The beach hotels made me dream a little. They would be magnificent places to spend a few days: quick easy access to the beach, lovely views of the ocean and the waves visibly breaking on the protective reefs 500 meters off shore; nicely appointed rooms, delicious buffets. I thought how nice it would be for my family to come here some time, though due to various needs, we’ve never kept the Feast in Mauritius to this point. As we gazed out to sea we could see a heavy rainstorm complete with flashes of lightning heading our way.
By the time we finished our visits it was late afternoon, and time for people to start toward home. I shook hands all around and thanked everyone for the kind and warm welcome they had extended. They asked me to pass their greetings on to church members in other parts of the world, especially those I had yet to visit in Africa. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit Mauritius again in the autumn (northern hemisphere).
I started driving back to Quatre Bornes when the terrific downpour finally hit the island. Visibility became difficult, road traffic slowed to a crawl. Water ran in streams across the roads. As I finally reached the detour area in town, standing or running water was up to six inches or more deep in places. I drove as carefully as I could, avoiding the deeper places to try to keep the car from drowning out. Finally back in town, near the hotel, traffic was totally snarled around the market. I had to park temporarily on the street, and come back later to put the car in the lot.
This was my last full day in Mauritius. If all goes as planned tomorrow I will fly on the Madagascar where I’ll have an overnight layover.