Change of plans - on to Mauritius

Trip Start Jan 12, 2008
Trip End Oct 01, 2008

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Flag of Mauritius  ,
Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I've already determined that I don't have enough time to drive or fly to Nosy Be (touristy beaches) or Morandava (Bilbao trees), so I wake up and decide that I'm gonna try and go to Mauritius early so that I can have an extra day on the beach!  We high tail it back to 'Tana and the nice lady at Air Mauritius assists me in switching my flight to one later today, for free. 

With only a few hours to spare, we make a pit stop for lunch, panoramic views and a tour of Rova Ambohimanga, the King's Palace. The palace is completely underwhelming and while it is highly touted as a great tourist attraction, the entire tour takes 15 minutes and that is prolonged because the guide (yes another sub-contracted guide) has problems speaking English so we do it in French. The 1st King of Madagascar (18th century about...) united a kingdom of 12 tribes by marrying a princess from each.  He stood a whole 4'6'' maybe based on the fact that my guide said she was taller than he was and she was probably technically a midget.  The accommodations were meager, at best, but he did have a large pool/bath that was filled daily by 70 virgins (although he actually only used it once a year!!!).  Bottom line, I'd rather sleep on the kitchen floor with Buddy than in his palace...

Next, we were off to the airport via the handicrafts market.  The market was just like the one I went to in Jo'burg and, as such, it seemed like more of the same for me.  I got a flag to put on my bag (I'm putting a flag from each destination on my backpack) and we were on our way to the airport just as the skies opened up.  There was a heartfelt good bye to Harry and Mr. Florent as they really were great! (Insert shameless plug here: check out for anyone who wants to travel to Madagascar and have the coolest guide ever!  He really set up a great trip for me without even knowing I was coming, so I have to give him credit where it is due... he was amazing!)

After the time change, I wound up getting my bag in Mauritius around 11pm.  With that in mind, I decided not to venture to the north of the island (heavy tourist area) where the cheapest hotels are about $400 per night.  Instead, I find a hotel/hostel in Mahebourg (near the airport) for a whopping $30, including breakfast!  It wasn't "nice" or "clean", but I guess I can't do the whole 4 and 5 star hotel thing for the entire year...

I fall asleep with all my windows open, the fan on, and still hot (no aircon as they call it) but content after hearing positive news about my Grandpa's recovery in the hospital!   Apparently he's had a surgery and the doctors think he will make a decent recovery. 
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