Rodrigues

This island is probably one of my favourite hide-away!

Be ready for a 75 minutes flight before stepping in at Plaine Corail Airport. After clearing the immigration, time then stops. The unique picturesque sceneries will completely blow off your mind, the promise of lifetime memories. Just a pure bliss!

This eco-friendly island will steal your heart, and the locals are just genuinely caring. This time I took an apartment in Port-Mathurin via Airbnb and I was pleasantly surprised with the facilities offered. Forget about the high-speed internet or Netflix; this is the time for you to reconnect with yourself.

To move around, rent a car, but the best deal remains a 4×4, which costs about 1K per day. Off-road tracks will often lead you to beautiful beaches or viewpoints. A lot of non-residents wander around on scoots…I guess this is an idea that I need to dig in for next time.

Enjoy the slow life and take time to contemplate. Now and then immortalise the moments and get some excellent footage of the island. Try to avoid all the touristic places and be your sole memory-maker.

 

The 43,000 inhabitants mainly depend on fishing and agriculture. Seafood is available in abundance. The foodie within me will highly recommend the ‘Konokono’ salad. Other classics remain the octopus in any sauce, the local sausage, bio honey, various exotic pickles and the Rodriguan pie.

Must Do: A visit to the weekly Saturday market at Port Mathurin.

Staying here forever would be so easy, but i guess Mauritius will miss me so much that a return back to reality is inevitable. I am already looking forward to my next visit there and count on me to come up with some more tales about Rodrigues!

Mahebourg

For the ones who know me quite well, this was a long overdue post. Mahebourg is my home town and my birthplace too. Through this testimonial, I hope will add more visibility and exposure to my beloved village.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

Little fisherman village in the south-east coast of Mauritius, Mahébourg has been for a long time known to have harboured the Dutch and the French settlers when they first arrived in Mauritius. Its name itself was a tribute to Mahé de Labourdonnais; a well known French Governor.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

Mahébourg is a bustling little village especially on Mondays when you can discover a weekly fair. However, once you get impregnated with its unique lifestyle, you will enjoy the slow-life of this place. What I appreciate about my village is the proximity that we have between the natives, a prominent community where practically everybody knows each other.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

Coming from the international airport, you will first come across Beau Vallon, an outskirt of Mahébourg. A kilometre after, to your left, you will discover the Naval Museum of Mauritius, a restored castle built around 1772 which features the vestiges of the glorious battle of Grand Port. Did you know that it was the only naval battle won by Napoleon over the brits?

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

At the far end of Mahébourg, resides another suburb called Ville Noire which is linked to the main area by the majestic Cavendish Bridge, one of the longest bridge in Mauritius. I will suggest that you pay a visit to the ‘Biscuiterie Rault‘ which produces a unique local delicacy made from Cassava. The recipe came from the famous ‘Galette Bretonne‘.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

Pointe des Régates is well known for featuring the famous Mahébourg waterfront, a beautiful esplanade which faces the bay of Grand Port. Since I was a kid, I have always enjoyed this place, theatre to some exciting Sunday regattas, music concerts and festivals, trade fairs and most of all, a wonderful getaway for the locals, especially in summer.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

You cannot miss the small island called ‘Mouchoir Rouge‘ which stands just in front of the esplanade!

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

If you head towards Blue Bay, you will surely come across Remy Ollier, another beautiful landmark of this area, known for being the sanctuary of the legendary ‘Pirogues‘, the typical fisherman’s boat of Mauritius. Looking at the horizon, you will discover three beautiful islands: Ile de la Passe, Ilot Vacoas and Ile aux Fouquets.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

While heading towards Blue Bay, discover Cité La Chaux which offers some unique sceneries of the south-eastern coastal lines and stunning views of the bay of Grand Port. The ride through this locality is unique as it borders a natural wetland.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

Pointe D’esny resides one of the most breathtaking beaches of this side of the island, perhaps one of the best-kept secret. Just before the beach, you will find an embarkation point in front of the legendary Ile aux Aigrettes, a spectacular natural reserve for endemic fauna and flora of Mauritius.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

Blue Bay is one of the most popular beaches of the island and is the prime spot to watch all the planes leaving Mauritius since the airport tarmac ends just before the bay. Do not miss the glass bottom boat and snorkelling trip in the natural marine park next to the breathtaking Ile Des Deux Cocos.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

I hope that you have enjoyed the bits and pieces narrated to you on my home town. Please do not hesitate to like, comment and share.

Thank you!

Alexandra View Point

When we talk about Mauritius, we have the image of white sandy beaches and turquoise blue sea in our head. However, if you take the time to visit the private lands, you will be delightfully surprised about the island’s lush sceneries.

Every day I commute to the south-west, driving through the higher grounds into the preserved, natural park of Black River. This area is well known for being the natural habitat of monkeys and collecting the famous guavas known by Mauritians as ‘Goyave de Chine‘.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

Just after leaving ‘Grand Bassin‘ while heading in the direction of Black River Gorge viewpoint, resides another scenic perspective called the Alexandra viewpoint. Road signages will indicate you the way there.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

You may come across some few visitors now and then, shooting the breathtaking view of the southern coast or attempting to climb the wooden Watch Tower to see the waterfall which spills on your left-hand side. This place is also very appropriate for weekend brunches with the family as many facilities are available to accommodate the same.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

Do not be surprised to feel a bit cold while hanging around over there, the temperature can get as low as 15 degrees, and you may encounter some few drizzles too. Discover that beautiful rain forest which will immediately reconnect yourself to mother nature.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
instagram.com/toligreeneyes/

If you are a hiking nerd, then go for it, you will enjoy this place!

Ile aux Fouquets

A piece of History!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit this historical island situated in the south-east of Mauritius. A wonderful trip which started at Pointe d’Esny,  where a speed boat picked us up for a slow, yet enjoyable ride of 45 minutes through the shallow and turquoise water of the bay of Mahébourg. At one point, the trip became bumpy and exhilarating for we had to cross a big channel which once opened the passage for vessels to access the island. Finally arriving on the island, we landed on a beautiful sandy bank. Mind you, on the other side of the island, the sea is very rough, and it is not advisable for any swim!

Also known as Ile aux Fouquets, Ile au Phare was amongst the first small islands around Mauritius to be discovered in late 1500 by the Dutch settlers. L’Ile au Phare got its name from a lighthouse built in 1864, which was still operational until the beginning of the 20th century. Historically, Ile au Phare, situated within the bay of Mahébourg has fulfilled a strategic purpose during the naval battles at Grand Port.

This lighthouse guided the ships to the harbour of Mahébourg which was the original French settlement and remained an important port until the early 20th century. When the British decided to move all port operations to Port Louis on the opposite side of the island, the light station was abandoned and fell into ruin. The metal parts of its once gleaming orb are scattered all over it. The ruins provide shade from the sun or shelter from the wind though, and Ile au Phare is thus a favourite picnic spot of local people and fishermen. A colony of tropical birds is nesting right behind the lighthouse, in the steep part of the drop.

From outside the lighthouse, the view of phenomenal waves hitting hard the cliffs and other coral structures is just breathtaking!

2016-12-20-18-32-29-1409490219045277283_50376140

From the reverse angle, you can see Ile de la Passe. Between 20 and 25 August 1810, during the British campaign to capture the island (then called Isle de France) from the French, it was the scene of the Battle of Grand Port. The battle was a long and very hard-fought action between roughly equal forces of French and British frigates and, on balance, a defeat for the British, who lost four frigates, and one subsequently recaptured. The French squadron did not survive the British invasion of Mauritius.

2016-12-21-07-16-47-1409874907966524772_50376140

If you are visiting the south-east coast, make it a point to visit these islands. The ride from land to there is spectacular. From shallow waters to the real deep sea, you will enjoy every single minute of it. 

2016-12-21-18-42-58-1410220271076779426_50376140

Bel Ombre

The southern star!

A bit more than two years ago, I started working in that little village situated in the south of Mauritius. What sounds a bit weird to me at first, would soon become after, the playground for a fantastic journey of improvement and understanding. First of all the climate and the sudden change of weather can be somehow very disturbing. Be ready however to encounter some very windy winter days, ideal for kite surfing.

This village is an absolute beauty and has the whole feel of an old sugar cane estate. While entering the community, you will see majestic palm trees aligned on both sides of the road and sugar cane plantations in the private grounds. With the agricultural diversification, this area now showcases hotels, golf courses and nature reserves.

The villagers are very friendly and their art of living has remained the old-fashion slow Mauritian life! There are some few shops and small restaurants here and there but do not expect to find big shopping centres or malls. Should you be staying in one of the five hotels in that region, grab a bike and cycle towards the mythical Macondé viewpoint.

At dusk, be ready to take a stroll on the beach. You will see the most romantic and dramatic sunset ever.

Ile Des Deux Cocos

The apple of my eye!

The island is an absolute gem. If you haven’t visited that place so far, I strongly recommend you to do so. It is situated not far from my little village, in the south-east coast of Mauritius, close to the famous Blue Bay Public Beach.

instagram.com/toligreeneyes/
Ile Des Deux Cocos

This beautiful island was once called ‘Ile aux Bigorneaux‘, located ideally in the Blue Bay marine park. This untouched paradise showcases one villa which has been in the 1920s the theatre of lavish parties organised by Sir Hesketh Bell, the Governor of Mauritius.

Sandy beaches, volcanic rocks, endemic species and a magnificent view of the Blue Bay Cove will ultimately make you experience the beach life of Mauritius. The Blue Bay Marine Park is one of the exceptional places to snorkel in Mauritius, and you will discover a variety of corals and fish, and if you are lucky enough, you may encounter some giant tortoises and even manta rays!