This is another beach on the east coast, which is virtually unknown by tourists and is reserved almost exclusively for the locals. Its main asset is the calm water as it is virtually enclosed by the reef and the shape of the bay, however the water is very clean and wonderfully transparent, like most of the beaches on the island. You can access the beach directly from the road and park under the trees. Under the shaded trees, as in other beaches, there are picnic tables and other services.
The islet of Sancho is not a tourist attraction because of its beauty, or for its grandeur, as it is quite often not much more than a big pile of sand and vegetation-covered land. But this place, Jacolet Bay, in the southern part of the island, a place that was famous as a route for the Pirates of the Indian Ocean, places it firmly among the places of legend, with honors. It appears that there is a hidden treasure belonging to a French family who were attacked by the British 1810. Many have been to the little island in search of treasure, but no one has managed to find it. The photo of the salon is a gift for my friends ....... minube
One of the most unexpected corners of our visit to Port Louis was a Buddhist pagoda. At first, while reading about it I thought of the typical building with 7 overlapping roofs, but it wasn't actually like is. This is known as Kwan Thion Law, it is in the Rue Royale, and is a single room but also charming, no frills or tinsel. Tang Yun Sing, the historian, said his name comes from the combination of the names of three families together and it is one that has been around for over 100 years. The construction and maintenance of this sanctuary is very good. The bi ying (geniuses wall) is installed at the entrance to ward off evil spirits. In the past, the pagoda was a place of meditation and worship of the Chinese who came to stock up on food in Chinatown. Today, it stands aside, and is well preserved but hidden at the end of an alley that is guarded by a gate that anyone can open and you can only find it if you know the Chinese language or if someone directs you there, as was my case. It was the first pagoda I had visited, and as I said, different than I imagined, so my feelings are contradictory. On one hand I loved it, especially the shrine itself. On the other hand I'm sad that it isn't a multiple building Tejaditos. In any case, you can't have it all, so I look forward to another trip out East.
Chinatown is the place of the Chinese, looking semi-abandoned and has the characteristics of other Chinatowns in the world, but appearance is not everything, they neglect the outside to save material and spiritual wealth inside and equity, which becomes buried memories. Speaking of Chinatown, the foundation dates back to the Chinese who came to Mauritius in the year 1826, which formed the core of the Chinese diaspora and maintained a trade monopoly. Chinatown is also characterized by its food. During our stop at a corner store, we found the preparation of the famous specialties such as teokone, soybeans and what the Chinese call van yen, yen niouk, may saw, fish balls or meat served with broth and veggies. Chinatown is getting old. Now in its centennial celebration it was breathless and fighting to maintain its orientation relative to the new urban landscape. Its revenues are declining and all its images will soon be clichés. And it's werd, because a people like those of Mauritian, so accepting of other cultures, can do nothing to stem the rush of modernization and globalization.
The Company's Garden is in the center of the most striking contemporary city of Port Louis. It is a haven of peace and rest, within the relative bustle of a city like this, in front of the Mauritius Institute. This garden is known for its gigantic trees, which have speakers with a strident Indian music and insistent that demonstrates the preeminence of Hindi culture on the island. Its name comes from what formerly belonged to the garden India Company French. Being a swamp at first, the place was later transformed into a botanical park by Mahé de La Bourdonnais in the year 1735, and then repopulated by trees under the British government in the year 1828. Today, the people of Port Louis go there to rest, or have lunch under the shade of the tree. Other than that, the park is full of statues, busts and monoliths dedicated to the heroes of Mauritia and dating posters of poems and novels. Nice for a break and to have a drink before you go walking and exploring the city.
A viewpoint like this is not normal on the island, especially one with sea views. The truth is its location certainly makes it perfect place. It's perched on a ledge over the sea, between two large bays, behind the mountains and across the turquoise sea protected by the barrier coral reef where waves break furiously .... This area is one of the quietest in Mauritius, where it seems to have not yet been seen by tourist eyes. It's great to have a relaxed drive along this coastal road and do as the Mauritians do: stop wherever you want, get out of the car and breathe in the island, get inside the colours of the sea and put them in your memory. I do not know of anywhere with so many colours, and of course you hear nothing other than the tinkling of small waves that accidentally reach the sand.
Not on any map or in any travel guide, not even on the internet. It appears suddenly in the middle of a farm next to the road. You pass it and see something ... turn around with the car and now you see a little more. You stop on the side on the road, as there is no parking and you get closer. It seems to be one of those compositions that they put on Bethlehem on Christmas, this tiny cave that is put into a corner and it looks fake, made of cork .. The geology of the Earth allows the impossible to be possible, which can be a lava bubble up to the surface that explodes. Faith does the rest. A walker sees some light, others a diffuse into the rock, a request and a response and in a moment we have a chapel. What catches attention is the candor and innocence with which the images are composed, simple, as made by children. An altar of artificial flowers, figurines and candles, and a stone floor and earth, as it should be at first Fatima or Lourdes, or any of the Marian apparition places around the world. It makes you want to stay there and enjoy that innocence, unadorned faith that seems to be present in so few places. But we had to go our way, and we still think that we received a signal...
After swimming with wild dolphins, we spend the second half of our day-trip at Ile aux Benitiers. After the dolphins, we picked up a high-powered motorboat that took us to the island after stopping at one of the most photographed places in all Mauritius: a piece of coral that emerges from the water and is covered by vegetation. The contrast of the turquoise water and the shape and colors of the coral island are really enchanting and all you can do is snap photo after photo. It's magical! After landing, the guys in charge of the excursion built a little shack to protect us from the strong sun, and put a few pieces of wood inside for benches and a table. Then, they dug a hole in the sand and began to prepare lunch - simple but tasty menu of fruit kebabs, grilled prawns, and tender and juicy pieces of marinated tuna. For dessert, we had roasted bananas with chocolate and coconut and lychee juice. The views of the enormous mountain of Le Morne Brabant in the distance is an incredible sight. We strolled around the island, swam, snorkeled and finally returned in the afternoon.
This church is close to where we live which means, of course, that you never find time to visit it. That's what happened to us, we only used it as the milestone to not get lost and get home when returning from trips. So, one day, we decided to visit. The European influence is huge as you can see, at least on the outside, in the use of stone and the design of the facade. Inside is another thing. The ceiling beams are very Mauritian, as we have seen in other temples, with many stained glass windows. I was also struck by the relative simplicity in terms of the number of images of saints, it was not overloaded. The prayers were dedicated to a parishioner at the back of the church, who was in a fully religious trance, rocking forward and backwards. It's their way of understanding religion, inherited from their Mozambican ancestors. The church is surrounded by a park and the flowers are in stark contrast with the cold gray stone of the church making it much warmer.
This sail-shaped island we found on our way to the island Gabriel. It is about 4.5 km from the north coast of Mauritius, and is a small island (about 76 hectares) which has been declared a nature reserve by the Reserves Act in the year 1983. It is home to many birds, turtles and iguanas, some amphibious as they have survived here as if it were a copy of the Galapagos, and has even suffered their own attacks, since the introduction of rats, cats and dogs almost over to its population. The side that usually can be seen with sail boats and diving requisites is the west, where there is a very interesting "photogenic" aspect. This is the "Butt of Madamme" , just look at the crack that appears on the cliff of the pictures .... According to the captain, there are remains of a Hindu temple on the island, as well as a small dock. My curiosity piqued, but I preferred to admire from afar, without intruding in their life ....
Blue Bay is a coastal region, located very near to Mahebourg, in southeast Mauritius. On weekends it gets quite busy and people will come to spend the day under the trees and in small quiosquitos which are located in front of the sand. The whole area is pretty close to the sea and there are luxury villas and some other resort hotels and apartments. So far, the area has resisted falling into becoming a tourist resort. The area offers diving trips to see corals and fishas well as various water sports. There are some souvenir stalls and snack bars around the beach. It's a very nice place to spend the day. The water and sand are very clean, as is the case in 90% of the island's beaches
If I'm honest, I didn't expect to like the park I came to, and I went with the idea that it would be a mere tourist attraction. However, as I was learning about the place, my opinion changed and the hours passed almost without noticing. The park is not very big but is structured to fit a variety of strategically placed habitats. Donkeys, goats and deer are in semi before entering the park. Once you pay the entrance fee, you see crocodiles, some curious fruit eating bats and turtles (huge and heavy, up to 250 kg, all born in captivity and that the recovery effort has yielded good fruit)s. After feeding them vegetables (a carer payment, jejejej) and learning about the various stages from birth to adulthood, we passed several ponds with huge crocodiles and some Japanese carp ponds then we stopped for a while to enjoy small monkeys that are semi free, as are the majority of animals in the park. Go under the restaurant, which oddly serves crocodile meat prepared in various ways - this was shocking to me, because I thought that breeding them and then eating them was a contradiction. We continued and got to see several ponds with eels and turtles, and a recovered past century locomotive. A confined space to show a magnificent collection of insects from around the world that cover the walls. We reached the end of the route almost without realizing it, but having enjoyed this nature foray of the Mascarene we had so much more understanding and knowledge about where we spent our holidays. At the exit there was aa boutique store with a variety of very interesting gifts, especially the crocodile leather (for those ve like it, I am very sorry). The truth is that the place is very interesting, especially if you go with children, ve will enjoy it the most. And those ve are not children also.
The Lord Shiva is the world's biggest statue. It is very impressive, appearing among the trees, especially if you haven't heard of it, it appears right in the heart of the island. Since ancient times it was believed that that this statue was a supernatural power sustaining the universe. This strong power is worshiped by all people of this world as "The God", irrespective of caste, creed, race or religion. No one has been able to define the shape, size and form of that power, however, the Hindu religion has imagined God in human form and simple, the Great God, 'Lord Shiva'. To revere is crafted from this gigantic image of 38 meters high, set in a plaza for prayer with capacity for 50,000 people. The statue is facing west, as stated in the Hindu religion, and facing the sun, Lord of Life. Standing with his trident in the middle of the lake, is a faithful copy of the statue of Shiva Sursagar in Vadodara, Gujarat, India. It was first opened in 2007, and more statues of this size are expected to come.
This curious but crucial area in Mauritian history can be overlooked because it is barely signposted. If you go along the coastal road, just past the town of Vieux Grand Port, which also has the remains of fortifications and houses, at the bridge that crosses the river, go left, stop at the roadside and walk towards the bay. On one side there is a small dock with a monolith which commemorates the first landing by the Dutch on the island in 1516. The Dutch didn't really colonize because the slaves brought from Africa escaped to the mountains on their arrival. In order to monetize their presence on the island, the Dutch developed the slave trade in 1641 which brought slaves from Madagascar, few came to the island during this occupation. In 1598, a Dutch squadron, under the command of Major Van Wybrand Warwick, came to the island, which was named Mauritius after Prince Mauritius Van Nassau of the Netherlands. Hence the importance of this historical point, apart from being located in a beautiful location between the sea and the mountains.
It is said that the god Shiva, and his wife Parvatti, flew over Mauritius bearing on his head the Ganges River, he was so moved by her beauty that a few drops fell to the ground, forming the Grand Bassin (Ganga Talao). If we consider this legend, we realize that it is the most sacred place in the world outside India. This is a source of great pride for 500,000+ Hindus who make up half the population of the island. When we went there was almost no one there, the odd faithful making a small offering, but not much more. Most likely they were preparing for Diwali, the festival of lights. It is not really touristy, and I advise you not to go if you don't have respect and can't observe basic etiquette rules. Recall that is a very, very sacred and any unseemly gesture could be offensive. So be silent and respectful but with curiosity. Hindus understand that we are interested in their ways, and if have the right attitude they invite us to share everything. If we put aside the legend, the story goes that the sacred Ganges water mixed with Ganga Talao in 1972, which ensured its prominence between several sacred places of the island and the world. Ganga Talao is formed in the crescent-shaped crater of an extinct volcano more than 1,800 meters above sea level, it is also known for its exotic wildlife such as the giant eel lake and lots of fish. There are several temples around the lake which act as a religious complex, statues of Hanumman, Lakshmi, Ganesh and others, are always filled with gifts and flowers. There is a custom that makes the faithful come to Lake barefoot, and make offerings of small statues, flowers and fruits to the gods. A final consideration, you must take shelter, because the altitude and vegetation causes low temperatures for most of the year.