We had a family vacation at Mauritius last October. I had written a detailed account of our trip. A piece of the story appeared in Deccan Herald, Bangalore, last month which you will find under the heading “Bhajiyas in Mauritius” in my blog. I will post over the next few days some of the pieces in instalments with some pictures where ever possible. I hope you enjoy this mini series.
“You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius” said good old Mark Twain towards the end of the 19th century. This sentence was on my mind as I closed my eyes to catch a few winks on board Air Mauritius flight to the Green Island, Isle Maurice!
A cheery “Enjoy-your-vacation” from the immigration officer at the Sir Seeoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport as he stamped our passports and we were out of the terminal building into the car awaiting us. We commence on an hour’s drive northwards towards our hotel at Belle Mare located on the east coast.
My first impressions of Mauritius, which only got reinforced as our sojourn progressed was a succession of three colours, green, black and blue. The green of the lush sprawling sugarcane fields all across the island. Acres-and-acres of green fields. (Sugarcane farms occupy one-thirds the total land area of the island and two-thirds its cultivated area.) If not the sugarcane green then the varied shades of the green of the fields growing cauliflowers, potatoes, tomatoes, brinjals, pineapples and so many other varieties.
And the green of the majestic tropical forests. Tall trees (Ebony is my favourite), dense shrubs, and dozens of varieties of palms).
Mauritius is the peak of an enormous sunken volcanic chain stretching for hundreds of kilometers close to the South East coast of Africa, East of Madagascar. While there is no volcanic activity now, the volcanoes have left behind million and millions of black lava boulders.
Black patches standing out starkly in the green fields or jutting deep into the blue seas.
The description blue somehow does not do justice to the waters around Mauritius. The sea waters are anything but a mono-chromatic blue, right from the Sailway blue, to the Piece–of-sky blue to the deeper Prussian blue. Sometimes magically transforming the blue into myriad shades of green. And never is it a continuum of blues, right in the middle of a lighter shade you suddenly find the darkest shade of blue. Sometimes it felt that the sea was a expansive, liquid version of a paint company’s catalogue!
But whatever the colour of the water maybe, one thing is constant, the seas are clear, clear, clear. Crystal clear, just like a baby’s eyes!
And yes, one more colour, white, miles and miles of clear white sandy beaches!
To be continued