Saint Petersburg – Paris – Amsterdam – Mauritius. Trust me, it’s been an exhausting 24 hour-journey before reaching this sunny island: Mauritius, named after a Dutch Captain in the XVII century.
At my arrival, my friend Lomesh was waiting for me, we soon reached the car rental and after waiting for about 40 min, I got my Suzuki Celerio. The cost was about $400 for 10 days… Decent. Lomesh lead me first, to a local bazar where we had some sort of Indian drink (I can’t remember the exact name but it’s made out of coconut juice, goat milk, brown sugar and passion fruit seeds. Very tasty and refreshing (especially with ice))
Soon after, we dropped my luggage at his place, I had a quick shower and we took the road again, heading to “Grand Bassin” or “Ganga Talao” in Hindi, a sacred lake where it’s forbidden to swim as it’s a place of prayer and meditation. It was discovered by Pandit Jhummon Giri Gossagne Nepal, a Hindu priest who had a dream in which he saw a holy lake which was connected to the sacred river Ganges in India. Ever since, this place is one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage place outside India and temples and statues surround the lake. The 33-meter statue of Shiva: The God of creation and his wife Durga, Ganesh, Kali and many others. We went on top of the mount to have a panoramic view over the site and we see on our way families of monkeys, fortunately, we had banana chips to offer them)
We drove further to Charamel, where we had a quick stop to have a look at the panorama: we found an interesting spot where you could see the mountains (former volcanoes, long asleep), the coast line and this light blue ocean. It was absolutely mesmerizing; I could watch it for hours. After driving further, we found a lovely restaurant where I had king prawns and mango salad, Lomesh had a mixed salad, he’s vegetarian. The best about this restaurant was the panorama over “The Benitiers island”: located just opposite “La Gaulette” beach, surrounded with a long white sandy beach and a dense forest in the middle. I told Lomesh: “We need to go there! That is a must!” He agreed but another day, today, the Mauritian P.M. was supposed to give a speech to “Bois Cheri”, (where Lomesh is living) to celebrate the 100-year-old anniversary of a Hindu School. Him and his family were invited, so there was no way he would skip that. When we arrived there, the place was small but it was overcrowded with cameramen, journalists, priests, families… It was way too much! I said to Lomesh that I would go for a quick nap as I was exhausted from my journey and I would join later on for the diner there. Two hours later, I was still sleepy but I walked to the place where Lomesh was waiting for me, I had Indian dish, some sort of Gulash with chicken that I had to eat the Indian way: of a piece of paper with my bare hands. Mauritians normally roll the food with their hands to make a little ball and eat it. I tried but to be honest, I was not very skillful… I asked for a large spoon instead. We finished late and I was very happy to find my large comfortable bed. Tomorrow we will head to the capital: Port Louis! Yeah!