14 March 2019
It was a long day of travel yesterday so we did not book any excursions for today. But when we woke up refreshed and ready for action we changed our minds, but it was too late to book anything for today.
After a breakfast of fresh orange juice, fruit and yogurt, cheese omelette, croissant and coffee we made our way to an ATM to get some Mauritian rupees.
We then walked along the beach with the intention of returning later if the swimming looked good. The boats are amazing, just loosely anchored to the beach without fear of coming loose and drifting out to sea! I spotted a local man on his glass bottomed boat and asked, “Do you take people out snorkelling?”
“Yes,” he replied. “But today I have a group and I’m full. But,” he continued pointing to the boat, Tam Tam, next to his, “I will phone Sanjeev – he might be able to help you.” And he did! So an hour later Sanjeev collected just the two of us at the jetty near our hotel.
Now I’m not a boat kind of girl but I do like to be in the sea. And I love being on a coral reef watching those darling little fish swimming around. So I’m prepared to risk life and limb and endure the rocking just to be able to do that! The sea was a tad choppy but the weather was glorious. It was lovely to see all the activity on the water – couples having fun on peddle boats, sailing, a bit of water skiing and para-sailing. I really want to para-sail but The Earl’s nerves can’t take it. He flatly refuses to let me do it! In order to save him the stress, I’ve decided not to – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
A typical Mauritian Beach
When we got to the reef I donned my new alien type mask – it covers your whole face and you just breathe – no snorkel in the mouth. You can talk while it’s on too! Earl has dickie ears so he never puts his head in the water.
Sanjeev instructed me to stay near the boat, which side to stick to and warned me not to swim beyond a certain point.
So off I went and was instantly in heaven! I don’t have a waterproof camera so couldn’t take photies but in any case they wouldn’t do justice to what I saw. Most of them were black and white stripy ones but among them were others of the most amazing hues. When I looked up, I found myself way too
far away from the boat. I swam back toward it and breathlessly apologized for wandering too far only to be told – “Oh no, we moved the boat as we were right on the reef and we wanted you to be able to see more!” Panic over – but I was really out of breath from the long swim so Sanjeev gave me a noodle which made me feel more secure! I spent a lovely hour enjoying the fish and the coral and then it was time to go back.
The Earl was able to see the fish through the glass bottom of the boat and also by looking over the side. The sea was crystal clear. Before we returned to shore, Sanjeev gave us chunks of bread and said – Just hold it and see what happens. Well -a frenzy of fish came and nibbled it straight from our fingers! It was awesome.
Sanjeev did not take us back to the jetty but dropped us at the beach instead. We decided to say there for a while and I went into the sea for a few swims before we went to Sunset Cafe for a drink.
We returned to the hotel for an afternoon nap and then went out for a walk to explore the waterfront.
A big thrill for me was seeing some local Mauritian birds – similar to our red bishops. I think it’s called The Red Fody Bird.
A highlight for The Earl was watching the fishermen bring in their catch, clean them and display them for sale at an open air market.
It was thirsty work so we dropped into a local bar/restaurant for their Happy Hour Special.
Later in the evening we went to Sunset Cafe for dinner. We ordered a smoked marlin salad and a four seasons pizza and shared them. Both were totally awesome – but the marlin salad was the best.