A room with a view

Several years ago, my dear late cousin and I traveled half-way around the world to visit her daughter who lives on the island of Mauritius. Since the trip takes up to 43 hours of travel from the East Coast of the United States (particularly when you have an unexpected 11 hour delay at Heathrow Airport), we stayed 3 weeks before venturing back to our world. The experience was breathtaking once we got past the lack of sleep and jet lag.

A monsoon had just passed, making the sea very choppy. You can see the breakers on the reef past what looks like a pirate ship.
A monsoon had just passed, making the sea very choppy. The salt sea blew in during the storm and made the palms very sorry-looking. You can see the breakers on the coral reef past what looks like a pirate ship. Interestingly, as we snorkeled around the reef, we saw what happens when an El Nino heats the sea; most of the coral was dead.

The photo above and the one below are the rooms with a view, as my cousin’s home is looking out from behind the picket fence. The air is sweet with the smell of blossoms along with the salty tang of living by the sea. Colorful birds and bird songs so different from our species in the states are everywhere. Most of the homes here are behind beautiful volcanic rock walls with climbing vines and flowers and in some cases graffiti – yes, even in this paradise.

A calmer day!
A calmer day!

During our stay, we visited a lot of places, too many to display here. Port Louis is the main city of Mauritius. I’ve never seen so many motorcycles; whole families ride them, businessmen conduct their business from the box built on the back – all kinds of food and drink were available from these mobile food ‘trucks’ along with other crafts and goods. Since there are so many cultures here: French, Indian, Chinese, expats, I felt as if my head was on a swivel wherever we visited. So different from my non-worldly sheltered existence. Port Louis has a thriving fabric trade where one way of delivery was by lowering bolts of fabric from the factories above the street. A huge farmer’s market with artfully arranged produce created a still life everywhere you looked.

It felt like everyone there had a motorcycle. So much cheaper than importing a car!
It felt like everyone there had a motorcycle. So much cheaper than importing a car!

 

Farmer's Market
Farmer’s Market, the currency is rupees.
Fabric being delivered to the stores below.
Fabric being delivered to the stores below.

On a sultry, humid day, we traveled La Route du The – visiting a tea plantation. There were orchids growing along the side of the road, very much like ones that we strive to cultivate in greenhouses. The palms, bamboo, grasses, trees were all so verdant because there is no lack of rainfall here!

Tea Fields where each leaf is hand-picked.
Tea Fields where each leaf is hand-picked, no machinery in the fields.
The day was overcast, keeping the temperatures down.
The day was overcast, keeping the temperatures down.
These tea pickers were finished for the day and were on their way home, not minding at all as I snapped their photo.
These tea pickers were finished for the day and were on their way home, not minding at all as I snapped their photo (well at least one didn’t mind).
The vanilla beans are grown under shade cloth to protect them from the heat of the sun.
Vanilla beans are grown under shade cloth to protect them from the heat of the sun.
These goats were being driven through a village to their barn after pasturing in the hills.
These goats were being driven through a village to their barn after pasturing in the hills. Note one of the rock walls in the distance.

I plan to visit again, as this beautiful island is calling (kind of like Bali Hai from South Pacific-click to hear the song).

For my followers that are used to only getting two or three blogs a month, this month is different. WordPress is holding a ‘Writing 101 – Building a Blogging Habit’ in which I’m participating. For the next 19 weekdays, I will publish what I’ve written (if I deem it good enough) from suggestions and tips that I’m learning.

16 Comments

  1. My cousin’s daughter that lives in the U.S. tried to post a reply and even though she joined WordPress in order to do so, could not post. Her response to this blog is truly lovely, so I’m posting it for her:
    So here it is: (on room with a view….oh! I wish I had been there!):
    “Barb, I waited till I returned home from NC – visiting Carly – to look at and respond b/c I wanted the full view (vs. cell phone view). And then I couldn’t see for the tears clouding the view. I could only think, “When Barb saw this…mom was there too.” THANK YOU for giving me the view. I am so grateful that you were able to go there with mom (when I was in the “busy-years”) and you could share this with her and then pass on to us. I have a nice painting in my possession of the same view from Susanna’s window, and it just doesn’t hold a candle to the one you saw and shared with mom. But it is (how can it NOT be?) beautiful – whichever way you look. Always special through your lens. In fact, I’ll be counting on you taking me places I don’t expect are on my itinerary at this point. And you do a great job. Keep it up—-you’re my heroine. Love you…W”

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    1. You’re welcome. There was so much more, having saris made, swimming at dawn in water that was the same temperature as the air – felt like I was floating. I could go on and on.

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    1. It certainly is. I traveled back east a couple weeks ago for Sue’s daughter Emily’s wedding ( the only one not married when Sue died). Susanna and Marc were there and reiterated an open invitation for a LONG visit. Probably in a year or two I’ll take them up on it and stay at least two months if not more.

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  2. Hi Barb,

    I love these photos. What beautiful sea green colors! You were really able to have a cultural experience! Did you bring back some tea from that visit?

    I am looking forward to your blogs.

    Carol

    _____

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    1. Hi Carol. Yes, I did bring back tea. We walked through the whole place where there was ancient machinery: dryers, conveyors, and tea baggers. Lots of manual work. Then there was a tea room overlooking the valley and you could see the sea in the distance. I recently saw the daughter we went to see and there’s an open invitation to return. This time when I go (no plans yet) I will stay at least a couple months, maybe more.

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    1. Thanks very much. The trip was made sweeter because of being with my cousin who died six months later. Taking opportunities as they come is a motto of mine. So glad your enjoyed the post.

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  3. Mauritius looks and sounds wonderful…and warm! At the moment, I’m freezing. Having managed to catch a cold, I can’t sleep tonight, so decided to read some more of today’s Writing 101 posts. Since I live at 10,000′ in the Colorado Rockies, and since it is nearly midnight, it’s pretty chilly in the kitchen right now. Looking at that blue ocean and bright sky is a treat. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks very much. I’m an hour behind you as I’m in the Eastern Sierras in California now. I was just thinking before sinking into bed that I’ve probably read more blogs the last couple days than I have since I started blogging! I’m only at 4,000′ though and temps have been in the 90’s although it’s cooling off nicely. I’m using my iPad now though and your blog won’t come up right, have to read it tomorrow. Thanks again for your kind comments.

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