On my first day in Mauritius, I couldn’t help but envy the lifestyle of the laidback locals lounging around in their Hawaiian shirts. I assumed that living here was paradisiacal indeed, what with constantly being surrounded by the azure waters and not having to deal with the worries of city life. Meeting a fisherman on the island would make me realize otherwise. I checked in at Le Meridien Ile Maurice, with a plan to indulge in everything that Mauritius is famous for; sunbathing on my private beach with a cocktail, swimming with the ocean in sight, riding a glass bottom boat into the sea, and whiling away time in my balcony overlooking the turquoise waters. Then one day, as I watched the sunset paint the sky red from the resort’s jetty, which protruded into the vast ocean, a young man waded ashore from the shallow waters, wearing a worn-out sweater and carrying a bucket of seashells. A small-boned man of Indian origin, Ravi was a fisherman by profession and an occasional peddler of seashells at …
If there was ever a vegetarian’s version of paradise, Mauritius and Rodrigues, sister islands in the Indian Ocean, would probably come the closest. The fine blend of Indian, French and Creole cultures, mixed with the western influences of tourism, have resulted in a spectrum of vegetarian treats in the former. And the dissociation of the latter from the rest of the world has resulted in unexpectedly delicious fusion food. Here are ten not-to-miss eating places for vegetarians:
I know it’s been a long, long time since you participated in a contest to win a dream four nights holiday for two in Mauritius. Logistics got in the way, and then I left for Bahrain, where I ended up falling head over heels in love with the country and its people, and ended up staying longer than expected. Now, it’s finally time to announce the name of the lucky winner who’ll soon be sipping cocktails on powdery white beaches, swimming in the turquoise waves of the Indian Ocean, and living the postcard life!
Since I announced the Dreaming of Mauritius Contest on my blog 1.5 weeks back, a lot of you have tweeted and emailed me asking what it’s like to stay at Le Meridien, and why I chose a luxury hotel over my typical preference for boutique hideouts. The answer to the latter is that I didn’t want to miss out on the paradisiacal island experience that has put Mauritius on the world map, and a large part of this experience depends on where you choose to stay. The answer to the former? Brace yourself, this might make you want to jump to their website, pack your bags and head right out that door!
Romanticized as a honeymooning paradise by the turquoise blue waters of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a haven in disguise for lovers of a different kind; those that love the heady rush of adrenalin from being suspended in mid air, or coming face to face with the big cats of the ocean, or feeling the wind whirl your two wheel ride. Its location off the southeast coast of Africa and its unique geography with mountains in its interiors and serene waters along all its coastlines, make it a hotspot for adventures that aren’t for the faint hearted.
Bonjour! Christmas has come early, and after making you extremely jealous of my recent trip to paradise Mauritius, and after receiving threats to be blocked from Facebook newsfeeds and un-followed on Twitter for sharing such tempting pictures, I’ll be playing Santa. Thanks to Le Meridien Ile Maurice, who have kindly offered to sponsor a stay for one of my readers at the beachside paradise they’ve created in Mauritius. What Do You Win? – A four nights stay for TWO in a deluxe room at Le Meridien Ile Maurice.
We leave behind the traffic of Port Louis and maneuver our way through a small winding road that leads us uphill for a good twenty minutes. At an unassuming orange-colored French villa where we pull up, the warm hospitality of Jean-Michel and his wife Joan awaits me. We exchange niceties and my request for water quickly gets upgraded to a rum punch. I’m in Mauritius after all, and it doesnt matter that it’s just after mid day or that I’ve just landed here after a sleepless 7.5 hour flight from Delhi!
I caught my first glimpse of the mesmerizing blue shades of the Indian Ocean from the window seat of a turbulent flight. As we geared for landing, the clouds parted to reveal a turquoise water body surrounding a tiny island; I’m not quite sure if the island was indeed Mauritius or one of its many neighbors in the ocean, but that first glimpse was everything I had dreamt about on my first trip to this paradisiacal island (and indeed my first time in the continent of Africa).