The Itinerary

The Itinerary

Saturday, April 4, 2015

April 3, Seychelles to Mauritius - The Oberot Mauritius Resort

Friday, April 3, Day 60 - Seychelles to Mauritius - The Oberoi Mauritius Resort

Allen, our taxi driver and guide on Tuesday is due to pick us up at 7AM. Never sleeping well when we have an early morning flight to catch, we have no trouble being out of the room and are waiting for him when he arrives. This is Good Friday and an island holiday, our drive to the airport is to take 20 minutes but takes all of 25 minutes. even with a couple of fast photo stops in Victoria that we didn't get because of the rain yesterday.

Allen drops us at the airport after helping us unload and getting our luggage on a cart. True to its word, Seychelles Air has a dedicated check-in counter for Business Class and it moves very slowly! But, we are finally checked in and given invitations to the Private Lounge where we wait for our flight. This is a very nice little airport with lot of amenities like much larger airports have. We get a very pleasant surprise while waiting when Carolyn finds an email from our travel agent informing us that we have received a complimentary upgrade to a Queen’s Grill suite on our April 18th sailing on Queen Mary II from Cape Town to Southampton.
We are a few minutes late getting off in the brand new, delivered last December, Airbus A320. We are in row two and have plenty of room to stretch out. The seats are infinitely more comfortable than those on the Emirates flight from Dubai. Those seats were awful; very narrow and our feet did not touch the floor! These seats are nice and wide and you can sit with your feet flat on the floor if you do not wish to recline.

The flight goes smoothly and we are served a nice, tasty, hot breakfast. We have some nice views of the island and probably fly right over our hotel.  we arrive on time at 12:05PM but just behind all the other inbound flights for the day. Immigration/passport control is backed up and we wait at least 30 minutes in that line and another 20 minutes in the Health line to be sure we have not been in a West African country in the last 30 days. Our passports were checked no less than four times by people looking for an indication of a West African visit in the recent past. Finally, we get to the luggage carrousel and our luggage is just coming off. It is all there so we load up and head out. At some point Carolyn gets ahead of Dick going through the last of the customs control part and an agent stops him because he has this huge cart of luggage for what appears to be one person. He yells for Carolyn and she hears him. As soon as she gets within sight of Dick and the two officers, all is cleared up and Dick is sent on his way. We head out into the arrivals area which is swamped, of course, with tons of drivers holding up signs. After looking at about half of them we find our Oberoi Hotel driver. He takes over the luggage cart and we are off over an hour after we arrive.

Dick visits an ATM and gets 7,000 Mauritius Rupees (MUR) at $0.028 per rupee or just under $200US. The driver works for a man who owns taxis they contract with the Oberoi. He is in his late 20s and, like most people on the island, he speaks Creole, French and English. Sort of! He speaks the, "I speak English but I do not always understand it," type, but he is nice and we are set for an interesting afternoon.

We are very surprised to learn that 50% of the population is of Indian origin and Hindu is the predominate religion, about 30% are Christian, around 10% are Muslims, with various other groups making up the rest.

Our driver has an itinerary Carolyn had sent in and we head out to follow it as time allows since we are running late at this point. Our driver insists on showing us a Hindu holy pilgrimage site, the Grand Basin, with 108' tall statues of two gods. Bizarre and strange! He is very proud of this area and feeds us a good bit of information.

We stop then for a photo shoot at the Black River Gorge, a popular, deeply forested wilderness area with waterfalls and hiking trails and on to our restaurant lunch stop at La Varangue sur Morne. This is not the restaurant Carolyn had picked, but it has a great view and the food is very good. She had wanted to stop at La Charrael, but they were not open late enough for our lunch schedule. The Oberoi made reservations here for us and it is a great choice: Tuna tartar for Dick and a hearts of palm salad for Carolyn, a nice, local, grilled fish dish special and a trio of homemade ice creams for both of us. This, aided by excellent mid-afternoon cocktails and all is good.

From here we move on to view a nice water fall and the tourist site of the "7 colored earth," a "tourist trap" that costs 400MR or $12US. Actually we were late enough to this site that the bright sun is low in the sky so we really can see the colors, interesting but maybe not worth the money if the sun is not bright and low in the sky.

By now it is 5PM and we are one and a half hours from the hotel, on the other end of the island, ETA 6:30. We tell our driver to head for the hotel and we settle in for a ride up the SW coast of the island, across to the main middle of the island on a motorway highway and then back to the NW to our hotel, The Oberoi Mauritius.

We arrive around 6:15PM and are met by staff with drinks and a golf cart to take us and our luggage to the room. Check-in formalities are done in the room and by 7PM we are alone in our large, comfortable suite. We thought we might order some room service dinner but the big lunch will suffice along with some peanut butter from Carolyn’s private stash and apples and a plate of Mauritius tasty bites already in the room.

Hot showers, cool room and comfortable bed and we are drifting off by and probably gone by 9PM.

No comments:

Post a Comment