Today we flew from Madagascar to Mauritius – our last destination of the trip! We had to get up at 4:00 am to make our 6:00 am flight.
When we arrived in Mauritius around 0900, we were excited to see the nice weather and how green it was here. We ended up renting a car because it was just too much of a hassle to get cabs everywhere. Then we headed out into Mauritius. Mauritius is covered in farmland and sugarcane fields. Google maps isn’t the most accurate here, so it took some time to figure out if we were supposed to be driving through the fields google was taking us through or not. We eventually got on our way though.
Our first stop on our drive was to a place called Pont Naturel which translates to natural bridge. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a very cool site. Mauritius is volcanic and has a lot of lava rock. The natural bridge is a strip of lava rock that goes across a small inlet on the southern coast of Mauritius. The waves are huge here and they crash under the bridge and up into the inlet. You are able to safely walk across the bridge and watch the waves crash into the rocks and spray. It’s quite a site!
However, we learned that if you’re waiting for the big waves to splash for a photo, they never come. We spent about 30 min trying to get a good jumping shot of Jay with the splash of the waves. It wasn’t until we stopped trying to take the photo that the big waves actually came.
Once we got our fill of Pont Naturel, we headed out on the road again. One thing you quickly learn while driving in a new city are the un-written rules of driving. We knew ahead of time that they drove on the left side of the road here, but Jay quickly found out some other things he didn’t like. The roads are quite narrow and there is no shoulder anywhere. Normally, if you wanted to stop somewhere, you’d pull over to the side of the road and park. However, here, there are no places to pull over on the shoulder. So instead, people just stop on the road and park. Drivers here have become accustomed to putting on their blinker and driving into the oncoming traffic lane to pass these parked cars and buses that stop.
We were not aware of this at first, and when a bus stopped in the middle of the road, Jay wasn’t sure what to do. He attempted to go around it at first, but then saw the oncoming traffic and stopped. The oncoming traffic continued toward us, but we were unable to reverse because the car behind us had stopped too close. So there we were creating a huge road block. Eventually, the bus driver who was relaxing on the side of the road came over and moved the parked bus forward so that we could get back in our lane and let the oncoming cars pass. But we learned our lesson and always make sure we have clearance before going around these cars “parked” on the road.
Our next stop was at Rochester Falls. After driving through field after field of sugar cane, we arrived at the falls. A gentleman selling pineapples on the road told us we had to park our car and walk to the falls, so we did. The waterfalls were made from a long stretch of volcanic rock columns. We snapped some pictures and continued on the drive.
After seeing Rochester Falls, we decided to head to our apartment and drop our stuff off. When we arrived, we were told that the room wasn’t ready and we should come back in an hour. So, we headed out to a local grocery store (even though we had already bought some groceries on the way in). Then we drove around to look at a couple of beaches. We were shocked at the number of kite surfers out on the second beach we stopped at, but according to a local, that was a normal day for the area.
After an hour was up, we headed back to the apartment. It was a nice little room with a large outdoor patio area. There was also a dog that had something wrong with his vocal cords, so every time he tried to bark, which was quite often, it sounded like an old man hacking or trying to clear his throat.
We were pretty exhausted by the end of the day after getting up so early, so we turned in early. We had a big hike planned for the next day.