My Mauritius: the cyclist’s story
Keen South African cyclist Ken Hewing recently returned from a successful two-wheeled holiday in Mauritius, so we caught up with him to find out more about his experience, including some tips for those wishing to follow in his footsteps – or should we say bike tracks…
Ken spent three weeks touring Mauritius solo on his bike, starting off in Port Louis from where he explored the west coast down to Flic en Flac, then north towards Grand Baie.
He then toured the northeast coast – including a break for a dive and sail at Flat Island – before venturing inland over the mountains towards Curepipe where he stayed a few days. Finally, he rode from Black River Gorges National Park to Le Morne where he settled for a few more nights before heading up to Mahebourg and returning home.
So much time to absorb his surroundings must have left Ken with some lasting impressions of the island. How did he find the experience of cycling in Mauritius and what will stay with him the most? “Everyone was so warm and friendly,” Ken says. “I especially enjoyed Gabriel Island, Labourdonnais Chateau, the coral reefs, Trou aux Cerfs, St Aubin, the salt works at Black River, and the seven coloured earth at Chamarel – too many places to mention.”
“And I’d advise future cyclists to ride slow. Take the time to enjoy all the sounds, sights and smells, which you would not experience from a car or bus. Keep to the left, and have a mirror fitted to the handlebar so you can always see what’s behind you. Most drivers hoot before overtaking.”
Getting your bike here
But before any cycling holiday can begin, you’ll need to get your bike here if you’re not planning on hiring one when you arrive.
Fortunately for Ken and other keen cyclists, Air Mauritius have vast experience handling such special baggage items and will always take great care of your two-wheeled transport. We asked Ken for his tips on packing his bike for the journey.
“Go for a direct flight if you can, as there’ll be less handling of the bike,” he says. “Try packing the wheels with one on one side of the frame and one on the other, then put your clothes in a five litre waterproof bag, place between the wheels and tie down with strips. This will prevent the wheels from getting buckled.”
So with one Mauritius cycling trip under his belt, what’s next on the agenda for Ken? “My next cycling holiday will be here in South Africa in the Berg area. I love my mountains, and they’re so close by”
“But I’m already planning my next cycling trip to Mauritius,” he continues. “It was tough going riding solo for three weeks, so my next trip will be with friends.”
Photos: Ken Hewing