Mauritius as Indian Ocean adventure capital
‘At first, the ocean seems empty’, it starts. ‘Through my snorkelling mask I see only a deep blue nothingness. Then suddenly they are there; dark, lithe shapes gliding in perfect formation like aerobatic pilots.’
Do immerse yourself in it – the deep blue nothingness, and the story.
In this part, the writer (Gavin Bell) is describing his encounter with spinner dolphins – ‘like smiling torpedoes, cruising with effortless power and grace’ – but he also sets out to experience nature in its many other guises across the island.
‘According to the last count, more than 100,000 Britons head for its beach resorts every year, and spend much of their time contemplating a tranquil sea and blue skies.’
For those prepared to be adventurous, he says, ‘the island’s bid to broaden its anniversary appeal under a tourism slogan “Beyond the beach” features hiking in indigenous forests that are a refuge of rare bird life, undersea adventures à la Jules Verne, and time travel in grand colonial piles and quirky museums.’
And the piece goes on to describe many of these – not least, a visit to the Black River Gorges National Park, where endangered birds have been protected and ‘the air is filled with the screeching of fruit bats’.
And later, tea in Le Bois Chéri plantation, where you ‘can sample teas infused with vanilla, caramel, exotic fruits, cardamom and coconut.’
It’s a lovely read, well worth its own visit…
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