Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mauritius - day 2

25 January

Singapore is four hours ahead of Mauritius. No wonder I found myself wide awake at 5 am! No matter how much I tried, I couldn't go back to sleep. It was 9 am according to my body clock, after all! So I took the opportunity to explore the place.  

Turns out I wasn't the only early riser! Xena was up and raring to go!

Mom and dad had taken the room on the first level, while the rest of us were in two rooms on the second. Clueless had her own room, of course, while Viv, Xena and I shared one. We were also free to use the other room meant for my parents-in-law, since we had booked the whole house, but what we had was more than enough.

We were delighted to see this little pool downstairs!

At about 6.30 am, our host came by with freshly baked bread from the bakery, and bananas. He had also been kind enough to ask me what Xena would drink and had stocked up on milk, juice, milo, tea, coffee and cheese. 

Clueless captured this beautiful shot of Viv and me -- me relaxing over a cup of tea, and Viv working hard. Before the vacation, I'd worked my ass off to make sure the ball was in everyone else's court so I would not have to work at all during the Mauritius week. Viv's work, unfortunately, never stopped. 

Dad, meanwhile, had also been exploring the surroundings and taking photos of every plant, tree or plant-related thing he came across!

He seemed especially enamoured by these mangoes and took maybe only about 74362965432965 photos of them. 

We had the fresh bread with cheese for breakfast, and it was still really early. I had not planned anything major for the day as I thought we could all chill and check out the surroundings. The Albion beach was supposed to be a short walk away and so was the Dodo supermarket. I asked Viv if we should take a walk and find these places. He suggested going a little later as the supermarket might be closed. I googled and turns out their opening hours start at 5.30 am! 

Xena was all set to join us on the walk!

So we left my parents at home, and the four of us set off towards the beach and the supermarket. 

The beach was about 5 minutes away and linked to the main road by this bridge. 

We walked all the way towards the beach and saw this sign. 

Finally, we'd reached! It was a small and very quiet beach. 

There were lots of boats belonging to Club Med, which was nearby. 

And of course, there were GIANT trees all along the beach.

After the beach, we popped by the Dodo supermarket, named after the extinct bird that Mauritius is known for.

By the time we returned, the pool was bubbling! We didn't know of this feature! Xena, especially, was too excited and couldn't wait to jump in. 

But then we saw Clueless doing this really irresistible thing... 

...and we joined her immediately! It was sooooo relaxing to just sit there, soaking our feet. 

Dad was busy reading the Konmari book I'd recommended to him.  (He's a hoarder and he really needed to read the book.) Viv was on his phone, doing the coordination work for an upcoming cricket tournament. 

He was still at it. At this point, I may or may not have threatened to throw his phone into the pool. 

The plan for the day was to have lunch at La Murene, a restaurant near the beach. Of course, getting six people to bathe and get ready took the longest time!

Xena goes through the bird flashcards with my parents. 

Looking at the worried faces of my parents, I suspect she'd given them a little test. 

"Look up, people!"
Finally, we were ready to head out for lunch. Xena tried to flick my hat! Luckily, it was too big for her, so she went back to the cap she'd got in the gift pack in the flight. 

Dad refused to wear anything more formal than this. "I'm on holiday!" He said. Okay, then!

Though it was a very short walk, it became quite long because of the many, many pit stops Dad took whenever he spotted an unusual plant. 

And then of course, he wanted photos OF the plant, and WITH the plant!

Hinduism is big in Mauritius because of the Indian influence, and we often saw such tiny 'temples' by the roadside. 

We ordered some Chinese food at Le Murene, fried rice and noodles and the likes, and it was decent fare. And right after this was the time when everyone got lost. 

So what happened was that Viv was still feeding Xena but the rest of us had finished. There was a souvenir shop next to the restaurant and I asked my parents to go check that out. Clueless decided to go after them too.

In a while, I went to the souvenir shop and reunited with my parents, asking them where Clueless was. They had no clue! Meanwhile, poor Clueless was scanning through the aisles of the supermarket for my parents! We looked all over for her, and even went back to check the restaurant, where our server, a tall African man, bellowed, "WHAT?! YOUR OSBAND HAS DISAPPEARED?!" I told him that it wasn't my osband who had disappeared, but my sister-in-law. 

We looked all around, but we seriously couldn't find her anywhere. Did she go home? Did she think everyone had gone home? She didn't have a phone, so we couldn't contact her. We decided that the only thing to do was to go back home and check. 

Just as we were walking back, we saw her coming out of one of the lanes! It turns out she was lost, but why she was on the roads when she was supposed to go to the souvenir shop was still a mystery. 

This is how the mystery unravelled. 

"Where were you? Thought you went to the shop?!"

"I did!"

"We didn't see you there. We were there for so long. We went all over. Couldn't find you anywhere!"

"I went to every aisle looking for your parents. They had disappeared! I was in panic!"

"We were in panic! I thought you got kidnapped or something! On day one!"

"But how come I didn't see you guys?"

"We were right there, looking at the dresses!"

"Dresses in the supermarket??"


"Weren't you guys in the supermarket??"
"No, we were in the souvenir shop!"

"What souvenir shop?"
"The souvenir shop right next to the restaurant! Remember, I asked my parents if they wanted to check out the shop?"

"Oh I thought by 'shop', you meant 'supermarket'!"

"Why would I say 'shop' if I meant 'supermarket'? I would say 'supermarket' if I meant 'supermarket'!" (Yes, I can get very specific about terms, and ummm... be quite annoying like that.)

Anyway, it was a big relief that all was well, no one had been kidnapped, no one was lost and the group was together again. Phew!

It was still early for her nap, so Xena and I took a dip in the pool. It was awesome. The weather was really good. It was hot, but not as humid as Singapore, so it was relatively pleasant. January is actually supposed to the middle of the cyclone season, so I was worried about that, but thankfully, no cyclones hit us. 

In the late afternoon, we settled down to a game of Uno, which happens to my mom's absolute favourite card game. We had gotten her hooked on to it when we went to Bintan, and now a pack of Uno cards accompanies every single holiday we take.

Around 4.30 or so, we set off for a picnic at Albion beach.

We were armed with picnic mats and snacks that we had bought at the supermarket in the morning. 

The sun was still out but the weather wasn't too hot. 

We found a nice parking spot and settled down. I took this family photo...

...and quickly handed it to Viv so I could be in a picture too. 

Viv and Xena took a looooong walk along the beach, filled with her squeals because...

...crabs! Can you spot this one trying to go back into its hole?

Beach shot

Mom is looking at the camera, but dad was probably looking at some tree in the distance!

We saw some very cute and colourful birds at the beach. 

Viv took some artistic shots of the birds.

Dad, meanwhile, had found some kind of a broken boat to sit on. 

He invited Xena for company. It was a hilarious sight!

I had taken Xena's digging tools along. That's what she's holding in this photo, looking unhappy as she had been pulled away from her digging for the family photo. 

Ze zeezterz-in-law!

I spotted this very interesting-looking tree! It looked almost suspended over the beach!

It was getting darker and we decided to head back. 

I love this shot of Clueless and Xena.

While Clueless and Xena literally cool their heels, Viv gets all reflective.

Heading back from our picnic

We spotted this bird's nest inside a broken street lamp!

How many changes of clothes did this girl go through in the day? Gosh!

For dinner, Viv suggested packing food from some restaurant, which he said was just a walk away. So he and I set off towards it, and soon found ourselves walking on the expressway! After a while, it started to seem like a dangerous venture (and it was really dark!) so we gave up the search and traced our footsteps back towards a restaurant called Chez Gil's

On the way, we found this funny road side that told us that we had to turn right to go to the beach, but turning left? Canot! [Singlish joke]

So that was that for day 2. The real sight-seeing was going to start tomorrow, and since we had fewer people now, Viv decided to rent a car and drive us around!

Check our Mauritius day 3 here



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