Harvey & Sue Death
Thu 11 Oct 2018 11:13
Our two weeks in Mauritius has flown past. We had a very relaxing few days with Grace at a luxury resort on the west of the island. We caught up with some sleep, had some spa treatments, went diving and enjoyed the fabulous Mauritian cuisine. Whilst there we also celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary with champagne and lobster.
Mauritius is a real melting pot of cultures and religions. The majority of the population are of Indian extraction who came to the island to work on the sugar cane farms in the 1800’s, but there are also a number Africans and white Mauritians mainly of French descent. Consequently the food is a delicious mix of Creole, curry and French cuisine.
Also while Grace was here, we went with a group of the others for a day at the races, Mauritius style. Founded in 1812, the famous Champ de Mar racecourse is the second oldest racecourse in the world. Little has changed over the years and we really felt as if we had been transported back to colonial Mauritius. We were in a private box with a fabulous view over the course and had a really fun afternoon. We enjoyed a little flutter and watched some really close finishes aided by some enthusiastic cheering from the Oyster contingent.
We hired a car and visited the botanical gardens which are supposed to be the best in the world after Kew Gardens, famous for its giant water lilies and 80 species of palm tree. We also visited a beautifully restored and furnished colonial plantation house, Chateau Labourdonnais.
Unfortunately (!) one of our “Oystervision” song nominations got through to the final five songs and we had to perform it at the Mauritius welcome party. We made suitable alterations to the verses of Phil Collins, Another Day in Paradise and after a few glasses of wine for Dutch courage, performed it complete with Phil Collins masks. Thankfully we had some strong competition and didn’t win so won’t have to perform it again at the Final party in Antigua! The winning song was an American rendition of “Put the Lime in the Coconut”.
The reception from the local Mauritian people to the arrival of the Oyster fleet has been very warm and welcoming. On the morning of our departure we were given a multi faith blessing by the leaders of the local Hindu, Muoslem, Chinese and Christian communities. The Roman Catholic priest also personally blessed each of our vessels.
To mark the occasion we were treated to a display of Chinese dragon dancing and fire crackers.
Our next short passage is to the island of Reunion (a French overseas territory)which is a stone’s throw from Mauritius.
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