12 August 2013

Ile Maurice aka Dodo's island :)

Bonjour once again...

...from my room in sunny Dubai (can it be anything else? :p) sitting in front of my pretty old laptop wondering how to start describing you all the beautiful things we had a chance to visit in a few rainy hours on this beautiful island!


Maybe a little bit of history will help you (and me) to understand all the diversities of this small place in the middle of Indian Ocean, just 2000 kilometers off southeast coast of African continent!

The island of Mauritius was unknown and uninhabited before its first recorded visit during the Middle Ages by Arab sailors, who named it Dina Arobi. 
Portuguese explorers in early 16th century found no indigenous people living on the island, so they established a visiting base there but didn't really find it interesting in years to come.
Dutch came after them and settled on the island at the end of 16th century but abandoned it only 100 years later.
In the last year of Louis XIV of France life and ruling, better known as Louis the Great or the Sun king (because who would remember all of them just by number :) ), in 1715 Mauritius became a French colony.
We all know what happened to Napoleon Bonaparte fighting half of the Europe in early 19th century, one of his losses was as well Mauritius, taken by British.
Mauritius became a Republic of Mauritius within the Commonwealth on 12 March 1992.

Considering all of that it's not surprising that most Mauritians are multilingual; English, French, Creole and Chinese languages are used. The country's populace is composed of several ethnicities, mostly people of Indian, African, French, and Chinese descent. Quite a mix ha? :)
If nothing else it gives you plenty of choice when it comes to decide what to have for lunch or dinner :D


As soon as we came in the hotel, we booked a taxi to take us on a tour around the island. We weren't thinking about the weather though, so we had a cold and rainy afternoon, while everyone around us were walking in long sleeves, scarfs and even boots we were acting as true tourists - shorts, sunglasess and flip flops :D
At least we had a great laugh getting wet everywhere we went :)

The route was - Old fortress above the capital Port Louis.
Fort Adelaide is also known as the Citadel, resembles a Moorish fortress. Built by the British around 1835 to watch out for potential riots in Port Louis before the abolition of slavery, the fort sits high on the crown of the hill, offering splendid views over the city and its harbor.
Later, the fort’s canons were used to trigger the alarm in case of a fire in town. Today, the Citadel has become a cultural meeting point and hosts concerts and shows of both local and visiting artists from all over the world.





Mc'Donalds on the way... (hungry and no time to sit in a restaurant :p)

The volcano next - Trou aux Cerfs also known as Murr's Volcano (wich we couldn't see from the rain, but we did try some nice fruits along the way :)

 
Next stop - 'Sacred lake' ... Ganga Talao lake also known as a Grand Bassin.
No pics for that one either, rain and wind, perfect combination what to say :)
It is a crater lake situated in a secluded mountain area deep in the heart of the island and it's considered the most sacred Hindu place in Mauritius
There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and other Gods including Hanuman, Lakshmi, and others along the Grand Bassin. During Shivaratri, many pilgrims in Mauritius walk bare feet from their homes to the lake. I'm sure it is very beautiful on a nice sunny day :)

Driving for some time to the Chamarel Waterfalls and The Seven Coloured Earth(s) the rain stopped but the sun was still hiding behind the clouds. Despite that we were amazed with the view, all the nature around us and its colours!





It is a relatively small area of sand dunes comprising sand of seven distinct colours (red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow). The main feature of the place is that since these differently coloured sands spontaneously settle in different layers, dunes acquire a surrealistic, striped colouring, leaving you speechless...





That being seen we headed back to the hotel with just a quick stop by the sea...



 




After a long day it was time for dinner, sadly it was Sunday so the only choice was one of our two hotels, which wasn't that bad considering a piano player playing one of my favourite Michael Buble, just a perfect end of an amazing day :)


Next morning I had some more time, after a good 13hours of sleep (yes 13!) it was sunny so I went for lunch and a walk along the Caudan Waterfront, some souvenir shopping and after all... a long relaxing hour before the flight back! :)








After all this being said, lots of information, lots of history and interesting things to see and do, there is one more very important thing to write about Mauritius!

DODO the Bird! :)))
As much as we tried to find it...unfortunatelly it is not possible for a few hundreds of years now :(

Cute and funny mascot of this island, an extinct flightless bird, relative of the family of doves and pigeons that was endemic to the island of Mauritius.
Subfossil remains show the Dodo was about 1 metre (3.3 feet) tall and may have weighed 10–18 kg (22–40 lb) in the wild!
The first recorded mention of the Dodo was by Dutch sailors in 1598 and the last widely accepted sighting of a Dodo was in 1662.


How did it happen?!

Dodos were descendent of a type of pigeon which settled in Mauritius over 4 million years ago! (imagine that! Then the people came and sh** happened...)
With no predators to attack them, they lost their need and ability to fly.
The Portuguese became the first humans to set foot on Mauritius. The island quickly became a stopover for ships engaged in the spice trade. Weighing up to 50 pounds, the Dodo was a source of fresh meat for the sailors.
Large numbers of Dodos were killed for food.
Later, when the Dutch used the island as a penal colony, new species were introduced to the island. Rats, pigs and monkeys ate dodo eggs in the ground nests. The combination of two significantly reduced the Dodo population.
Within 100 years of the arrival of humans on Mauritius, the once abundant Dodo became a rare bird...


 
Hope you have enjoyed a little bit of it in your mind and imagination!
:)
XO XO



 

9 comments:

  1. Really awesome post, despite all the rainy weather you managed to have fun! You go girl! :)

    Can't wait to hear soon from you xx

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    1. We can't let the rain to stop us right? :D

      xo

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  2. awww too bad u couldnt find the dodo!
    but lovely post, i was starting to think u had disappeared from the face of the earth! lol
    kisses from italy

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    Replies
    1. Noup I'm still here, well and alive :) just busy busy so i didn't have enough time to sit down and write :))
      But here it is, one more ;)
      Kiss

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  3. wow pretty nice layover t! :D

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  4. Wonderful post. I am searching awesome news and idea. What I have found from your site, it is actually highly content. You have spent long time for this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you :)
      yes i try to research a little bit before every layover so when i write posts you can actually learn something from them, and me as well, learning every day :)))
      keep reading :)

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