The best photos from Mauritius 2019

Over the Christmas holidays, I had time to reflect on the hundreds of photos I took in Mauritius during 2019. It has been a pleasurable task to choose.

Photos say more than a thousand words, hopefully these say even more! Let’s start with a sunset (I have many!)

I am so lucky to have been able to enjoy many experiences in Mauritius thanks to the lovely people and the wonderful environment. Sugar cane is part of the heritage of Mauritius. The origins of the lava stones made into 7 pyramids are unclear but here they are in fields close the airport.

There are many temples, mosques and churches on the island. All are well supported, maintained and used. The Hindu temples in particular are fantastically colourful and happy places. It has taken years to complete the decoration and painting of this one in Port Louis.

The lagoon is a great place for fun above and below the water. Kite surfing is very popular at Le Morne in the South West and a spectacular backdrop. On the best days, around a hundred kitesurfers can be seen hurtling across the water.

Swimming with dolphins is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. The best trips are further out to sea, you can see why these are called bottle nose dolphins.

A trip to Crystal Rock was also planned for the same morning and it did not disappoint neither did the snorkelling in crystal clear blue water.

There is a monument at Le Morne for the abolition of slavery, now a world heritage site. Slaves who had escaped and hidden on the mountain would rather jump than be caught.

The lagoon, sugar cane and the mountains define Mauritius, sometimes you just have to take a photo and enjoy the view.

Occasionally, something happens that really surprises you, like when walking through a forest coming across a herd of goats marshalled by dogs and a single goatherd (if that is the name)

Or when stuck in traffic seeing a brilliantly coloured rainbow.

Inside an abandoned sugar mill, there was vegetation growing in the ruins and beautifully lit by the sun creeping through a leaking roof.

Outside a tree has survived years of sun, rain and wind to cling on to life by its roots.

Trees let us know its nearly Christmas as the aptly named Flamboyant flowers in December.

Palm trees provide a pleasant place for birds to have a rest.

Trees can provide a spectacular cover to the drive at the entrance to a grand old colonial Chateau like Labourdonnais.

The lagoon is teeming with fish and also beyond the reef. Fisherman soon sell their catch, you just need to know where to look.

Street food like Faratas, Gateau Piment and Dholl Puri are tasty and great value for money.

Street Art grabs you in Port Louis.

What a labour of love this factory office entrance is!

The street that sells thousands of flowers every day for garlands, bouquets and decoration is a hive of activity early in the morning.

Umbrellas provide shade and colour on a busy street in the waterfront at Caudan.

Waterfalls and rivers amaze you in the Black River Gorge.

Incredible roots and colours in the Gorge, it must come from the heat and humidity.

When visiting the Gorge, a popular tourist attraction is the rum factory at Chamarel, especially for the tasting.

There is even cactus growing wild on the cliffs.

To finish of some of the best photographs of the year, it has to be a sunset.

What will 2020 bring?

Mountains and Sugar Cane

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Mauritius is surely defined by many as an island with a beautiful lagoon and long sandy beaches but for me it is the people, the lush green sugar cane filled fields and the mountains. Your eye is drawn to the swaying green leaves of sugar cane, growing at up to 2cm per day under the hot sun.

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Every journey taken has a backdrop of the mountains, every swim in the sea has a range to look at. Some islanders take a walk or a bike at sunrise up in the mountains when others are asleep or sweating at the gym. When so many offices and homes are air-conditioned, it is a treat to get out into the fresh air before the day starts to heat up.

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Montagne du Rempart, the Mauritian Matterhorn.
Montagne du Rempart, the Mauritian Matterhorn with the last remnants of a rainbow

It has stopped raining!

It has been raining hard for over five days. It turned into a torrential downpour on Wednesday morning when over 100mm of rain fell in 12 hours on the island, nearly 200mm in some areas like Pointe aux Canonniers in the North of the island. This caused flooding and landslides; houses, roads and crops were damaged. Over 300 people had to be evacuated from their homes and the Government wisely announced that all businesses and offices were to be closed after 11:00am. It was chaotic but now the weather has returned to normal.

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Phew! What a scorcher! It is hot again! 34 degrees.

Oh yes, diesel is 29.50 rupees per litre, equivalent to £0.57, €0.74 or $0.83.

The sun is highlighting the freshly watered vegetation on Mont Calme as well.

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Life in Mauritius has started!

After a few hectic weeks of packing, clearing, goodbyes and mild panic, Mauritian immigration greeted me warmly on my arrival at Plaisance airport. I am finally here, I thought. During my first few days on the island it has been a pleasure to meet so many friendly people who could not have done more to make me feel so welcome.

I have only had one real challenge so far that vexed me a little! I brought two suitcases with me and having opened the first at my temporary address (I move to Tamarin on the West Coast in December) I tried to open the second. The combination lock had jammed! Rather than resort to brute force I decided to leave it for the moment and manage with the clothes I had. I tried again a few days later and voila it opened as if by magic.

The weather has been splendid, the food delicious and the views amazing. You know you are in Mauritius when you see a view like I did in the wing mirror of my car on the first day I drove it from the dealer’s showroom.

Mauritius unexpectedly mirrored

Caudan waterfront was not too busy when I went for a walk and a cool drink in the afternoon. The shops were diverse and interesting and one walkway showed that umbrellas are not just there to keep the rain off! I am also looking forward to the freshly prepared vegetarian wraps at the Kauai restaurant.

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Fresh and tasty wraps, salads and smoothies

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A Walkway in the Caudan waterfront

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Caudan waterfront looking up at Port Louis

I have had walks on the beach in Grand Baie, Pereybere, La Preneuse and Belle Mare  and obviously had to enjoy the sea; is the water really 25 degrees all year around?

Pereybere beach, near Grand Baie

Sunset on La Preneuse beach

Belle Mare beach in the afternoon

I managed to have an hour’s snorkelling in Blue Bay where I was amazed to see so many colourful fish so close to the beach.

Snorkelling in Blue Bay

This is a wonderful island with so much to explore, discover and enjoy.