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Mauritius 2011

I’d spent last Christmas and New Year touring the Far East. It was an amazing experience, but I genuinely expected that would be the last time I’d get to do anything like that. In the intervening time, I’d built up quite a healthy airmiles balance, thanks to all the travelling I’d been doing for work, and in early December I got an email from British Airways saying they had a short-term special offer. Book return tickets with airmiles for the same “price” as a single flight. And the offer was good for pretty much any destination in the world. My brain immediately went into full-on research and planning mode!

Within an hour I’d already formulated a plan. I was going to spend this upcoming Christmas and New Year island-hopping across the Indian Ocean, and the starting point for that expedition would be a truly uncomfortable 12 hour flight, in economy, from London to Mauritius. I was hoping to get upgraded. I was even willing to pay BA to shift me into Business Class, which they often allow you to do at the airport, but was curtly told by check-in staff that the flight was oversold in every cabin! So I’m slumming it at the back of the plane. Never mind though, because I’ve got big plans for when I land.

Firstly, I’d booked myself into the beautiful Intercontinental Resort, and those guys always upgrade me because I have their super-duper Platinum loyalty status. Which meant that this time they moved me up to… the PRESIDENTIAL SUITE!!

The view of my hotel from the private beach behind the building. Welcome to the Intercontinental Resort!
The view of my hotel from the private beach behind the building. Welcome to the Intercontinental Resort!
That's right. The Presidential Suite comes with it's own outdoor terrace with Hot Tub / Shower combo.
That’s right. The Presidential Suite comes with it’s own outdoor terrace with Hot Tub / Shower combo.
Indian Ocean view, Intercontinental, Mauritius
Beautiful view from my own private balcony overlooking the Indian Ocean. Yes, i know you can’t see the ocean in this picture. That’s because it’s so sunny that the camera couldn’t cope. It’s just behind those palm trees.
Indian Ocean, Intercontinental, Mauritius
This is the view from the hotel lobby, looking out over the Indian Ocean.

Secondly, I’d hired a car so I could explore the place on my own. Thirdly, I was planning to book myself a skydive, so I could look down on the tiny island, a measly speck in the Indian ocean, as I hurtle towards it at the speed of sound. That last one didn’t work out due to weather issues (or so they told me), but I did manage to once again find myself both a mosque and an Indian restaurant! (Finding a mosque and Indian food is a holiday tradition I established for myself back in 2005.)

Mauritius, Indian Ocean
Although I’m told the best scenery is to be found in the south of the Island, the north has some highlights too, as seen here.
Rural Mauritius, Indian Ocean
Now do I dare drive down this dirt road? Ah, what the hell, might as well. You only live once. Looks a lot like rural India.
Rural Mauritius, Indian Ocean
A lot of the countryside is similar to rural India. Even the houses are built in a similar style.
Bollywood Curry restaurant, Mauritius
I REALLY wanted to try a “Bollywood Curry”. Sadly, the restaurant was closed during the day, and I didn’t fancy venturing out at night in my little Toyota Yaris (which you can see in the corner)
Bain de Boeuf, Mauritius
The Fish Landing bay at Bain de Boeuf, at sunset
Bain de Boeuf, Mauritius
The Fish Landing bay at Bain de Boeuf.
Bain de Boeuf, Mauritius
The Fish Landing bay at Bain de Boeuf.
Bain de Boeuf, Mauritius
The Fish Landing bay at Bain de Boeuf.
Mauritius, Indian Ocean
Not sure which island this is. Stopped off here during my drive along the coast.
Mauritius, Indian Ocean
Grand Baie, Mauritius
Grand Baie, Mauritius. This place is Tourism Central. Lots of Pizza, Fried Chicken and Burger franchises. Shopping Malls and pubs. This bay was the only interesting sight there
Grand Baie, Mauritius
Grand Baie, Mauritius
Surya Oudaya Sangam Hindu Temple, Mauritius
The Surya Oudaya Sangam Hindu Temple in the centre of Grand Baie, Mauritius. Very impressive architecture.
Surya Oudaya Sangam Hindu Temple, Mauritius
The Surya Oudaya Sangam Hindu Temple in Mauritius
Masjid Munawwarah, Arsenal, Mauritius
The Masjid Munawwarah in the “Arsenal” district of Mauritius. Yes, it’s PINK!!
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