Blog Entry #29: Isle of the Dodo: A Day on Mauritius
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
|The Mauritian Flag|
Mauritius: the mysterious Isle of the Dodo! In all honesty, Mauritius was the one port on our itinerary I had no idea of its location prior to the trip. I vaguely knew it was somewhere in the Indian Ocean, but other than knowing it had been the home of the Dodo Bird, my only reference to Mauritius was seeing it show up on clothing labels in my Globalization class when we checked each other shirt labels to see how the textile industry has been globalized.
|Map of Mauritius|
Clearly, I had a lot to learn! The misty horizon and profile of the island as we approached from the west in the late afternoon light only added to the mystery: what lay ahead looked like something I would have expected in the South Pacific, with tall spires of rock and a massive stone monument anchoring the southern end. How, I wondered, could this small island – less than 40 miles from North to South, 25 miles from East to West – harbor more than 1.2 million people – more than my home state of Montana!
We pulled into the harbor of Port Louis (French pronunciation: loo-EE) at sunset, which always seems to impart a magical quality to a city skyline. Port Louis’s is dramatic enough with the volcanic hills surrounding the downtown. We were not able to disembark until the following morning, so we had a lot of time to contemplate our new surroundings.
|Sunrise in Port Louis|
|Bank Building in Port Louis|
|Morning traffic, Port Louis|
|Statue of Gandhi|
|Mahatma Gandhi Institute|
|Soccer game at Mahatma Gandhi Institute|
|Trou aux Certs Crater|
|View NW from Trou aux Certs Crater|
|Sign at the statue of Shiva at the Hindu Temple|
|Looking toward Port Louis & North Range of Mountains|
|At the Hindu Temple|
|Restaurant at Chamarel|
Lunch took us to the village of Chamarel, and a lovely restaurant set on the hillside above the Le Morne rock buttress at the south end of the island. From here we could see out over emerald green lagoons to the corral reefs that circle the island, while we dined on local seafood salad served in the shell.
|Falls at Chamarel|
|Chamarel Coloured Earth|
|Tortoise at Chamarel|
|Colored ashbeds at Chamarel with native vegetation behind|
|Documenting the coral sands beach|
|Emerald waters of the Indian Ocean|
|Le Morne rock & Maroon Monument|
|Monument to the Maroons at Le Morne|
|Sugar Cane fields along the west coast|