Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sweet dreams are made in Mauritius

There are places in this world where everyday realities are safely out of sight. Instead, dreams are shaken up in the form of pink cocktails and served against a backdrop of serene blues and soft white sand.

One of these places is the Le Telfair resort in Mauritius. While most holidaymakers head for the bustling northern part of the island, this haven is nestled peacefully at the foot of the Plaine Champagne hills in the south west.

The resort is built on the former sugar estate of Bel Ombre, which is now a national park. Not only can wildlife excursions into the hills be organised through the hotel but the south of the island is also where miracles of nature can be found. Of course, this is besides the coral reef just off the shore which can be experienced by glass bottom boat or snorkelling gear.

About an hour’s drive from the resort lies the village of Chamarel which is home to two wonders – the Chamarel falls and the Seven Coloured Earth. The drive in itself is an exhilarating mix of aquamarine beaches and lush sugar cane lanes. Our first stop is the waterfall, which seems to fall forever. The sound of water is always reassuring and all of nature takes comfort in its abundance. For a while we are entranced.

Just a few minutes back in the taxi brings us to the natural phenomenon of sand that separates into seven colours. The sight is fenced off so that curious tourists such as us won’t spoil it for everyone. It is said to be the presence of minerals that gives the sand its colours and that even if you mix the colours together the sand will eventually separate. It is wonderfully stimulating to see something entirely new to my visual frame of reference.

My friend Justine takes the time to bond with the giant tortoises at the site before we head back for some more sea and sand at the Telfair.

There I salute this day with a yoga class under the moon in the Zen garden outside the spa. Then I soak in a bath full of bubbles and head out to meet the rest for dinner at Anabella’s.

Although my calamari starter is disappointingly chewy, the hearty potato and leek soup that follows makes up for it. What's more, the main course of seared tuna and rosewater flavoured pasta rice is a taste bud surprise. It’s a brave flavour combination that fans of Turkish delight would relish.

Fresh fruit and vanilla tea rounds off the extended meal and soon I am resting happily in my French colonial room, dreaming of a perfect day gone by.

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Baglett said...

You're living the dream. I almost went to McGregor this weekend for the cheese and wine festival. But it got rained out. I bet you're jealous :)

po said...

Hi, thanks for commenting on my blog. Reading yours is making me sick with jealousy, which is not pretty! I shall settle for virtual travelling via other people's blogs until I can see these places for myself :)

Mona Lize said...

Dear Po, while you're settling for virtual travel I am so homesick for Cape Town and, yes baglett, settling for virtual cheese and wine festivals. Rained out or not. Sigh, we just never can have it all...

Anonymous said...

OMG! Didn't you just looove Mauritius?

K, so I know it's all plastic and cheesy and what not, but you HAVE to do Club Med Albion with me one day!!! It's five star all the way and once you arrive you just pop your wallet in the safe and that's that - everything's FREE! You can booze it up and eat til you're ready to bust and it won't cost you an extra cent. DYYYING to go back... But that'll be sometime AFTER Vegas...

Miss you teef!

Love, love