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Just back... a review

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
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Just back... a review
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Arrived back in the Uk early this morning and wanted to thank everyone here for their advice and suggestions.

I'll be submitting seperate reviews of the hotels I stayed in, Emeraude and 20o South.

Weather: I knew it was coming into the winter, and that the East Coast would be windy. A few days were quite overcast and too windy for the beach, so these were the days I visited other parts of the island. However, it was generally warm and sunny, a few odd showers on the east coast, and the evenings were mild enough to forgo a cardigan/jumper.

Getting around: Some people at my hotel booked trips via their travel company and paid a very hefty premium for doing so. It is about half the price to hire a driver for the day, and then dictate just how long you want to stay in any one place.

Following the advice on this forum, I divided trips into days spent either north, south, or through central Mauritius. Although the island is relatively small, I didn't want to spend all day in a car, so covering just one area at a time, made for a good day out without getting up at the crack of dawn. At this time of year, I found it was dusk by about 4 :30 , and so limiting how far I wanted to travel.

Typical costs for a taxi and driver ranged from 1400 to 2100 MRP, depending on distance and the length of the day trip.The average day trip was from about 9:30 to 17:00 from start to finish. Entry fee's were additional. It was easy to negotiate a price, but by the end of the holiday, I became quite firm that this was not a shopping trip, so I didn't want to "pop in" to factory/carpet shops en route. I found the taxi drivers very happy to chat and make suggestions, or provide answers to my myriad of questions.

Places to see: Again due to research and questions in this forum, I seemed to have packed in a fair amount of sights, while still enjoying some beach/pool time!

Flac Sunday Market: Loved this.... a covered market jam packed with fruit/veg, household goods, wonderful pashmina's, colourful baskets /bags etc. Although very crowded, no one pushed and shoved, and stall holders were keen to engage in some gentle bargaining! I bought a lovely pashmina for 200 MRP, and a zipped basket for 300 MRP... the stall holder obligingly snipped off the dodo logo, and a passing elderly gent said he'd take it home to cook for his dinner! In the local supermarket I bought loads of packed spices, and some yummy cakes... all very reasonably priced.

Volcano: Hmm, it was along drive to see a hole on the ground.

Tea Plantation: What a lovely suprise! A good little museum, set in wonderful parkland/gardens, and the tea tasting was set in a stunning pavillion giving some astonishing views across the hills. Definately a photo opportunity, and no hard sell to buy the tea. Entry fee 250 MRP, includes the museum and tea tasting. Worth it, allow about 90 mins, but no one rushes you.

Grand Baisin ( Hindu temple and lake)... so quiet and serene, and a lovely spot to just sit and people watch. The lake is vast and has walkways around it. Free and worth lingering over.

Black River Gorge National Park. WOW... it was a relief to escape the relentless mono culture of sugar plantations..I raved about this when I got back to my hotel... take a picnic, try the different graded walks, view different waterfalls (Alexander Waterfall was an easy walk) and enjoy the huge variety of trees. glades and pathways, birds. Free and I could have happily spent hours here.. but other places beckoned.

Chameral... now some people didn't like this, but I thought it was facinating. An easy trip for all levels of mobility, beautifully tended gardens.. clean loo's, covered area for tea/coffee/cakes and very good informations guides. The waterfall here was spectacular, and there are two staging posts to take you to higher paths for better views. Cost, if I remember was about 175 MRP . Can be done in an hour, but again if you want to take your time, you could spend longer.

Port Louis... Well, cities are not for me, it was a hot day, and I just wanted to get back to some peace and quiet..

Pamplemousse Gardens.. sorry for the spelling! I thoroughly enjoyed this garden and the entertaining guides. These gentemen know how to tell a good story. This was one of my "must do's" and I was not disappointed. Lily ponds of course, but also lotus ponds, a deer enclosure ( with some new born "bambi's) a turtle enclosure, lovely shaded winding paths, as well as more formal tree lined avenues, all very well tended, with excellent description signs.Entry 100 MRP, guide 50 MRP. I could have happily spent a few hours, but this can be done in a hour or so if pushed for time.

Beaches.... Ahh, Bell Mare.. ok, probably not the best time to visit, but when the winds died down and the sun came out... sheer bliss. I loved the sound of the waves breaking on the reef, the few beach vendors were never a nuisance, and the horizon just seemed to stretch for ever! Many a happy hour was spent under my favourite beach umbrella, cool drink in hand, just staring out to sea.

Grand Baie.. not for me, too busy and the beach was ( in my view) not as inviting as Pereybere, however, watching the boats in the bay was absorbing.

Pereybere. Now that was a lovely golden small beach, set in a very pretty bay with crystal clear water. Definately worth a visit, especially if the day is dull on the east coast.

Flat Island....beats all superlatives! Just go and find out for yourself..

Lasting impressions. This stunning little island is best discovered by doing some research and getting out there. Travelling around takes much longer than I had expected.There was much that I didn't see or do, as there just wasn't enough time.

The people of Mauritus were wonderful hosts, and I shall miss their warmth and humour, which was one of the best part of my holiday.

Lancashire, UK
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1. Re: Just back... a review
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Mcpinder, so pleased you enjoyed your holiday in Mauritius. I enjoyed reading your report, thanks for posting.

Best wishes

Mazza :-)

Nottingham, United...
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Thank you for such a brilliant review... good ideas where to go and what to do.

How's the jet lag? !!

Bucharest, Romania
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for Seychelles
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Some quick questions:

From where did you hire a driver? In one full day which from the following places I can visit:

- Chamarel

- Black river Gorges NP

- Tea Plantation

- Casela Park

- Pamplemousses

Thanks in advance!

Miki

United Kingdom
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for Mauritius, Grand Baie
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Thanks for the trip report and I am glad you had a good time.

When I went to the Black river gorges there had been cutbacks and a lot of services for visitors had been cut or closed, it seems that might have been reversed.

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
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16,764 posts
148 reviews
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Kaz... jet lag not too bad, but I'm definately missing the Mauritian sunshine already!

Miki....... taxi drivers are everywhere! I initially asked my hotel to book a taxi for me, and they had a pre prepared list of destinations with set costs, but I actually found it was better to leave the hotel and talk directly to taxi drivers, and from there negotiate a price. Chameral, Black River Gorge and the tea plantation were all in the same area, so I fixed a price for whole day. the trip to the north for St Louis and Pamplemousse, were again in one area and booked for the day.

I didn't go to Casela, but other people at my hotel did. It was an hour's drive each way from our east coast hotel. They just booked the taxi for half a day, as they only wanted to do the walk with lions. I understand that Casela charge a fee for each activity, so if you wanted to see/do everything, including the zip lining, it may take longer than a half day, and so you'd probably have to pay the driver more for the longer day. Hope this helps.

UK, Mauritius
Destination Expert
for Mauritius, Belle Mare, Pointe Aux Piments, Pereybere
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155 reviews
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Hey McP you back in the UK already?

Really enjoyed reading your very informative and humurous TR! (Loved the dodo bit! and Flacq is one market I love thats not overly touristy)

Very good advise re not using the organized tours - not only are they expensive you end up sharing a mini-bus with another 2 couples.

Much better to do your research as you very wisely did, and organize your own transport.

PL yes I agree - I hate the place and only go there when I have to - parking is a nightmare.

And yes travelling around such a small island takes a lot longer than you think it will, and the sun sets very early in winter here - well before 5.45pm around now which I somehow always find odd when compared to the longer summer days we have.

Bambis? Now these little things I adore and must go and see them as not too far from me, so will take a look thanks.

Black River Gorges is a special place for me too - the views are stunning!

I also agree with you about Trou aux Cerfs extinct volcano - nothing really to see and I was very disappointed the first time I ever saw it. Not worth going out of your way for.

Flat Island: I have to do myself yet - sound stunning! Thanks for that!

So glad you had a lovely time and managed to combine relaxation and sightseeing.

Hope your jetlag isn't too bad?

We have had a very hectic 4 days as you know with the kitchen and bedroom work (and Jo and Kaz no, before you ask its nothing to do with Mr Grey!) and I'm now really looking forward to spending the weekend in a nice 5* hotel (my birthday treat for DH! - mmm maybe I should buy that book?)

Looking forward to your reviews of 20 Degrees and the Emeraude.

Cheers Pats (Lots of bolly!)

Bronia xxxx

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
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16,764 posts
148 reviews
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Bronia, thank you for your lovely comments. I still haven't adjusted to UK time, so was up at the crack of dawn this morning.

I spent the time writing reviews for 20 Degrees South and the Emeraude Beach Hotel.Both were very good for different reasons. .

If anyone has booked a good value package, I'd recommend independantly booking a short stay at one of Mauritius's other hotels. I thought the south of Mauritius was the prettiest, and the north had plenty of sight seeing opportunities. I didn't get the time to visit the west of the island, but understand this area may have the most consistent sunny weather.

As it is currently the winter season, I found prices are very attractive, although one of my taxi drivers advised me that once the UK school holidays begin, the hotels will become busier, and prices may relect this.

As for Mr. Grey.. well, carrying a copy will guarentee lots of interesting conversations with fellow holiday makers!!

Edited: 8 years ago
Nottingham, United...
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lol!!! McP... not sure whether I will be taking a copy of THE BOOK... we are celebrating our Silver Wedding whilst on holiday!! People might judge!

Bronia....I believe you... thousands wouldnt :D Enjoy your 5* weekend in whatever way you wish!

Karen

UK, Mauritius
Destination Expert
for Mauritius, Belle Mare, Pointe Aux Piments, Pereybere
Level Contributor
58,373 posts
155 reviews
1,038 helpful votes
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McP really looking forward to your reviews of 20 degrees Sud and Emeraude.

Jet lag does strange things to a person - I remember waking up the first morning back in England once and wondering who switched the A/C off lol!

Your TR is very helpful to everyone on the forum. Some very useful advise there.

Kaz: I keep hearing about Mr Grey - some good jokes on Facebook about this lol! Have a lovely 25th!

Cheers

Bronia xxx

Edited: 8 years ago
Merseyside
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103 posts
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Loved your update McP and have made lots of notes!

Bronia, really? As if I would dare imply your bedroom shenanigans were anything to do with Mr.Grey?!? And Karen, I've heard today that the book is like a classic love story?

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