I have updated this entry as I originally missed some key details and felt an edit was worthwhile now that my driving frustration has passed.
The room we stayed in around the Flic-en-Flac area of Mauritius was incredible. It had an amazingly soft comfortable bed and a brilliant room design with sliding walls that open to reveal the twin sinks, the bathtub and shower. The toilet was smartly separated in another private room behind that area where there was also a walk in closet. We booked into the resort well in advance pre-paying when they needed cash and forfeiting any cancellation options for what has been my best cost per value stay ever. We were even upgraded rooms. We all loved the rooms and wished we could take them with us.
After relaxing at the resort we thought we should explore the country a bit. We rented a car and set out to visit Isle de Cerf on the opposite side of Mauritius. It is only about 40km away on the map, but the drive ended up being about 80km through twists and turns. To my surprise it took us almost three hours to travel this distance. We were snarled in gridlock traffic in one of the small cities and had to deal with slow buses, people standing in the road for no particular reason, and the common occurrence of people stopping and leaving their cars in the middle of the road even though there was often space to pull over and get partly out of the way. I should also mention that on the main motorway the speed limit is 110 km/h but the average driver here doesn’t seem comfortable driving over 60 km/h. Despite this it often doesn’t keep them out of the fast lane. Driving here has been a bit frustrating.
Isle de Cerf is very beautiful. We took a fun speed boat from a local village to get there. It was an hour long exploration that took us to waterfalls and circled the island. The speed the boat was able to reach was impressive. The island is busy with tourists and for good reason. One part of the island has soft sand and safe places to swim in calm water, and another part has a lot of boat activities. There is also an impressive golf course on this island, which must be one of the most scenically beautiful in the world. We had good lunch and a great walk. We returned on one of the slowest boats I think I’ve been on and later drove to a Japanese restaurant for some great food. The drive to get there and back to the resort took some time.
The next day we went to the Pomplemousse Botanical Gardens for an enjoyable walk. We continued north to visit what many Mauritians call the best beaches in the country. I personally preferred Isle de Cerf, but they were good and very popular on the weekend with the locals. After walking down the beach we found an authentic Indian restaurant where we had a great lunch. We spent the late afternoon and evening back at the resort for our last night in Mauritius together.
On our final morning I took advantage of an inexpensive four-hand massage at the resort to ease off my stress from driving here. A four-hand massage is simply two masseuses doing synchronized full-body massages on you. This was the second time I’ve had one and they are so incredibly good. It was immense pleasurable relaxation.
When we drove to the airport I wanted to take the scenic drive to see some of the highlights from the South. The weather wasn’t very good and the roads were so curvy I almost had car sickness despite driving. There is certainly a lot of beauty and much to enjoy in Mauritius, but don’t make our mistake trying to see a lot of the country in a short amount of time.
Photos are available here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=112441&id=673382190&l=bbffe7954f