10th April: – North Tour, Malls and Marie Raine de la Paix
Since we were staying on the northern side of Mauritius, it was to be quite a short ride to the places we were to visit. A few people were smart enough to avoid today’s ride and go on their own. The morning was spent at a Shopping Center; where half the shops hadn’t even opened for the day. We, of course, were bored out of our skulls. Luckily there was a book and music store open. We rushed in and whiled away time till we had to leave. From here we headed off to Port Louis from where you could see almost the entire northern area of Mauritius. You could visit the famous Marie Raine de la Paix church.
It is a popular spot for prayers and is one of the frequented places in Mauritius. When Pope John Paul II visited the island, he offered his first mass there.
After a breathtaking northern side view of the island, off we went for more shopping. This time we were left alone for almost four hours! My sister and I roamed around the area for an hour hoping we might buy stuff that wouldn’t burn a hole in our pockets. After an hour we were literally struggling for the remainder of the time.
We decided we’d spend one hour having lunch. That hour pushed on slower than a tortoise and finally we moved away and went on a second round of window shopping. This time we entered almost every shop and wandered about. Even then, time didn’t fly by. At one point, we even contemplated watching a movie! Finally not being able to handle it anymore we went and sat on some steps and waited for time to move on.
Finally it was time to leave from there and head back. Now on this tour we were given two days to ourselves and we could choose whatever we liked to do. So we chose to visit the Casella Bird Park the next day leaving the last day to walk around the beach close to the hotel.
11th April, The Casella Bird Park and The Grand Bay Beach
Our first stop for the day was the bird park. We were given a little over an hour there and we took full advantage of it exploring every corner. To enter the park, you had to walk over a little bridge which had a pond beneath it and pretty orange fishes swimming around. Once inside, you’re greeted by ducks and swans elegantly swimming and waddling in the water.
As you walk by you reach these large cages filled with huge, colourful, screeching Parakeets. There were two kinds of parakeets; one with the colours blue and yellow and another with red and green. As we got closer to their enclosure they started to show off and dance and put on antics and even tried coming closer. Although they were in enclosures, the enclosures were quite large and spacious. The birds were even allowed to step out and fly about and yes, show off to visitors too.
Quite a few birds like the peahen, peacock, swans etc. were wandering about the park. Mesmerized by the sight we continued on our walk. We reached the next enclosure filled with twittering yellow birds where each bird had a companion. Not a single bird was alone. Curious I read the placard hanging nearby and read: Love birds, always together.
Smiling at that we walked further down and came across a large pond.
There were a few benches perched next to the pond and so we went and sat there for a while and gazed at the sheer beauty of the place. Quite a few ducks and ducklings were in the pond waddling in silence and enjoying a sunny day. We also got to see a Wallaby giving company to a turtle and a couple of deer nearby. A little ahead we saw this animal which for a minute I couldn’t figure out what it was.
A little while later we reluctantly got up and left for Grand Bay beach. Since we were to have lunch there too, we first did that and then visited the beach.
At the beach we just walked from one end on the sand and from the other end in the water. Most of the folk were chilling and getting themselves a good suntan. There were a few kids who were oblivious to all this and were splashing about with glee in the water. After doing so they then were busy building some kind of hole by digging through the sand energetically. We also got to see an elderly couple walking hand in hand and looking extremely pleased with life. My sister and I soaked in all the happiness and sat under a tree for some time. Soon it was time to return back to the hotel.
12th April, The Troux Aux Beach
Our last day of the holiday, we decided to spend it at the beach near the hotel which was just a ten minute walk away. We took our individual books to read and sat down under the shade of a tree and read with the sea and the breeze as company.
An hour or so later we went for a walk around the beach and enjoyed every minute of it. As we headed back to our hotel, we felt a touch of sadness knowing our holiday has come to an end. At dinner time, we were in for a pleasant surprise. The hotel had a live show happening and there’s was a lovely woman serenading all of us with her beautiful voice. Sitting under the stars, listening to some soulful music, having a delicious dinner… it was a perfect ending to our holiday. Tomorrow, it was time to say goodbye to this wonderful island.
13th Return Home
Since our check out time was noon we packed our bags, had breakfast and sat in the reception waiting to be taken to the airport at 3 P.M. We ensured we had our books on hand to pass the time which turned out to be a breeze. At half past one we had a light lunch at the hotel itself and continued with our reading. I was nearing the end of my book and since there was going to be another wait at the airport’s departure lounge; I shut the book and enjoyed the view around for a while. Promptly at 2:45 P.M., the person taking us to the airport arrived. The same routine of picking up people from various hotels took place before we headed to the airport.
Once there, we bid our goodbyes and headed towards our respective flight booths. After all the formalities were done, my sister and I plonked our butts at the departure lounge and yet again I picked up my book. My sister, unfortunately, had finished her book and kept looking at me and saying “you won’t talk till you finish your book, will you?” I shushed her and said one word, no. she grinned and took off on a mini tour of the airport to while away time. She returned just as I finished the last few lines of the book and looked up at her. We barely had time to chat when the announcement to board the plane sounded out.
So up we got and boarded the flight. Our holiday had come to an end and back to reality we returned.