I am loyal and consant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby-I just don’t care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it’s mine.
–Elizabeth Gilbert author
My second day on Mauritius we hit the beach at Ile de Deux Cocos (Two Coconut Island) via glass bottom boats. My life will never be the same. I think the students liked it too! There were probably 9 faculty and staff and 60 students on the island which sounds terrible but was really quite perfect.
We were greeted in true fantasy island style with cold face towels, mimosas, an open bar, free snorkel equipment and lounge chairs (pictured above) hammocks, cabanas, and a BBQ lunch of chicken, shrimp, fish, lamb, salads, breads, and on and on.
They had to pry our toasted, sand-crusted, worn-out bodies off the island. One of the owners (it is owned by a conglomerate) was on hand to wish us safe travels and make sure we didn’t make off with any of his crystalware, silverware, beach gear or the like.
In a journey of almost 6 weeks with a pace that makes my head spin daily, it was nice to chase sand crabs, ooh and ahh over fish, decide wether to snorkel or nap first (snorkel!), chicken or shrimp (both), hammock or lounge (neither!).
There were strolling guitar players who serenaded us as we napped and played in the sun and shade. Paradise, really. Because everyone was happy, content, relaxed. That night the “crew” that I hung out with in Cape Town insisted that IÂ go out with them, but when I heard that the ride they arranged wasn’t due to come back to this side of the island until 4am….I laughed and laughed and told them “you couldn’t PAY me to hang out with yall like that again.” Plus, the next day I headed out for some deep sea fishing funÂ and had to be up at 5:15am. So I caught up with some students that I didn’t know well and had yummy chinese food until we couldn’t keep our eyes open or our heads out of our plates.
I thought it was hilarious that our boat was named Zazou 3Â (Wasn’t that the dude in “The Life Aquatic?”). This was another one of my goals…to go deep sea fishing, something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years now but had neither the time or the money in ample supply at the same time. And after this trip out to catch some beast of the deep, I can honestly say I’d rather stand on the docks and just throw my money into the ocean, because deep sea fishing is a gamble. And despite our gear, guides, and good attitudes, all we caught was sight of a Chinese navy ship, and 3 birds. I guess after Fantasy Island, I was due to draw a short straw.
I spent my last day on Mauritius at a Botanical Garden (yall know how I love a botanicalÂ garden) this was theÂ best worst Bo-Garden ever. Turtles, ????Â (I have no idea what these are because NOTHING was labeled!), oh wait here are some FLOWERS! Imagine that-and lots and lots of trees. I shouldn’t complain since it was free. Of course I was out and about with Shayla and so the day had to decend into foolishness. We got mistaken for South African tourists, she was assumed to be a cook on the ship, our cab driver tried to shake us down for an extra $5US after taking us on a skeevy city tour, we ate some sketchy ice cream, shot amazing views of the city and she got groped on the water taxi. So we’ve dubbed Mauritius “The Island We Hate to Love.”
CHENNAI, INDIA: Here we come!