In the (late as always) third and final installment of our trip, I’m going to share the very best bit – all the water fun and frolics.
Firstly, our day on the hotel’s Catamaran.
It was, put simply, a day of bliss. Cruising around on a catamaran for 25 with only 8 on board (including 2 crew), a BBQ, unlimited rum punch and beer, and the most turquoise waters I’ve ever seen.
Ahoy there, Andy.
After lunch we headed to an island that I can only describe as the kind of place you’d want to be stranded.
These guys were maybe the only thing keeping us from setting up camp and spending the rest of our holiday here. They may look small, but they were huge – the size of a large fist.
Until a couple of months ago, this would have ruined my holiday. It sounds dramatic, but I would have laid awake at night in a cold sweat, positive one was hiding under the bed, waiting for me.
But it’s a-ok, because now I am proud to call myself a former arachnophobe, thanks to London Zoo’s friendly spider programme. I’m going off on a tangent here, but if you are anyone you know feels their life is affected by the presence of these creepy crawlies, I urge you to go on this course. And you could soon be doing this:
Anywho, I digress.
Phoenix, the beer of Mauritius. It even comes with a friendly warning that it may cause ‘physical, emotional and domestic issues’. Well, at least they’re honest… and it’s delicious nonetheless.
Stupidly, in the last few days of our trip we only just caught on that our hotel organised free glass bottom boat snorkelling trips. Delighted at the prospect of a last swim with the fish, we booked onto two days in a row.
They took us to an area they liked to call ‘the aquarium’.
We saved something pretty special for our last day. Adamant that we would never go to Seaworld having seen the documentary Blackfish, (watch it if you haven’t and I think you’ll be in the same… boat) I was desperate to see or swim with some dolphins in the wild.
We woke up at 5am and headed to Flic en Flac, where we hopped on a speedboat with several other weary travellers.
The sun had his hat on, and we were giddy with excitement.
From the moment we arrived, we were practically surrounded by wild dolphins.
Seriously happy chappies!
Having spent around an hour gazing in awe, we headed to another very quiet bay to see if we could swim alongside a few of them.
I’m going to be bold and say what followed was probably the best 15 minutes of my life. 3 or 4 of us swam with a pod of around 35 dolphins, including a tiny baby I called dauphinoise. Just AWESOME.
Totally awestruck by what had just happened, we headed to the crystal rock and it’s neighbouring island for a spot of lunch.
One of our crew was celebrating his birthday, so of course he received a birthday dunk.
Lunch was a selection of barbecued seafood and chicken, served up with a heap of coleslaw and hunk of garlic bread.
This little fella couldn’t keep his eyes off of it.
Full and dozy, we headed back to the mainland. Stopping off for a cheeky last snorkel.
I have no idea what Andy is doing here. He doesn’t either!
All good things must come to an end, and ours came to a slightly premature halt when we ran out of fuel, about 400 yards from the shore.
Luckily, the mobile signal was strong and these gents came to rescue us!
I cannot recommend any destination more than Mauritius for a holiday. The people were friendly, the climate just perfect, the food delicious and varied, and it really was not as expensive as many people anticipate. We’d previously looked at some European destinations, and with the exchange rate still not at it’s best it was going to get rack up rapidly. I wouldn’t recommend going for less than 10 days as its a bit of a trek (we flew direct with BA in 12 hours, but indirect flights with Emirates are cheaper) and we booked our whole package through BA as it worked out cheapest. Saying that, Mercury Direct are constantly taunting me with emails for all inclusive Mauritius holidays starting at around £1000.
Earlier this year I read about a study that proved that experiences make you happier than material posessions. It is something that has always been in the back of my mind, but over the next year or so I want to make an effort to save for experiences rather than spend my Saturday afternoons shopping. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be avidly luting after cashmere jumpers and new leather boots all winter long, but those ASOS splurges may just be a little less frequent… we shall see.