Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 5 - North Coast Tour

Ringalingaling! “Good morning, this is your 7 a.m. wake up call.” Time to get up and get ready for our first excursion—the North tour of Mauritius. Our very nice taxi cab showed up and 9 a.m. and we were off. I learned real fast that I wasn’t a big fan of their roadways. They are very narrow! And until you get to the major cities, there are no highways. Thus, you have to go through every little town (and over every speed bump) and pray they don’t run over a pedestrian or biker on the road as they are weaving all around. And this is in addition to getting used to everyone driving on the other side of the road and the driver on the other side of the car. This part became a little comical because on the way home from some of our excursions, the taxi cab would stop at an ATM so we could withdraw some money. On Jared’s way back to the car, he would open what he thought was the passenger side door and find the driver sitting there as he started getting in the car. Always a good laugh!!
Pineapple plantation and villiages
Getting back on track…we found the island to be very green and full of color. They seem to use their resources wisely. It was common to find people’s pineapple and sugar cane plantations all along the road.
Port Louis-Business area and waterfront
Our first stop was to Port Louis. This is the capital of Mauritius. From the top of the mountain, you can see the residential area on one side of the mountain, the business area on the other side, and the water front area straight ahead.
Port Louis
From there, we spent a few hours at the water front. Our first stop was going to the market. From the second we entered the place, everyone was swarming to Jared telling him he needed to but a towel, shirt, siringa, etc. for his lady. Although we kept on walking, the people never left him alone. He made a few quick T-shirt purchases for his friends and then couldn’t wait to leave there and not have people all around him.
Port Louis-The Waterfront and Father of the Nation
This statue is the called “Father of the Nation.” He used to run the country until he past away.
The place we ate lunch and we found a Pizza Hut!
One the way back from the market, we stopped to get some lunch. We were so hungry for some good food, that we bi-passed all the Maurician food and went straight for a hot Panini sandwich and cold water. YUMMY!
Port Louis-the dancers and musicians on the street
The waterfront was lots of fun. The locals were out dancing, the musicians were singing along the streets, and the mall was a great place to cool off!
The final stop for the day was to the Botanical Garden. The botanical garden was initially opened as a private garden by the French governor of Mauritius nearly 300 years ago, later to become the national botanical garden of Mauritius.
The botanical garden stretches over acres of land. It has more than 650 varieties of plants among which are the famous Baobabs, the Palm trees, Giant Water Lilies, dozens of medicinal plants, a large spice garden, etc.
Part of the Botanical Gardens included an animal section.  Jared was watching a tour guide feed the deer.  So he thought he would do it too.  Then just as we turned the corner, we found this sign.  Oops.
After a full day of touring, we jumped into our suits and hit the beach for an hour before calling it a day and going to dinner and entertainment.

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