Friday, May 18, 2012

Mauritius - Honeymoon


I was getting married in 3 months to Anita :), and like any other couple I had to decide where to go for HoneyMoon. After lot of discussions and research I finally decided on Mauritius. My major source of research was TripAdvisor and few people I knew had been to mauritius (Manjeet, Abhinav etc). The closest competitors to the destination were Thailand (Krabi, Pattaya etc) or Maldives. I had been to Malaysia so that was removed from the list. I wanted to go to a place with beaches/natural beauty and which still had activities to do (that crossed maldives as option). Finally I started making calls and finalized a package with MakeMyTrip.

The 2-3 months passed by quickly and the marriage day arrived :) . After so much hussle and activity I was looking forward to the break. We flew to Mauritius in AIR Mauritius flight on sunday Feb 26th. We were really looking forward to the trip. The short flight of 7ish hours finished quickly and we landed in Mauritius. The weather in February is sunny/humid but still pleasant compared to Delhi/India. I was pleasantly surprised to see not much security/immigration checks etc and we were out of Airport within minutes of landing. A bus was waiting for us which got filled with few couples and on we went to our Resort.

We got a nice cozy room at the Resort and soon after check-in we just went to the resort's beach. We were staying at Casuarina Resort and Spa at Trou aux biches. We walked around the beach till evening and it was fun. Mauritius beaches are sort of like Goa beaches sans the people :) . Everywhere we went it was desolated. Only people we would see were European families on vaccation or Indian couples on Honeymoon. We played around at the beach and came back for dinner at the resort. We were tired from the flight and travelling so a nice candle light dinner was refreshing. The resort had indian (not so good :)) food as well but I was ok with the fruits/european food and a long list of sweets laid out for dinner. After the dinner we just hung around the resort/pool and retired to our rooms for a long next day.

The package included some sight seeing. We went to a ton of places. Everyday we would get up at 6..7ish get ready, have breakfast and off we went. There was a north island tour, south island tour and Ile aux cerfs tour. The north and south island tour were almost similar except that we did one of them in sunny/humid weather and one in cloudy/rainy weather :)). That was the best part. The climate keeps changing across the island just in few kilometres. We went to a old fort, malls, casino, a shiv ji temple, a waterfall, a meteor crater etc. We even saw 2-3 places where few scens from Bollywood movies Kuch kuch hota hai and Mujhse shadi karogi were shot. Mauritius has pretty much everything from hills to plains to greenery to beaches. The best part was the Ile Aux cerfs tour in which we did speed boat ride, parasailing and Under sea walk.

Under sea walk was our first of its kind experience and it was fantastic. We were few feet below sea water , hundreds of meters away from beach looking at the acquatic life. The corals, multi colored fishes everything was amazing. And it was scary too :). The weather added to the experience. It was windy and cool most of the time.

We took some optional tours in one of which we went on Catamaran cruise. We started off great and it was fun and adventurous as the huge cruise was sailing through water and bouncing on waves just like a joy ride. But due to bad weather we had to return half way. So we spent the rest of the day roaming around the resort, hanging out at the resort beach.

Our last optional tour day was to Casela national park. Here the most amazing part was the lion safari where we got to touch the lions. Yeah real lions. We spent few minutes in an open space with 3-4 lions and all we had was a stick to protect us :). Casela national park also has a nice quad bike trail which has lot of animals in open spaces including ostritches, zebras, deer etc. And riding a quad bike on a bumpy terrain was the best part. If only I was allowed to race :).

The last evening of the 6 day tour we mostly spent lazying around on beach soaking up as much of mauritius as we could. We stayed at the beach till the sunset and came for our last candle light dinner to the Resort. I also tried the locally brewed Phoenix beer which was pretty similar to Corona. We also took a scooty from our resort and went roaming/exploring nearby beaches. Riding in Mauritius was fun as the roads are mostly empty. We went to a public beach which was pretty neat and was hardly crowded. Finally we checked out of our Resort and took our bus back to the Airport with nice memories and tons of photos :).

Things to note:
- Mauritius can be very sunny so moisturizers/sun tan lotions are must
- Its best to take dollars to Mauritius and get them converted to Mauritian rupees from Airport as soon as you land.
- Mauritian rupee conversion is around 1$ = 29MUR and 1MUR = 1.7 INR
- Dont forget your beach wear like I did :)
- Mauritian People mostly know English and many know a little bit of Hindi as well so language/communication is not a problem.