International TravelThings I LoveWining/Dining


Would you agree with me that the value of time spent on vacation is priceless?  I’m thinking you do. Few people would want to miss a thing.  But scheduling in “down time” has also proved invaluable as one can only be “on the run” for so long without either losing it with your companion or falling asleep in the middle of a tour (I dozed off on nearly every early-morning safari ride!). Thus, I always like to schedule in a couple of R&R days if possible nearing the end of a long journey (click here for where we’ve been).  You know how you hear from many that they need a vacation from their vacation?  These “do-nothing” days help solve that problem ..

And that brings us to the island of Mauritius, a 3.5-hour flight from Johannesburg, in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa. There are over 100 different resorts on this island of 1.2 million inhabitants, ranging from the high-end:  Four Seasons, One & Only and Oberoi, on down to places of all price points, with one good-sized airport serving all.  The residents rely principally on tourism for their income, followed by export products sugar cane, pineapple and other tropical fruits. A smaller portion of the economy is the textile industry.
View from the plane …
Being a sucker for white-sand beaches, I decided on Mauritius over other choices: Madagascar (vanilla, anyone?), Mozambique, or the too-far-away Seychelles (off the coast of Tanzania).  This island got the nod because of the variety of resorts available plus a reasonable travel time from Johannesburg, where we stayed after Zimbabwe and where we must return for our flight home.


Four Seasons “check-in,” which actually took place
 in the bar area .. that was a lovely welcome!

The biggest challenge was the sticker shock coming from the dirt-cheap ZAR (South African rand) to the Mauritian rupee, plus the fact that most of our previous stops were basically “all inclusive” — especially on safari — with incredible food and superior wines, liquor and well-stocked minibars. Good thing it was dark at dinner the first evening where the Hubby calculated the cost of my minestrone at $22.  Ooopsie.  I put an end to that by insisting he turn off his internal currency converter for the stay … I’ll skip the spa treatments (massages were maybe $75 on safari and start at $200+ at this resort) and opt for the “free” water activities offered while enjoying the gorgeous landscape.

Above: one of the many amenities offered, which included cold towels, fresh fruit & Evian facial spray. Clearly we felt we’ve now seen it all when the young man at right approached and said “May I clean your glasses?”  We’re done. Time to go home …

We enjoyed beautiful and clear weather, sans rain, but with such prominent winds that snorkeling wasn’t available (the water current was too strong) nor could the pool umbrellas be opened for fear of toppling over.  Small price to pay for this island paradise. Yet every meal or beach/pool stay or even a gym visit had most everyone glued at their devices.  Sadly it is a world-wide epidemic.

                               View from our patio (loved the plunge pool)

Savor some of the beauty below…. I’ll be back soon to report on the Johannesburg stay, the long journey home, plus my Africa “Hits & Misses.”

The view at left and above are actually one and the same. Endless water options (wading pool into infinity pool overlooking ocean).


All things coconut near the pool ..


All alone in the pool and loving it ..

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