She’s a white girl…


It’s not difficult to stand out as a white girl in Mauritius, to blend in as a citizen is like a Liverpool fan standing in the middle of a Manchester Utd crowd… cliche maybe but you can imagine the surprise you would receive if you were that fan in the middle of room. How do you act? What do you say? You’re most definitely lost right? Maybe I’m over exaggerating, I think that Liverpool fan would be in for some trouble but the logic is there. For many British and European people visiting the island of Mauritius find themselves in the outskirts of the island. The ‘tourist’ areas, the comfortable setting of European type bars and restaurants alongside a breathtaking white sandy beach, clear skies and turquoise blue sea. What’s not expected is a European sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of a pure Mauritian neighbourhood. Yes seems crazy and now I read it back quite scary. 

“But you know I don’t class myself as white, European or anything other than a member of this family”

I am getting married to a Mauritian so surely I have some stand on that? The first time I came here I was in love with everything I’m told by the travel websites, magazines and blogs but what’s more interesting is the way you can fall in love with a culture, the simplicity of life and the greenery of which you find inland. The mango trees in the garden or the simple fact of visiting a small local shop which is owed and occupied by a local Mauritian family. We forget about the simple things in life yet here it’s like everything is put back into perspective. So yes that’s me, the white girl in the neighbourhood and this is my life in Mauritius as a British girl.

Botanical Beauty 

The Beauty of the Botanical Gardens in Pampelmousses 

There is something very peaceful about the botanical gardens, as soon as we enter I take a breathe of the fresh air surrounding us… I see green, the light beaming through the empty spaces in the sky. Tourists do pay a little more here than the locals… I say a little more. 25 rupees for the locals, 200 rupees for tourists which is just over £4.00ish. But for £4 you can’t moan and it’s definitely worth a visit, not only for it’s pure beauty but for the fact it’s the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere. 


There are lots of beautiful plants, trees and woodland which is a photographers dream! 


As you take this somewhat romantic calm walk around the land of green you’ll find yourself glancing at the well thought out labels of each plant and meanings towards.


The floating Lilly pads show off their full glory as they sit proudly at the top of the lake.

You find yourself walking along pathways to more pathways over little bridges and more stunning surroundings of lakes and wildlife.


And of course I couldn’t go without posing for a picture myself…


You’ll also find turtles, fish and many birds throughout your journey through the wilderness giving a sense of being in touch with nature as it’s meant to be.


You could spend a couple of hours just walking, talking and taking in this wonderful natural creation. If you’d rather, you can choose to have a tour guide which costs you 53 rupees per person. The knowledgeable local will take you step by step around the gardens whilst giving you chance to explore and learn about the stunning plantations that overlook you. 


Don’t forget your camera! 

Port Louis by Night… a 5 minute read 


There’s something quite airy about Port Louis by night. By 10pm it’s very dark, the humidity has calmed itself and the few lamp lights highlight spots on the dark street corners. The road rarely lit by a car’s lamplights and the odd few strangers mobile phones, lurking by the MCB central bank logging into the free wifi. 

It’s quiet. I look down to watch my step on the uneven pavement and surprise grates in my tightly buckled sandals. The odd restaurant and late night take away serving up its final batch of fried food. They look tired. 

As we reach the steps to the underground tunnel which leads up to Caudan Waterfront, a group of workmen are slowly taking down some odd scaffold and moving equipment. Over the ground lay floor tiles and small orange safety fences. Once standing, now flat incomplete of their duty. The sound of banging echoes along the walls as we get closer to the exit. 

It’s less dark here, the lights are doubled up and the reflections of the coastguard and cruise ship light up the water giving a sense of beauty. A picturesque view as the calm water ripples slowly. The music from the first Waterfront bar reaches us from across the square. We get closer, the music gets louder and there are more people to be seen. I look around, the buildings near by look grand and the palm trees pleasant. People gather together enjoying each other’s company on the many benches the square holds. Couples sitting looking out to sea, sharing romantic moments as the stars fill up the empty sky. 

We are here. Caudan Waterfront, the only place in Port Louis which has the ability to attain a sense of welcoming at such an hour. Although well lit and accommodating a dry mouth, still isn’t filled with customers alike. Whilst a few dance to the karaoke, others sip from their half full glasses and smoke a cigarette. Choosing a place to go is like choosing a chocolate out of a box. They all boast the same assets whilst others maybe snubbed as a the more tasteful treat. 

We settle for a small bar along the  water. Neighbour to our singing friend. The air is fresh here. My lemonade cold. The group on the table next to us talking in their mother tongue. Not Mauritians. Maybe Indonesians. They like Mauritius. I take a look behind me into the water. A few plastic bottles float helplessly in rhythm of the ripples. My heart drops when I see such careless behaviour. I look further, following the small movement of fish. The water is thick. It’s not transparent like the coast. 

Tourists walk by. Keeping within the safe bright area of the port. As if they don’t venture any further than the square. They cannot know the airy feeling that would greet them on the other side. It’s sad. A capital of a country, an island is buzzing on a Friday night, am I wrong? Yet Port Louis is dead. Caudan offers the only evening attractions alongside a great busy water located club. The coast offers more, as if the island is only catering for holiday makers and restricting locals of the central city of a youngsters paradise and mature bar setting. 

As the night draws in, the city is covered by a blanket of black thick nothiness, whilst Caudan pokes its head out of the end to get some air and take any excitement that may come with open eyes. Caudan. The pretty, sustainable part of Port Louis by night.

“From Your Valentine”

What is Valentine’s Day? 


Photo copyright- rappler.com

The real meaning on Valentine’s Day started a long time ago with a holy priest in Rome. The time of Claudius II the evil ruler… in an era of courtly love and Christian faith.

So the story goes a bit like this, see Claudius was a nightmare, emotionless and a complete slave driver. During this time he was trying to recruit a bigger and stronger army. I mean this guy wasn’t popular at all. He had beef with a lot of people. Many bloody campaigns and let’s be honest completely shit ethics. No one wanted to join his army! (Can you blame them) and because of this Claudius thought the men didn’t want to leave their loved ones. So what did he go and do… very spiteful may I add. He goes and bans all engagements and marriages. I mean pretty thoughtless imagine planning your beautiful day and now Claudius has to stick his nose in and spoil everything. 

But… our wonderful Priest Valentine didn’t agree at all and decided to contuine to marry young lovers in secret, in the name of love and Christianity. However this turned sour and poor Valentine got caught and sentenced to death! 


The days leading up to his horrible death he sat in his dark and damp cell and found a friend in the Jailers daughter. He had restored the sight of this blind girl just days before he was sentenced. They exchanged notes and words until the day of his passing he left one last note…

“From your Valentine”

That day was February 14th 278 A.D. The priest was made a saint and the day was celebrated thereafter.

So I don’t see Valentine’s Day as a day to spend lots of money or have expensive dinners but more to spoil your family and friends with love. In spite of Claudius who will never understand the meaning of it!

Info taken from History.com 

Life’s a beach! 


Mauritius has many reasons why it attracts tourists, honeymooners and travellers but one of the most famous reasons is it’s wide scape of beautiful beaches. With so much to offer in regards to amazing beach destinations what’s not to like about the Mauritian coastline?!

View this amazing guide I found to every beach on this stunning island!

Mauritius Beach Guide

(Courtesy of mauritiusattractions.com)

Winter, Fog, Glory…


I often sit and reminisce about home. I picture the low settled fog across the distance as I walked over the bridge to get to work. The feel of the cold air hitting my face when taking the first step out of my front door. The coat of which I so snugly fitted in to. My hands without cover trying to squeeze into pointless small pockets to find a touch of warmth.

It’s winter. The street lights still on whilst that one which always seems to flicker down the street as if it’s crying out for that added attention. I know, it’s still early. The moon is still making an appearance slightly faded in the morning sky. The frost is prominent as I look down at the concrete pavement of the road. White speckles glimmer in the lamp lights. Cars wearing a film of silver with pretty frozen patterned windows with no room to see. A bin, still left out from Tuesday’s collection. The trees still and calm in the moment of dawn. The few leafs left from autumns departure now white and colourless.

I see the sun. Trying to show the city it’s on time but a little subdued by the low hanging clouds. They want the glory this morning. It’s there’s and they’re not sharing. Not yet. My feet are numb, I’m making steps but they’ve already given up on the blood circulation that’s pushing to reaching them. The 2 pairs of socks are trying there best to hold in the heat with little success. My ears and nose are the worse. Without a hat or scarf they scream to me as if it’s a blame I should take upon myself. Maybe they’re right.

Early morning workgoers are driving past at speed, the carriageway offers a straight road into town. Frost melted from their windows with full sight of the outside world. The birds still sing. They are always happy. My body now hot contridicts what my face and feet are telling me. A few minutes away from a warm office, hot tea and comfort of my desk chair.

Taking those last steps over the frozen grass crunching under my boots. My breath blowing clouds as the warmth of my mouth meets the cold morning air. The music playing through my earphones gives my brain alternative thoughts from the British winter as I finally step inside the door.

Where are you?..

You are an individual. You have your own mind. Your own thoughts. Your own dreams and ambitions.

You are you.

You are special, you’re different and your DNA make up means you’re unique.

You are you.

You are not him, you are not her. You are not your mum or your dad, your grandparents or your friends.

You are you.

 You are not the Media, you are not the picture painted on the wall. You are not that perception and you are not what other people want you to be.

You are you.

The moment we stop thinking what we should be, when we stop following out of fear and when we truly become ourselves is when you can  truly appreciate how special you really are.

It is you.

Photo taken by myself at the beautiful Pamplemousse Gardens.

Capital P and L


Port Louis. The capital of Mauritius and the complete hustle and bustle of the island. For me Port Louis stands out completely from all the destinations across this large volcanic made land. 


  • Who said sweat was bad? 

Imagine a sauna… now imagine constantly walking around in a sauna, shopping, taking the bus, walking, sightseeing. Well in Port Louis you’ll find it’s the most humid part of the island. It is placed right next to the mountains and the nearest coastline is around 30 minutes away which leaves us in a whirlpool of hot air. Absolutely bloody brilliant if you’re trying to loose weight… however if you’re not used to the heat I’d advise you to stay on the coast for a holiday and visit Port Louis on a day trip. Oh and ladies don’t cake yourself in makeup because it will most likely be half way down your neck by the time you’re finished. Wear lightweight clothing and drink plenty of water!


  • Did someone say shopping?

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ok so I’m going to split the groups here a little… if you’re a shopper who prefers online shopping and likes to be in a quiet store in and out then don’t shop in the markets of Port Louis… find yourself a bus and get yourself to Bagatelle (a large mall aka shopping centre 5 mins from Port Louis center) ok so now you’re happy onto the shoppers who love a good bargain and a good ramble around. The capital offers a lot of shopping opportunities in the forms of boutiques, market stalls and shops. Is all systems go and somewhat quite an exciting experience I’ve found. I highly recommend you visit the fruit and veg market and all the little places surrounding where you’ll find clothes, toiletries, food, electricals and pretty much anything and everything. Souvenirs are also easily accessible! You have to look and be prepared to get involved and hey don’t be scared to haggle. It’s not just something tourists do. The locals haggle too!

  • Points of interest 

Instead of me rambling on about all these great places to visit here in the capital of Mauritius here is a lovely list with built in links. Thank me later 😉

Champ De Mars

The one and only famous race course of Mauritius, holding weekly race meetings on Saturday’s @ 11am onwards. Parking available. 

Le Caudan Waterfront

The port of Port Louis, shops, bars and wonderful sights.

Citadel Fort Adelaide

The perfect view of the city and the island.

Central Market 

Everything you could imagine in regards to fruit and veg and lots of other items! You won’t be disappointed. Personally I love this market!

Aapravasi Ghat

Amazing historical look at slave labour in Mauritius.

Blue Penny Museum

The clue is in the name but this historic museum doesn’t just hold tales of coins. Voted the best museum in Port Louis it’s definitely worth the visit. 

There’s to name a few but don’t be afraid to check out the following sites if you get hungry for more… oh and don’t forget to check out events that happen throughout the year especially Port Louis By Light!

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/mauritius/port-louis/top-things-to-do/a/poi/355475

http://www.tourism-mauritius.mu/en-int/discover/port-louis-capital-mauritius.html

And leading onto our next subject nicely… 


  • Food anyone?


You won’t be short on places to eat or treats to stuff your face. Of course you have the norm… McDonald’s, Nando’s, Pizza Hut, KFC and your standard restaurant but… why not delve into a bit of Mauritian street food. Now I have a one rule of my own for street food. I always choose a place which is wearing gloves, not because any others are dirty I just feel like it makes it more hygienic and with our European stomachs it’s better to be safe than sorry! The norm you’ll find is fried noodles with chicken or beef LOVE IT! Briani which is fried rice with chicken or beef again great dish and not your standard made at home. Meat, Fish and Veg balls. Roti, a pancake type dish with sauce and vegetables if wanted. Cakes cakes and cakes. Not cakes like in England. Cakes which are made from flour and chicken and vegetables and fried to perfection. Street food is not something to shy away from and definitely a great treat to have here in Mauritius.


  • To party or not to party, that is the question…


So believe it or not Port Louis doesn’t boast a large number of bars or clubs, if you want something like this then your best best is on the coastline, Grand Baie, Flic en Flaq or Pereybere. But there is a great place at Caudan Waterfront called ‘On the rocks’ based in a hotel and accessible through the hotel or across the water on a taxi boat. On the rocks is the place to drink some cocktails and dance the night away. I would also highly recommend the snacks in the form of beef, chicken and fish platter. Food is to die for!

That about rounds up Port Louis in a nutshell! Well I’ve written more than a nutshell but it’s worth it right? 

A reminiscent bus journey 

A Quick, light read of a reminiscent daily bus journey in Mauritius…

It’s not hard to want to watch the island go by when you’re travelling on the bus. It’s like watching a program on the TV, drink in hand, snack in the the other whilst you experience in 4D. The wind hitting your skin through the small open window. The warmth on your back as you rest on the leather seat your presented with and the motion of your body moving up, down and side to side as you travel along the road weaving in and out of traffic. 

The mountains are beautiful and magestic as the fog of the damp morning hangs over the peaks.

You can see the mountains from pretty much anywhere on the island… the smaller they get the more the distance becomes between me and my Mauritian home. The greenery is everywhere outside of the city. Sugar cane fields, trees and odd flower spouting through the grass. My mind is lost at this time, I know I have some minutes to go before I reach my destination and my eyes are picturing the checkpoints of the repetitive journey. 

My brain works overtime every day as I relax into my seat and let myself be driven to my volunteer work. I’m watching the people, the students hustling together, smiling, laughing wearing their specific uniform and backpacks full of what can only be literature. The little street food entrepreneurs setting up their small stalls on the side of the road selling typical Mauritian dishes,  and then there’s the people whom are also waiting at the never so obvious bus stops to get to their daily destination. Another journey, mind and a thousand pictures.

I always pass a run down market which looks as though it’s not used anymore, there I find a group of old Mauritian men discussing what can only be an interest they all share. Enjoying each others company, a daily ritual which keeps them smiling. Flower shops presenting beautiful bouquets, bespoke newsagents and quirky stores holding quirky names. 

Always a rush. 

As if the bus driver is trying to gain his personal best. There’s always a driver and a conductor or I like to call him the ticket man. You take your seat and he comes over to take your money and print off a ticket using his little ticket machine. I feel as though I’ve gone back in time. A bus in England but maybe many years ago. The doors are mostly left open and the conductor is usually on the step holding onto the rail just inside the entrance as if he could swing out at any moment. Hurrying customers on and off the bus.

Ignorance is definitely something I feel with the bus experience every day. There’s no queue to get on or any manners to let people out of their seat. Imagine if we’re at the local bus station in Nottingham and everyone starts squeezing to get onto the bus… you’d most definitely say something. It’s just not something we’d do. Unless there is somewhere in England where this is completely acceptable? 

The rain starts to come down, it’s not unusual in the summer season, the humidity is high and the rain likes to pour for a good 5 minutes as if it’s playing in a rainforest. Getting in its few minutes of fame before dissapearing for a few hours and taking in all its wet glory. I never close my window, I like to feel the rain on my skin. Always refreshing in the Mauritian heat.

55 minutes, a thousand pictures, a hundred stories and a few smiles leaves us with a simple bus journey from Port Louis to The Vale…

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A Review on ‘The Casa Florida Hotel and Spa’

Review – Info only

What a wonderful welcome. After a sweaty taxi journey we arrived at The Casa Florida Hotel and Spa which was down a small road 2 minutes from the Pereybere beach. As soon as we stepped out of the taxi we were greeted by a lovely lady called Leena who walked us over a little bridge housing a pond full of koi carp and home to a few frogs. 

Our bags safely at reception we were taken to a seated area by the pool for a welcome cocktail. We sat and enjoyed sipping our drink whilst being advised on the food, hotel and amenities that was to offer for our stay.

The first impressions were very good, a gated resort just 2 minutes from the supermarket and 3 minute walk from Pereybere Beach. The resort boasted a large restaurant area which was situated next to the pool. Across from the restaurant and still next to the pool was a lovely housed bar with an open sided wall with seating for relaxation whilst enjoying an alcoholic beverage. 

It was great to sit down and enjoy a cocktail whilst taking in the surroundings, as we finished the last drop we collected our luggage and was taken to our room. We had number 509 a standard room with AC. It was clean and comfortable with big mirrors, a TV, mini fridge, Bathroom with shower and a little terrace leading out onto the back gardens of the resort. The terrace itself is not private but there wasn’t many people passing by. 

We ventured out to the local supermarket Winners. It’s a 2 minute walk away and has a SMB cash point and everything you’d expect in a supermarket. I’d advise you to buy a few bottles of water and some alcohol if you want a few drinks before going for dinner or as a late night cap.

This time of year the hotel is quite quiet so there wasn’t regular entertainment. Friday night we were allocated a table as per our room number. (We went full board). Our three course meal started off with vegetable soup. Tasted good, not exceptional and with the weather being so hot in Mauritius we expected something a little more refreshing like melon or prawn salad. Dinner was steak, potatoes and salad. You walk up to a small BBQ style grill near the pool and the chef cooks the steak to your liking. This wasn’t like a fillet steak or sirloin but more like frying steak. It was served with a pepper sauce which was slightly bland. The steak wasn’t anything special but filled a hole, the potato wedges were spot on! 

We were well looked after by Vikram a supervisor of the hotel restaurant staff. He was superb another great staff member! 

After dinner we retired to the room to relax as you can imagine we were knacked after the day we’d had! The hotel also boasts a gym, tennis court, little park for children and games room.

The following day…

The AC was amazing! It’s really worth having in Mauritius and it didn’t cost any extra at the hotel. It comes as standard!

Breakfast is served between 7.30 and 10am as consists of freshly made omelettes, pancakes, pastries, bread, cereal and juice/tea/coffee/hot choc. All help yourself and you choose were you want to sit. When we arrived for breakfast we wasn’t completely sure of the way it worked. A wonderful member of staff called Kantee, has to be the most kindest lovely lady as we only spoke to her a few minutes. She explained all made us feel at ease straight away and helped us to find a table. Me brings a fussy eater opted for an omelette. I found it again quite bland so after a few mouthfuls went for a couple of pancakes instead. One with sugar and one with chocolate. They were really nice and cooked to perfection. Bry went for some pastries and went up for seconds. The juice is refreshing and tea and coffee offered throughout the time whilst you’re eating. 

There’s not that much to do in the hotel whilst it’s so quiet although Pereybere offers a beautiful beach along with bars, restaurants and some shops. 

Lunch was served between 12.30 and 2pm. Tomato salad to start which we opted out of having and then typical Mauritian chicken curry with rice for main. It reminded my of a curry flavoured between a corma and a tikka. Very delicious, enough to fill you up and served with a spicy kind of soup. Desert was ice cream which was very tasty. Vanilla with streaks of chocolate. Again after lunch we opted to relax in our room and enjoy some time together and a nap before getting ready for dinner. 

Saturday night consisted of crab soup to start. This was again a nice soup but maybe soup isn’t the best starter for such a warm country. The main was a mixed grill, chicken, lamb, fish and sausage. Served at your table with salad and side plates of rice and potato salad. This was really tasty! We poured the brown sauce onto the meat we were given and this was a great combination! Best meal of the stay! 

The entertainment was a DJ but with the lack of customers it wasn’t very lively! We enjoyed a drink in the bar costing 150 rupees each and involved ourselves in conversation with the barman who again was great. His name was Elvis and he made us feel welcome and instantly comfortable. 

Again Sunday morning consisted of breakfast as normal. Check out is at 12 but lunch was still included. 

Summary

Overall this hotel has a lovely atmosphere even though it was a quiet time of year for them. Friendly and accommodating staff, a lovely clean pool and garden area. Games room, tennis court, spa and kids play area to keep all interests entertained. Good food throughout the day. Clean rooms with everything you need. Beautiful location and perfect for a relaxing break away.

Thank you Casa Florida for our stay!