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.