Chapter 4/4: Mauritius, all inclusive for the Olgiatis
After months of emotional rollercoaster, Lindsey and I finally got married.
We decided to not go on our honeymoon straight away, but instead to wait 2 more days to say goodbye to all the guests that traveled so far to be with us.
Some of them stayed at our house few days after we left, but mostly they all left that weekend.
It was sad to see them all going
. Yes, we would see them again in the summer, for our scheduled European Tour (England, Poland and Italy in three weeks!) but what after that? For the first time in maybe all my life I will not spend Christmas surrounded by my family, due to the one-year-here-one-year-there policy that seemed like the only decent option to share our future Christmas with our families.
But, as I said many times, this is a new life, and it's not always that easy to say goodbye to certain habits.
So, with dozens of wedding gifts freshly unwrapped, and a Nintendo Wii
Diamond edition still in the box, we packed our bags ready to go to Mauritius
. Ok, I stop here, you probably read "Nintendo Wii Diamond edition" and maybe you are thinking what that is. Well, basically some days before the wedding Lindsey and I decided to give each other something to wear at the wedding.
While she was shopping with her father to buy me a nice watch, I was looking for something to give to her. Unfortunately the sentence "something to wear at the wedding" in my mind became "something", and so I bought a Nintendo Wii, something that she hinted she wanted.
You can imagine the surprise. I got a watch, and Lindsey a console. She tried to pretend that was ok, but soon we had to go to the jeweler to buy my future wife some very nice diamond earrings to wear at the ceremony.
I'm sure there is some lesson for all you men hidden somewhere in my story, but I'm leaving it to you to discover.
Anyway, Lindsey and I decided to book the honey moon, in true Olafmeister style, on internet. The local agencies couldn't offer us anything nice at a decent price, so I went on Expedia
and booked a place to stay in 5 minutes, after extensive consulting with my wife. I checked the reviews on internet (tripadvisor
is probably the best place on earth to find these things) and here we go, Silver Beach Hotel (three stars) we are coming.
I didn't really know what to expect, neither from the hotel nor from the island. I usually travel around the world for work reason, to run a marathon (well, at least this was one the reasons some months ago!) or to visit friends and family. I never sleep in nice hotels, I always sleep in the cheapest, or at some friend's house. And so does Lindsey. Plus, what would happen if the weather was terrible and would get stuck in the hotel?
We boarded on a South African Airline plane and we landed 4 hours later in the only airport in the South East of the island, outside Mahebourg. As soon as we landed I realized how it was going to be. Coming out of the airport warm air hit me like a punch in the face, and within three seconds I was sweating. Luckily we booked our bus (organized by a company called Connections, which I recommend a lot!) in advance, and 5 minutes later we were on our way to the north east, to get to our hotel.
It was quite a long drive, especially because the view from our bus was always the same: sugar canes. You see, if you check a map of Mauritius you will see that they have like three main roads (and one motorway long maybe 40km), and to get to a point, due to the curious features of the island (mountains in some places, flooded roads in some other), the safest way to travel is to pick one of those main roads, and then get off somewhere in proximity of the destination. Everything else is covered in sugard canes.
We arrived at the hotel only in the late afternoon, tired but quite happy to see that we had a private beach and the ocean was only 100 meters away from our room. The room was simple, nothing too fancy, but thanks to the magic of the "all inclusive" package we could eat and drink whatever was on the menu or in the mini bar without being charged.
Going to Mauritius? Get on the all inclusive package.
This will save you a lot of money. You see, food and drinks are expensive. The island overall is like a giant tourist trap if you want to get some souvenirs or eat in a restaurant. Most of the big fashion brands have some big shop on the island, trying to off-load the original (manufactured in Mauritius, sold in Europe) shirts or jeans. You won't get a special price. Actually, you will, since paying 100 pounds for a pair of jeans on an island where most of the people leave with 5 Euro a day is quite a lot.
Lindsey and I would soon discover the two faces of the island: whoever is involved in tourism manages to get enough decent money to live a decent lifestyle, but if you are part of the wrong race or not involved at all with the tourism you will struggle.
Well, we'll get to it later. After all, we left the happy couple at the hotel, and we skip the details of the first night to go straight on the activities and tours we did on the island...