August 11, 2008

Semester at Sea - Mauritius

Decided to go back to writing my current thoughts about the voyage because the journal entries were way too long and had some information not relevant to why I am posting now.

In reading back on our visit to Mauritius I was a little shocked at how much I declared not to be a fan. Especially considering the Seychelles, our original honeymoon destination are right next door.

However, I think everyone was a bit disappointed and took it out on this country that didn't really deserve the 'tude. Our original destination was supposed to be Nairobi, Kenya. I was going to go on a safari!!!! A true African safari! After September 11 our ports of call were all very closely examined. There was a lot of violence in Nairobi and a lot of it centered around the American Consulate there. The violence was too great a risk and the port had to be taken off our itinerary. It was replaced with a tiny island off the Eastern coast of Africa called Mauritius (rhymes with delicious). The dodo bird originated here and Mark Twain thought the island was so beautiful that he suggested "Heaven was copied after Mauritius".

There wasn't a lot of time to prepare for the new port of call and I honestly had never even heard of it. I had nothing scheduled and I was totally bummed about missing my safari. The rules were very strict - you CANNOT leave the country where we dock. If that were the case, I'm sure we'd have all booked the next flight out for a safari.

I distinctly remember the port smelling of black olives. It was wierd. It was my first experience with "island time" and found that there is not real rhyme or reason as to when stores open and close. I decided, with my friend Juliette, to get my nose pierced. Not completely sure how we ended up where we did, but it was in a small store that was super cluttered and probably not very clean - but it's all part of the experience. At this point, this was my ninth piercing and it probably hurt the most. We didn't speak the same language and I am not sure how we communicated what we wanted but I loved mine. He used a really long needle and just forced it through my nose. It took a while and made my sinuses go crazy. But the second it was in I felt no pain and I loved it. After I got married, I thought I should let it close up. I can't wear it to work and it just seemed more of a pain back in the real world. I miss it though. I loved it so much and thought it suited me well.

Since we were on a tropical island, some friends and I decided to go to a small resort at a cool part of the island called Flic en Flac. It was very relaxing - minus the time I had my first encounter with flying cockroaches. One of my favorite memories was taking a paddleboat out with my friends Trina and Janet and seeing a bunch of flying fish - at least a hundred.

Enjoy - http://www.flickr.com/photos/14203806@N00/sets/72157606667535878/

Posted by karen at August 11, 2008 05:56 PM
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