Working In Paradise
I had a wonderful feeling as I parked my motorbike outside of Guest House Chez Jacques. I love the excitement of the unknown while traveling, but there is also great comfort to be found when you are able to return to a special place. I walked through the gate and was greeted by a smiling Italian #2 – it was exactly what I needed after my rough ride through the capitol. There was a lively bunch of guests at Chez Jacques and we all enjoyed the cooking of Italian #1 that night. I stayed another 2 weeks living in Tamarin, working on maps and spending time on the beach. Three projects had my full attention and I wasn't leaving until I gave them a full effort. One organization I discovered monitors the marine life of the island, particularly the dolphins of Tamarin. I was lucky enough to spend 1 day out on a catamaran to Flat Island mapping birds and looking for dolphins and turtles. We tracked marine birds from the boat, then searched for nests on Flat Island, after which we checked out the underwater scene with our snorkels. I could get used to this - not a bad day at the office!
My new friends kept me busy as well. I enjoyed Ultimate Frisbee with some expats, music on the beach with the local Tamarin crew, a stand up paddle lesson, more surfing, and mapping the trails in the nearby National Park. Tamarin Hotel had live music every so often, Manna's served up delicious local cuisine when Italian #2 was taking a night off, and the noodles on the beach never got old! One Sunday I was invited back to the east coast to take a boat trip out of Blue Bay. We visited 3 other islands, saw some Clown Fish, hiked an old fort, and had a fantastic cookout on Lighthouse Island - brilliant day with lovely people. No shortage of fun things to do in Mauritius!
After a little over 2 weeks I felt pretty confident with the direction of my projects and networking efforts, and was getting pretty comfortable in my life in Tamarin.... it was time to move on. It was excruciating to do, but I packed up the motorbike, said my goodbyes and promised to return, and headed back to Mahebourg to fly away. I breezed through customs (3 days short of an overstayed Visa...) and boarded - knowing that I will definitely return to this beautiful little paradise. Mauritius fed my soul, filled my heart, and turned me into a blonde - and for all of that I am grateful! (well, still deciding about the blonde part... ). See you soon Mauritius & lovely new friends!
Just as I was planning a picnic at Casela, I get a frantic text from a friend I met in Grand Baie - "Hey! Come to the north NOW and go fishing with us! Hurry we leave in 1 hour...!" Well, the north is about an hour away, but I'm up for an adventure. I managed to beat Port Louis traffic and arrive in Pereybere in just over an hour where a lovely fishing boat was waiting, full of Austrians. It was a nice ride on the water (although the Austrians were quite upset about only bringing 6 beers), and I even managed to catch 3 Bonito (lucky rod choice!).
I still had my room in Tamarin, but over dinner Austrian #1 offered me a room in his house for as long as I'd like. It was a bit tough to leave life in Tamarin, but I moved north to my new room in Pereybere. My first night there he even had some friends come over for a bbq - a great welcome! It was a beautiful house, and it was wonderful to have a kitchen, couch and front terrace to relax. I took advantage and treated us both to many poached egg breakfasts! The place was walking distance to the Pereybere beach, so when I wasn't working on mapping projects I could escape for a dip. A meeting with the US Embassy provided a few more leads, so I found myself spending much more time behind the computer -but it felt great. The rush I get from a lead is something that will never grow old, and it reminded me why I chose life as an entrepreneur!
I was introduced to many new friends, who invited me to bbqs, the beach, and parties. One day a new friend took me scuba diving through Octopus Dive Center, and the water was absolutely stunning. No major sightings but a nice morning out in the water and the dive crew was great. My last weekend in the north I was invited to stay with a couple at their place in Troix au Birches. We had a great weekend, and again, I met many new friends. Mauritius loves barbeques on the beach and everywhere I went I was welcomed with open arms. But I was missing Tamarin, and a few of my leads were down that way, so after 2 weeks I said my goodbyes wandered back down to see what was happening at Guest House Chez Jacques...
Combining a passion for travel, the desire to make a difference & a love of maps, MaggieMaps was born.
Unless otherwise noted, all prose, poetry, maps and photography posted on this blog are Copyright 2013 Maggie Maps
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