The ride back to Mahebourg was a breeze and once again I checked into Bamboo. That night I got an invite from a Couchsurfer living in Tamarin to go camping on the beach with her and some friends the next day. I was committed to witnessing the Cavadee celebration with the Bamboo crew, but I said yes hoping it was an easy ride across the island. We woke up early to prepare for the Cavadee celebrations and Reshma had outfits picked out for all of her females guests. The procession began a bit later than normal, around 11 am, so the sun was blazing... which meant those making the pilgrimage to the temple had to suffer barefoot on the hot roads. A truck went ahead spraying water on the street, but this did nothing for those in the back of the line. There are harnessed men, women in trance, the faithful – pulling their cavadee and moving with effort and determination to the Home of Muruga. Many have chains fixed by hooks clawed into their skin to pull the small wheeled altars, green lemons hanging from their skins and other 'vels', or sharp needles, pricked through their skin. All of this and ten days of fasting – a real showing of faith.
After the last offering passed by, I sped back to Bamboo to pack up and head west towards Le Morne. As soon as I get on the road I realize it will be a long day – most of the country is out in the streets celebrating Cavadee, making it slow going through every town. It is a gorgeous drive along the south coast though, and someone is always around to point you in the right direction. I pull up to Le Morne beach and am blown away – it's beautiful. I locate the couchsurfer and her friends as they are starting to barbeque – good timing. A nice crew, mostly from France and a few local Mauritians, all living and working in Mauritius – I feel lucky to be included and try very hard to understand French! Just as we're getting cooking, a storm blows in and we decide to move along and try to find another spot out of the rain. Without much of a choice, we start the procession of 4 cars following me on my little scooter as I am pelted by the rain. I am thankful that my new friends are helping to keep me safe as we go – probably up there in my top 10 most uncomfortable scooter rides! We end up on Tamarin public beach where the rain has stopped and others have already started a big bonfire. The neighbors even have a fire thrower. Tents are pitched, food is brought out, and we enjoy a great night on the beach. I wake up in my little green tent to a gorgeous sea view, and dive right into the sea. I return to find my new friends making a picnic breakfast – I could get used to this place. They are making plans for the day, but I am content and decide to spend more time in Tamarin – it has a great vibe. Guest House Chez Jacques came highly recommended, so I called the manager and explain that I'm currently camping on the beach, but would like to check out his place. “Are you standing next to a green tent?”, he asks in his Italian accent. Startled, I look to my left and there he is walking my way. Laughing, I hang up the phone and walk on down the beach to meet him. Yes, I think it might be a sign!
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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