After sad goodbyes with American #3 in Cape Town, I was off to Mauritius via Joburg. First flight was no problem, but customs at JNB commandeered my passport and led me to the other side of the airport - I have overstayed my visa by 2 days. I'm led into a room too small for the number of customs officials hanging out. I'm told I have to pay a fine of 2000 Rand before I can return to South Africa. Ok - by this point my flight to Mauritius is boarding, so after signing my life away off I go!
It's a red eye, so I get to Mauritius around 4am in the cover of darkness. The Air Mauritius staff is cheerful and I'm exhausted but excited for a new adventure. We arrive, and I queue up for Immigration. Having chosen Mauritius on a total whim, I only made sure I didn't need to apply for a Visa in advance. I walk up to the Mauritian official and he inquires about my return flight. I inform him that I will be staying no longer than 5 or 6 weeks, but haven't yet decided on my next destination. Ooooh I pushed a wrong button! Red flags go up, and I am suddenly removed from the line and placed on the side to watch the rest of my flight enter the country. The man summons a flight company, and after 1 hour I purchase 1 flight to Madagascar via a very tired Air Mauritius officer. Ok let's go! Oh wait, that isn't enough! The officer is adamant - he has to make sure I'm going all the way back to the US and won't let me through until I prove it. My nerves are shot, so I lose my cool and tell him that I am leaving his country and its none of his business whether or not I go home. Fuel meet fire. I spend the next 2 hours with 15 immigration police officers trying to 'fix' this situation. Meanwhile, my guest house transport has been waiting for me and has finally given up and thrown away that sign with my name in capital letters. Finally, after purchase of 3 airline tickets I am allowed into the country. The sun is up and the airport is empty, save my lonely backpack by the turnstile. I hop into a taxi and go off to find Le Bamboo and make amends with my new hosts. Despite ruining their morning, they insist on feeding me and making me feel immediately at home. I spend the next few hours talking with flight companies to cancel my overpriced purchases and the passing out, excited to wake up and start over with Mauritius!
Combining a passion for travel, the desire to make a difference and a love of maps, MaggieMaps was born. A place to share stories, resources, and a way to inspire and support others in realizing their individual travel dreams.
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Unless otherwise noted, all prose, poetry, maps and photography posted on this blog are Copyright 2013 Maggie Maps
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