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!
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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