In December 2008 we were lucky enough to visit Mauritius for a week for my daughter's wedding. Of course the kids were having a ball - swimming in the ocean, snorkeling, paddle-boating, jet-skiing, fishing trips, sailing - the list is endless. And this palm tree was the centre of their attention, climbing up to the top, dangling precariously while having their photographs taken. I did this sketch from memory, as the trip is deeply etched in my memory forever.
Some friends sailing in the tropical waters of Mauritius
I don't regard myself as a big traveller (although I do go down to the North Coast, Ballito, about 10 times a year (because my daughter lives there and we also have a holiday apartment there) and to Cape Town a couple of times a year, where my sister-in-law lives) and I really envy people that hop on the plane or take off somewhere at the drop of a hat. I've only been overseas (UK) once and didn't find myself particularly impressed by anything and besides, those long hours on the plane (or bus or train!) are definitely not for me. I prefer to jump in my car on a whim and when I feel like it.
The Stunning Beach at 'Sunset Beach'
We were a party of 14 people and at 9.30 am our flight departed from O.R. Tambo airport in South Africa. After a four-hour flight, we arrived in Mauritius at 3.30pm! Weird, the time-zone thing... and then another hour's drive from Port Louis to Sugar Beach Hotel, where we were just in time for sun downers after getting all the luggage to our rooms.
Sugar Beach Hotel
Entrance to the Hotel, with me trying to escape the sun
Sun downers was an absolutely blissful experience - everything that anybody could ever dream of - stunning setting, stunning views and the most stunning service I've ever come across anywhere.
Sundowner Deck at night
Sundowner Deck during the day, where you can also enjoy lunch
The rooms are beautifully appointed, en-suite, spacious and, obviously, air-conditioned, (without which I would not have managed to survive!) with stunning views over the ocean. All the expected extras like tea and coffee server, writing material, internet connection and a fridge brim-full with delightful goodies!
Our Large Bedroom
Another view of the bedroom
We had a state-of-the-art swimming pool right in front of our room, which was heated at night! (can't believe anybody would be cold there!) and it just seemed to blend in with the sky and ocean. At the restaurants there was another pool (HUGE, with islands and deck chairs in the water for sipping cocktails) and lot's of play-space for the children.
Pool in front of our room
Pool at The Tides Restaurant
Deck chairs in the pool for sipping cocktails
Sitting at The Tides Restaurant at dusk, chatting and sipping cocktails in the cooler evening air was the highlight of my every day - cool ocean breezes, the beautiful Indian Ocean - a get-together of everybody, sharing experiences and regaling the thrills of the day's happenings (everybody would have breakfast together in the beautiful dining room every morning, but thereafter, each was off on their own trip - swimming in the ocean, snorkelling, paddle-boating, jet-skiing, fishing trips, sailing or flitting off to Flick 'n Flack for some shopping.
The Tides cocktail deck
It was an unforgettable experience for me, partly because of my daughter's wedding and partly because I've (like everybody else) had this dream of visiting a tropical island, lazing on the sun-soaked beach and cooling off in an Azure blue ocean. Another dream realised! Just goes to show we're never too old to do something new!
After a week of bliss, it was time to return home on a four-hour flight that actually only took 2 hours! - once again the time zone thing - we boarded Mauritian time 4.30 pm and arrived Johannesburg 6.30 pm.
Definitely a travel experience to remember and for anybody that has not yet visited Mauritius, I would highly recommend Sugar Beach Hotel as your chosen destination.
View from our room
Lounge at Sugar Beach Hotel
The Bride and Groom - my daughter Samantha and Donovan Crewe
The Wedding Marquee on the Beach