Mauritius

A Mini India in the Southwest of the Indian Ocean


fresh water, salty tears
Hindu family photographed with Chamarel waterfall in the background.
steps of faith
Hindu believers ascend to the Sibra Subramany Hindu temple of Quatre Bornes, also known as Kovil Montagne.
Fishing for emotions
Father and daughter look out over the islet of Coin de Mire, off Cap Malheureux, on the northern tip of Mauritius.
Wet land
Visitors enjoy the tones of Terre des Sept Couleurs, in Chamarel, then dampened by some rain.
Christianity in Hindu Day
Residents and visitors of Mahébourg in the vicinity of the church of Notre Dame des Anges, on a Hindu national holiday Maha Shivaratri.
talk for the talk
Beach stall owners mingle while waiting for new customers, in the vicinity of Cap Malheureux.
an exuberant geology
Fishermen at the joint mouth of the Tamarin and Rempart Rivers with Lion Mountain
in a gaudy retreat
A faithful Hindu contemplates the houses of Quatre Bornes from the balcony of the Sibra Subramany Kovil Montagne temple.
Bois-Cheri tea
Sunassee Goranah describes the functioning of the Bois-Cheri tea factory, in the coolest and rainiest heart of Mauritius.
bathing weekend
Father and children bathe in the tranquil sea of ​​Trou Eau Douce.
Aapravasi Gate
The portico of the city of Port Louis passed through thousands of Indian workers who never returned to India
sweet road
One of several roads on the island of Mauritius that cross sugarcane plantations.
tourist family
Hindu tower
Gopuram (tower) of the Sibra Subramany temple, situated at the top of the Kovil Montagne.
The 2nd Landing Place
The Montagne du Lion projected from the Grand Port, a verdant bay where the Dutch disembarked for the first time, after the Portuguese had already done so.
Plantation & Tea
Balcony of the Bois Cheri plantation cafe with one of its plantations in the background.
rainy harvest
A tea picker from the Bois Cheri plantation works in the frequent rain of this elevated area of ​​Mauritius.
Port Louis
Houses in the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis
Trou-aux-cerfs
The crater and lake of Trou-aux-Cerfs.
In the XNUMXth century, the French and the British disputed an archipelago east of Madagascar previously discovered by the Portuguese. The British triumphed, re-colonized the islands with sugar cane cutters from the subcontinent, and both conceded previous Francophone language, law and ways. From this mix came the exotic Mauritius.

We were already used to contemplating endless cane fields as we roamed the island from one end to the other.

It was there, between Poste de Flacq and the vastness of the ocean, that we noticed, for the first time, the profusion of piles of volcanic stone that projected from them, their bases hidden in the green vegetation.

"Is this some ceremonial ruins?" we asked Jean-François from the depths of the sweetest ignorance and innocence. "What, that?" the native asks us back, somewhat incredulous and with a sarcastic smile.

"Not. Those are the stones that our ancestors had to remove from the field so that sugarcane could be planted. They ended up piled up like that.”

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, road between sugar cane

One of several roads on the island of Mauritius that cross sugarcane plantations.

We went down a little more in that Wild side of the Flacq region.

Through country and village interior roads that, among Hindu temples, small grocery stores disputed by saris of all colors, butchers and homes also gaudy and full of life, forced us to interrupt our march again and again.

The island of Mauritius that is confused with a corner of India

We were in eastern Mauritius. Any visitor more confused by the geography of the world could be led to think he had landed on the lush coastline of Karnataka or Tamil Nadu.

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Trou Eau Douce.

Father and children bathe in the tranquil sea of ​​Trou Eau Douce.

We passed Palmar and arrived at the bay of Trou d'Eau Douce, a picturesque but bipolar village that separates the domain below coral reefs of the large resorts from the more genuine good to the south.

There, fishermen keep their canes at the ready with only their heads above the water, side by side with the boats and catamarans that transport tourists on the crossings to Île aux Cerfs, one of the favorite turquoise bathing refuges in those places.

A series of riverside villages ensue between the Indian Ocean and the sugarcane plantations at the foot of Lion Mountain, which overhangs the emblematic Grand Port inlet.

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Lion Mountain

Fishermen at the joint mouth of the Tamarin and Rempart Rivers with Lion Mountain

The Landing of Portuguese Navigators and the Dutch Inevitable

In 1598, the Dutch landed in that exact place and named the island Mauritius, in honor of their Prince Maurice van Nassau.

This does not invalidate the fact that the unavoidable Portuguese navigators were the first to land there when it was still uninhabited.

Diogo Fernandes Pereira did it ninety-one years before the Dutch. He called the place Isle of Cirne but neither he nor the Crown – more concerned with the spice trade – paid much attention to it.

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Cap Malheureux

Father and daughter look out over the islet of Coin de Mire, off Cap Malheureux, on the northern tip of Mauritius.

The Dutch, these, fixed themselves.

Even so, their colonization attempts only lasted seventy years, until 1710, long enough to be accused of the extermination of the “dodo”, the large incapable bird that proliferated in the region before the arrival of European navigators.

The stuttering Dogson from "Alice in Wonderland."

We crossed the Grand Port. It is already in a kind of tropical oven that we reach Mahébourg.

At that time, it wouldn't be necessary, but the great cathedral Notre Dame des Anges confirms who the next settlers were.

Mauritius Island, Indian tour, church of Notre Dame des Anges

Residents and visitors of Mahébourg in the vicinity of the church of Notre Dame des Anges, on a Hindu national holiday Maha Shivaratri.

A minority of Christian inhabitants from the south of the island frequent it and the adjacent market, with the day off as it is a national holiday, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

When the French Succeeded the Dutch

Five years after the Dutch had left for good, the French arrived, who already controlled the neighboring island of Bourbon, today Reunion Island. Shortly thereafter, they called it the Île de France.

They inaugurated a prolific sugarcane crop that would forever dictate the colony's commercial success, based on a new naval base commissioned by newly arrived Governor Mahé de La Bourdonnais, Port Louis, the nation's present capital.

Mauritius Island, Indian Travel, Port Louis

Houses in the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis

Mauritius was made of these curious sequences and fusions. Oddly enough, once the colonial period had passed, the nation surrendered to a delicious multi-ethnic stagnation.

We walk down a street devastated by the heat repelled by the asphalt and the infernal traffic when, unlucky enough, one of us suffers irreparable damage from a slipper.

We went into a supermarket to find a replacement pair. When we pay, the amount of alcoholic beverages registered by the cashiers is such that the private parties that would animate little could be sacred.

From the south-eastern tip of Mauritius, we can see the Blue Bay where the Indian blue returns to its most vivid.

Bois Chéri: the Abundant Tea that the British Harnessed

From there, we cut into the high interior of Bois-Chéri, the coldest and rainiest part of the island, also its first tea plantation, introduced on a considerable scale in 1892, as might be expected, no longer by the French.

It rains harder and harder as we wind through the fields carpeted by the plant. Still, dozens of workers in plastic robes work through the endless hedges.

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Bois-Cheri tea

A tea picker from the Bois Cheri plantation works in the frequent rain of this elevated area of ​​Mauritius.

Already too drenched, we turn around and point to the factory that receives and processes the fruit, or rather the leaves, of their work.

We are welcomed by Sunassee Goranah, a person responsible for the company's guide. He is elegant but sober, wearing a white shirt that contrasts with the dark brown of his skin and the intense black of his hair and full mustache.

With him, we toured each production sector – from dryers to sheets, to packaging – to the astonishment of the uniformed employees who no longer had visitors at that late hour.

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Bois-Cheri tea

Sunassee Goranah describes the functioning of the Bois-Cheri tea factory, in the coolest and rainiest heart of Mauritius.

In farewell, Sunassee again boasted the qualities of green tea and its production in particular.

When he handed us some packets for our hands, he added very dryly so that there would be no doubts: “if you want to drink it with all its properties, don't add milk to it. That's what spoils everything!"

We moved to the restaurant on the farm. We had lunch and enjoyed an exhaustive tasting of the best Bois-Chéri labels, on a porch overlooking a lake in the mist.

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Bois-Cheri tea

Balcony of the Bois Cheri plantation cafe with one of its plantations in the background.

The French never valued tea. Unlike the next owners and lords of the island.

The Conquest of the Island by the British and the New French Colonization

By 1810, the British had grown fed up with French corsairs' attacks on their ships in the Indian Ocean, had decided to take over their greed for the rivals' colony and seize it.

As it made no sense for them to own a territory called the Île de France, they renamed it Mauritius.

However, they allowed most French settlers to keep their properties, the use of French and the French civil and penal code. Cultural fusion would not stop there.

Until 1835, plantation owners had resorted to the labor of slaves brought in from mainland Africa and from Madagascar.

The Subcontinent Workers who Indianized Mauritius

With the abolition of slavery, most of these landowners used the funds they received as compensation to hire workers from the subcontinent. Same as they did in Fiji.

Between 1834 and 1921 about half a million Indians landed at the Aapravasi Gate of Port Louis today UNESCO World Heritage for its historical significance.

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, island-mauritius-indic-travel-aapravasi-gate

The portico of the city of Port Louis passed through thousands of Indian workers who never returned to India

Not always treated with the dignity they deserved, the newcomers adapted to the French ways and dialect that prevailed but Indianized the island as much as they could. They reinforced the British armies in both World War I and II.

Two decades later, the Winds of Change blew in Great Britain and, in 1968, Mauritius gained independence.

As we head west, we continue to come across descendants of plantation owner families and their Indian workers.

This is what happened at the viewpoint over the mighty gorge of the River Gorges, at the waterfall and at the geological rainbow of the Terre de 7 Couleurs de Chamarel, around the verdant crater of Troux-aux-cerfs.

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Chamarel waterfall

Hindu family photographed with Chamarel waterfall in the background.

Or on the heights of Kovil Montagne, a temple full of deities.

And of other Hindu figures perched halfway up over the endless houses of Quatre Bornes.

Mauritius Island, Indian voyage, Sibra Temple Subramany Kovil Montagne

Gopuram (tower) of the Sibra Subramany temple, situated at the top of the Kovil Montagne.

Later, we had dinner with Sandrine Petit and Jean-Marie Delort, both employees of one of the most popular hotels in the west of the island. The theme of what identifies the Mauritians today encourages them.

After some consideration, Sandrine dares to theorize: “now an ad for our Phoenix beer is on TV that makes a snapshot of everything, but if I had to choose a single gesture, I would say it's the hello.

We say hello for everything and for nothing, be it good or be it bad.

Once, I was on the metro in Paris with friends from here and I said hello higher. Immediately, four or five people were standing there looking at me. At that very moment, we were sure that they could only be Mauritian!”

It was too undisguised to leave us in doubt about the enormous pride with which Sandrine ended her story.

Viti levu, Fiji

The Unlikely Sharing of Viti Levu Island

In the heart of the South Pacific, a large community of Indian descendants recruited by former British settlers and the Melanesian indigenous population have long divided the chief island of Fiji.
Cilaos, Reunion Island

Refuge under the roof of the Indian Ocean

Cilaos appears in one of the old green boilers on the island of Réunion. It was initially inhabited by outlaw slaves who believed they were safe at that end of the world. Once made accessible, nor did the remote location of the crater prevent the shelter of a village that is now peculiar and flattered.
Viti levu, Fiji

Islands on the edge of Islands

A substantial part of Fiji preserves the agricultural expansions of the British colonial era. In the north and off the large island of Viti Levu, we also came across plantations that have only been named for a long time.
Little India, Singapore

The Sari Singapore of Little India

There are thousands of inhabitants instead of the 1.3 billion of the mother country, but Little India, a neighborhood in tiny Singapore, does not lack soul. No soul, no smell of Bollywood curry and music.
Reunion Island

The Bathing Melodrama of Reunion

Not all tropical coastlines are pleasurable and refreshing retreats. Beaten by violent surf, undermined by treacherous currents and, worse, the scene of the most frequent shark attacks on the face of the Earth, that of the Reunion Island he fails to grant his bathers the peace and delight they crave from him.

Praslin, Seychelles

 

The Eden of the Enigmatic Coco-de-Mer

For centuries, Arab and European sailors believed that the largest seed in the world, which they found on the coasts of the Indian Ocean in the shape of a woman's voluptuous hips, came from a mythical tree at the bottom of the oceans. The sensual island that always generated them left us ecstatic.
Male Maldives

The Maldives For Real

Seen from the air, Malé, the capital of the Maldives, looks little more than a sample of a crammed island. Those who visit it will not find lying coconut trees, dream beaches, spas or infinite pools. Be dazzled by the genuine Maldivian everyday life that tourist brochures omit.
La Digue, Seychelles

Monumental Tropical Granite

Beaches hidden by lush jungle, made of coral sand washed by a turquoise-emerald sea are anything but rare in the Indian Ocean. La Digue recreated itself. Around its coastline, massive boulders sprout that erosion has carved as an eccentric and solid tribute of time to the Nature.
Shillong, India

A Christmas Selfiestan at an India Christian Stronghold

December arrives. With a largely Christian population, the state of Meghalaya synchronizes its Nativity with that of the West and clashes with the overcrowded Hindu and Muslim subcontinent. Shillong, the capital, shines with faith, happiness, jingle bells and bright lighting. To dazzle Indian holidaymakers from other parts and creeds.
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
Guwahati, India

The City that Worships Kamakhya and the Fertility

Guwahati is the largest city in the state of Assam and in North East India. It is also one of the fastest growing in the world. For Hindus and devout believers in Tantra, it will be no coincidence that Kamakhya, the mother goddess of creation, is worshiped there.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
Safari
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Itamaraty Palace Staircase, Brasilia, Utopia, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Adventure
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
drinks entre reis, cavalhadas de pirenopolis, crusades, brazil
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pirenópolis, Brazil

Brazilian Crusades

Christian armies expelled Muslim forces from the Iberian Peninsula in the XNUMXth century. XV but, in Pirenópolis, in the Brazilian state of Goiás, the South American subjects of Carlos Magno continue to triumph.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Zapatismo, Mexico, San Nicolau Cathedral
Cities
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
Meal
Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

In one of the many bakeries in Margilan, worn out by the intense heat of the tandyr oven, the baker Maruf'Jon works half-baked like the distinctive traditional breads sold throughout Uzbekistan
the projectionist
Culture
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Sport
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Navimag Cruise, Puerto Montt to Puerto-natales, Chile
Traveling
Puerto Natales-Puerto Montt, Chile

Cruise on board a Freighter

After a long begging of backpackers, the Chilean company NAVIMAG decided to admit them on board. Since then, many travelers have explored the Patagonian canals, side by side with containers and livestock.
Barrancas del Cobre, Chihuahua, Rarámuri woman
Ethnic
Barrancas del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Chihuahua, Mexico

The Deep Mexico of the Barrancas del Cobre

Without warning, the Chihuahua highlands give way to endless ravines. Sixty million geological years have furrowed them and made them inhospitable. The Rarámuri indigenous people continue to call them home.
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 1)

And Light was made on Earth. Know how to use it.

The theme of light in photography is inexhaustible. In this article, we give you some basic notions about your behavior, to start with, just and only in terms of geolocation, the time of day and the time of year.
Colonial Church of San Francisco de Assis, Taos, New Mexico, USA
History
Taos, USA

North America Ancestor of Taos

Traveling through New Mexico, we were dazzled by the two versions of Taos, that of the indigenous adobe hamlet of Taos Pueblo, one of the towns of the USA inhabited for longer and continuously. And that of Taos city that the Spanish conquerors bequeathed to the Mexico: Mexico gave in to United States and that a creative community of native descendants and migrated artists enhance and continue to praise.
Lake Sorvatsvagn, Vágar, Faroe Islands
Islands
Vágar, Faroe Islands

The Lake that hovers over the North Atlantic

By geological whim, Sorvagsvatn is much more than the largest lake in the Faroe Islands. Cliffs with between thirty to one hundred and forty meters limit the southern end of its bed. From certain perspectives, it gives the idea of ​​being suspended over the ocean.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Kukenam reward
Literature
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

At the top of Mount Roraima, there are extraterrestrial scenarios that have resisted millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never got to step on it.
Tunisian Atlas Oasis, Tunisia, chebika, palm trees
Nature
Chebika, Tamerza, Mides, Tunisia

Where the Sahara sprouts from the Atlas Mountains

Arriving at the northwest edge of Chott el Jérid, the large salt lake reveals the northeast end of the Atlas mountain range. Its slopes and gorges hide waterfalls, winding streams of palm trees, abandoned villages and other unexpected mirages.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Enriquillo, Great Lake of the Antilles, Dominican Republic, view from Cueva das Caritas de Taínos
Natural Parks
Lake Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

Enriquillo: the Great Lake of the Antilles

Between 300 and 400 km2, situated 44 meters below sea level, Enriquillo is the supreme lake of the Antilles. Regardless of its hypersalinity and the stifling, atrocious temperatures, it's still increasing. Scientists have a hard time explaining why.
Principe Island, São Tomé and Principe
UNESCO World Heritage
Príncipe, São Tomé and Principe

Journey to the Noble Retreat of Príncipe Island

150 km of solitude north of the matriarch São Tomé, the island of Príncipe rises from the deep Atlantic against an abrupt and volcanic mountain-covered jungle setting. Long enclosed in its sweeping tropical nature and a contained but moving Luso-colonial past, this small African island still houses more stories to tell than visitors to listen to.
Heroes Acre Monument, Zimbabwe
Characters
Harare, Zimbabwewe

The Last Rales of Surreal Mugabué

In 2015, Zimbabwe's first lady Grace Mugabe said the 91-year-old president would rule until the age of 100 in a special wheelchair. Shortly thereafter, it began to insinuate itself into his succession. But in recent days, the generals have finally precipitated the removal of Robert Mugabe, who has replaced him with former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Moorea aerial view
Beaches
Moorea, French Polynesia

The Polynesian Sister Any Island Would Like to Have

A mere 17km from Tahiti, Moorea does not have a single city and is home to a tenth of its inhabitants. Tahitians have long watched the sun go down and transform the island next door into a misty silhouette, only to return to its exuberant colors and shapes hours later. For those who visit these remote parts of the Pacific, getting to know Moorea is a double privilege.
Composition on Nine Arches Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
Religion
Yala NPElla-Kandy, Sri Lanka

Journey Through Sri Lanka's Tea Core

We leave the seafront of PN Yala towards Ella. On the way to Nanu Oya, we wind on rails through the jungle, among plantations in the famous Ceylon. Three hours later, again by car, we enter Kandy, the Buddhist capital that the Portuguese never managed to dominate.
Chepe Express, Chihuahua Al Pacifico Railway
On Rails
Creel to Los Mochis, Mexico

The Barrancas del Cobre & the CHEPE Iron Horse

The Sierra Madre Occidental's relief turned the dream into a construction nightmare that lasted six decades. In 1961, at last, the prodigious Chihuahua al Pacifico Railroad was opened. Its 643km cross some of the most dramatic scenery in Mexico.
Australia Day, Perth, Australian Flag
Society
Perth, Australia

Australia Day: In Honor of the Foundation, Mourning for Invasion

26/1 is a controversial date in Australia. While British settlers celebrate it with barbecues and lots of beer, Aborigines celebrate the fact that they haven't been completely wiped out.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Cape cross seal colony, cape cross seals, Namibia
Wildlife
Cape Cross, Namíbia

The Most Turbulent of the African Colonies

Diogo Cão landed in this cape of Africa in 1486, installed a pattern and turned around. The immediate coastline to the north and south was German, South African, and finally Namibian. Indifferent to successive transfers of nationality, one of the largest seal colonies in the world has maintained its hold there and animates it with deafening marine barks and endless tantrums.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.