First glimpse of Paris
Being back in France after almost three month in the tropics was a shocker. That 39 degree temperature swing actually hurt my face and I had to venture out wearing every layer of t-shirt, sweater and hoodie in my bag to search for an affordable coat. I figured I’d only need it for about a month. Six weeks’ tops. But still, in Paris one has to at least try to look reasonably fashionable so it was good old Zara to the rescue.
The winter in flip-flops had Lyla’s toes curled up inside her old smelly runners like a bird gripping it’s perch so we splurged on a nice pair of trendy boots for her. I offered to cut off the tips of her old shoes to make more toe room but that wasn’t a popular idea (eye roll) with the little fashionista. This kind of shopping would never be a big deal at home where we had exotic possessions like closets and regular paycheques. Now each purchase had to be carefully considered and strategized. Do we really need this? Will it fit in your bag? What can you remove from said bag to make room? Can’t you just wear extra socks? We hadn’t worn socks for months either. We were noticing and appreciating the differences. Continue Reading →
The grand finale at Otentic Eco Camping
We have been travelling for six months now and in the process have learned a thing or two about finding good places to stay. We use several different methods. AirBnB, booking.com, Ms. Google, recommendations from the dude in the café and signs in windows have all worked. Unique, charming and funky are what we hope for. Clean, affordable and a primo location are what we need. These methods don’t always work out perfectly. You may find this helpful when booking your next travel agenda. There’s so much pressure to find just the right spot isn’t there? So, in chronological order, our six diverse Mauritian abodes. Continue Reading →
One of many volcanic mountains
The African country of Mauritius deals up a wonderful recipe of cultures and landscapes. Like a complicated dish, it’s hard to put your finger exactly on the specific ingredient that makes it so special. Call it alchemy. The result is delicious. Because of several changes in (let’s call it) ’ownership’ and some fairly huge cultural shifts, like the abolition of slavery for example, this gorgeous island has a bad case of multiple personality disorder. In a very good way. You can see and feel the colourful mingling of French, Dutch (who brought sugar and killed the Dodo), African, Creole and Indian influences in the people along with their Hinduism, Christianity and Muslim faiths. The remarkable thing is that everyone seems to get along peacefully like it’s no big deal. Take note world! This ethnic margarita makes for some very interesting food, history and people. The varied terrain makes for some outstanding outdoor exploration. After the storm we were itching to get out and have a look around this ruggedly beautiful tropical island.
*note: Speaking of itching, mosquitos chase us inside each evening at dusk in a cloud of bug spray but the itchiness never lasts longer than an hour or so. For this reason, I like Mauritian mosquitos way better than Canadian ones. Continue Reading →
Being on a island in the middle of the South Indian Ocean when a powerful Cyclone approaches is what I imagine playing right field in pro baseball must be like. Long stretches of low grade boredom interrupted by short intense periods of terror.
I’ll admit to being a little cavalier about ‘cyclone season’ when we planned to come to Mauritius in January. After all it had been the ‘rainy season’ while we were in Seychelles and it only rained at night. Not really a spoiler. We were never in and danger. We just got wet. Continue Reading →