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Old 27th June 2014, 17:23   #1
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Default A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Hi guys, this is my first ever travelogue. It may be short and less descriptive as compared to many other travelogues here. Please ignore my mistakes, if any.

Why Mauritius: No specific reason why Mauritius, just wanted to have a nice relaxing beach holiday with my wife.

How to reach: There are quite a few options (flight only) available like Emirates, Indian Airline etc. We chose Air Mauritius simply because it was direct (7 hours 1 way) and reaches Mauritius early morning (7am) from Mumbai. We saved accommodation for a night this way.

Time & Duration: We went on 25th of May 2014 for 5 days. Weather was mostly 25-30 degrees during the day. It rained twice during our trip.

Our Transport: We hired a self driven Nissan March automatic (Micra in India). It was the cheaper than hiring a cab every time and best way to explore Mauritius. Taxis were not there aplenty but local buses were ferrying everywhere.
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-march.jpg


Driving in Mauritius: You need to have a valid Driving License & Passport (Indian Driving license is valid here, no need to get an International driving license). Driving is on the left side of the road just like ours. There are very few traffic signals in Mauritius. Mostly round abouts and people here are very particular about right of way on round abouts. Indians will find it difficult to drive here initially as most of us donít follow right of way, traffic signals, lane driving & speed limits. Almost all the roads are free of any potholes, have proper marking & speed limit signs are clearly mentioned everywhere. CCTV cameras are installed in most of the places. I am happy I didnít break any rule accidentally & came back without paying any sort of penalty.
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-imag0671.jpg


Accommodation: We booked Resort Cocotiers in Port Louis using Agoda.com. We were really very happy with the place, room, food & the staff all within our budget.
Some photos of Cocotiers:

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Private Beach Cocotiers

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View from the restaurant

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Breakfast

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Poolside

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Some of the Tour De France participants were staying at our hotel.


Places to visit: We didnít have any written plan or itinerary with us. We donít prefer travel agents deciding where we must go & where not. I had done slight research on Trip advisor & Mauritius tourism website which was sufficient.

1. Casela National Park: Itís a small park with few animals like Zebras, Ostriches, Lions, Tigers (in cage) and many birds & monkeys. Overall its quite beautiful. Here are some photos of Casela Park:

A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-imag0328.jpg
Waterbody at the park

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Jungle Safari

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Interaction with Lions

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Lunch at Casela Restaurant

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View from the restaurant

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Our guest during lunch

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Grandmother style Chicken curry with rice (it was yum)

A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-imag0931.jpg
Creme Brulee (we repeated our order, it was so yum)


2. La Vanille Crocodile Park: Not as great as Casela, kids would like it. Star attraction:

A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-imag0748.jpg
Crocodiles

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Tortoise

To be continued...
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Old 28th June 2014, 13:17   #2
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Default re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

3. Quad-biking: This was really unexpected. I have driven Quad bikes many times but nothing was as much fun as this was. It's called Big Foot Adventure (It was no.1 rated activity on TripAdvisor) and it truly was. They take you around Sugarcane fields, some hills & near the Sea. Photos will explain better.

Photos curtesy Big Foot Adventure & my phone's camera:
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Backside of the restaurant at Big Foot Adventure:
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Waterfall:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-imag0844.jpg

The most expensive Coconut Water I have ever had:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-dsc_0229.jpg

Treasure:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-dsc_0235.jpg

Probably the owner of the place:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-imag0871.jpg

I loved his Quad-bike (some American make):
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-imag0876.jpg
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A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-imag0879.jpg


4. Scuba Diving: By far this was the best thing I have ever experienced. It was my first time. There might be many people who dive regularly will love diving here. We got to know about Base Camp in Grand Baia through TripAdvisor. They made our first ever dive very easy & enjoyable. They also clicked photos & took videos underwater using GoPro 3D HD. The pics will speak the rest:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-gopr0114.jpg
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Overall, I would recommend Mauritius to each and everyone especially those planning a Honeymoon. Though there is nothing much to do at night, mostly places shut by 9PM still you will love the laid back relaxing island a perfect holiday destination. To sum it up if you like driving, diving, eating different varieties of food, relaxing on the beach Mauritius is the place to be.

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Old 28th June 2014, 13:42   #3
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Default re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Please share rest of it. I really liked it thus far. You have given enough for someone to plan his/her trip!
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Old 28th June 2014, 14:34   #4
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Default re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Thanks for the travelogue.

Please also mention the prices where ever possible.
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Old 28th June 2014, 15:29   #5
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Default re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

The delicious pictures of the foods make me hungry already :P And yes, please mention the prices wherever possible, that will help others plan our trips.
Great thread, waiting for the next part.
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Old 28th June 2014, 15:52   #6
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Default re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I only visited Mauritius twice and that was in 1979/1980, so this brings back some memories.

I remember it mostly for it's stunning scenery and equally stunningly beautiful local people. It's very much or was in those days at least, a true multiethnic and multicultural. You could see a true mix of different ethic and culture in the local people.

Jeroen
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Old 28th June 2014, 19:03   #7
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Default Re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Thanks for the travelogue. The scenery is really beautiful. Glad to see apan Mahindra in one of the pictures. Do share the prices if possible especially of the rented car and fuel expense.
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Old 29th June 2014, 13:35   #8
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Default Re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveller Nayak View Post
Please share rest of it. I really liked it thus far. You have given enough for someone to plan his/her trip!
Thanks Traveller Nayak. I will share few more pictures soon.


smartindboy & phynix123 : Thanks, I'll share all possible cost details.



Quote:
I remember it mostly for it's stunning scenery and equally stunningly beautiful local people. It's very much or was in those days at least, a true multiethnic and multicultural. You could see a true mix of different ethic and culture in the local people.
Jeroen : You are right its beautiful & local people are rocking. Very helpful people. Mostly mixture of Indian, French & African culture.
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Old 29th June 2014, 13:49   #9
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Default Re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Servegaar View Post
Thanks for the travelogue. The scenery is really beautiful. Glad to see apan Mahindra in one of the pictures. Do share the prices if possible especially of the rented car and fuel expense.
I saw many Mahindra Scorpio Getaways (Called Scorpio pick-up) there. Mostly 4x4s.

Regarding car rental, you will find around 6-8 Car rentals all under one roof at the airport itself.

I paid 1600 Mauritian Rupee (that translates roughly into 3300 INR) for Nissan March AT per day.
Cheapest option over there was Nissan March MT or Fiat 500 MT for 1400 MUR which were not available at that moment and I preferred driving AT in a new country so that I can concentrate more on roads & signs rather than shifting gears.

Most expensive car rental was 4000 MUR (roughly 8500 INR) per day for Mercedes Benz C-Class.

I was handed over the car with tank full of petrol & we are supposed to return it tank full or else they will charge extra for it. Petrol price was MUR 50 everywhere which isn't cheap (110 INR). I got my tank filled up at Indian Oil Station!

I drove 600 kms in those 5 days with Average FE of 12 kmpl so my net spending on car was around 23,000 INR (INR 17000 car rent + 5000 Fuel).

Parking was free almost everywhere.
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Old 29th June 2014, 18:54   #10
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Default Re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Shantanu,

Very good travelog. How much of Mauritius could you cover in the five days you spent there? Is it sufficient to cover most of the island?

Is it possible to visit the nearby island of Reunion from Mauritius?

Keep up with more travelogs.

Saji
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Old 30th June 2014, 10:44   #11
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Default Re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Wow great description and awesome pictures Shantanu! Thanks for sharing the self drive cost details. A lot of people now-a-days are taking up the self drive option while on a holiday and looking at your travelogue gives me confidence to go for it too.
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Old 30th June 2014, 11:58   #12
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Default Re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Quote:
Originally Posted by SajiNSalin View Post
Shantanu,

Very good travelog. How much of Mauritius could you cover in the five days you spent there? Is it sufficient to cover most of the island?

Is it possible to visit the nearby island of Reunion from Mauritius?

Keep up with more travelogs.

Saji
Hi Saji, I think I covered most of the areas in those 5 days. We went to 5 different beaches, almost all tourist attractions were covered. However, I feel one should go there for at least a week to explore the whole island.

I cannot comment about going to nearby island as I just had 5 days in hand so didn't bother to even check it online.
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Old 30th June 2014, 12:34   #13
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Default Re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

For the Food lovers, I am posting few more pics from the trip. Hope you like it.

Chicken Winglet:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-lambic_chickenwinglet.jpg

Veg Kofta Curry with rice. This was totally different from what we get here in India:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-lambic_vegkoftacurryrice.jpg

Now the best part of the meal. I don't remember it's name but its a pastry with chocolate mousse & Rum filled inside. Very tasty!

A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-lambic_rumbasedpastry.jpg
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-lambic_rumbasedpastry1.jpg

2. Le Off. Again thanks to TripAdvisor we went to this place. Its a poolside restaurant. I simply loved the ambience: Cool, colorful & relaxing:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-leoff.jpg
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-leoff1.jpg

Ham Burger. Very juicy & filling:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-leoffburger.jpg
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-leoffburger1.jpg

All meat Pizza:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-leoffpizza.jpg

Creme Brulee. This was OK, I have had better:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-leoffcremebrulee.jpg


3. Wang Thai. Went there randomly & it was our best dining experience. We loved their service. The owner interacted with us for some time & gave us complimentary in house blended Vanilla Rum shots!

Prawns in Mauritian curry:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-wangthaiprawns1.jpg

Beef Vindaloo Curry:
A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more-wangthaibeefcurry.jpg

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Old 1st July 2014, 00:43   #14
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Default Re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Can you please share overall costs like flights, taxi(if any), food, hotels, sight seeing, activities, etc. Future planning
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Old 1st July 2014, 10:49   #15
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Default Re: A Mauritius Holiday: Driving, fun, adventure & more

Very professional job with the camera Shantanu. I was a silent reader of this thread until now, but some of the pictures in the last post are just amazing. Glad to read your experience.
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