Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
By far the most naturally beautiful place I have ever been to! 115 islands build up the whole country, but I only managed to visit 2 of those. They're made of granite rock and it is very common to see the rocks in the mountain and the ocean together with the trees and the water. As well as being the most beautiful, it is also the most expensive! There are two main industries, tourism and fishing, everything else must be imported thus the high prices. Also, the arable land is very little because of the granite rocks beneath.
The circumstances of my trip to the
When I got there at about 10pm, I asked a taxi driver how much he would charge me to take me to my hotel, and he gave me a price which I though was ridiculous so I told him that was out of the question. Then he threatened me be saying: "how else are you going to get there?" I told him I would find a way. So, I asked another taxi driver if he could take me to the hotel, and this one gave me a much more reasonable price, so I got in the car. We got to the hotel at about 10:30pm but there was nobody there! Only a few tourists that were walking to their room. I asked them who I should talk to so I could get the room I reserved and she told me the owner of the hotel lived in the house next to the hotel so she should probably be there. I got back on the taxi and drove to the house. The dogs were barking, we called out for the lady, but no one came out! After a while a very old lady in pajamas came to the door and said the owner wasn't there and that she couldn't give me my room. By now it was already 11pm, so I asked my taxi driver to take me to another hotel and I would look for a room there. On the way back we were talking about the things I could do the next day, since it was my only day really to go around. When we were near the other hotel he took me completely by surprise when he proposed I stay with him and his family at his residence and that when I left I could pay him something. I accepted his offer and we went to his house.
I can't express how grateful I am to Mr. Jimmy Elizabeth, his wife Monika and his daughter Emminielle. They took a complete stranger in their house and treated him like family; these are the kind of humans this world needs. The most wonderful thing about staying with the
The next day, Jimmy took me in the morning to the port so I could buy tickets to go to Praslin island, the second largest island of the country, by speedboat. The trip would take 1 hour each way, so I bought my tickets for 10am going there and the return at 6pm. I planned to go to La Digue island once I got to Praslin; there is a little boat that can take you there and it runs all day every half hour. When the speedboat left the port I started getting very seasick like I always do, I should have know better! I settled for seating very uncomfortably in a chair trying to make out of it a bed. When the boat finally got to the jetty, as I was getting off the gangway I kicked the anchor with my right foot, which gave me a big bruise. Not only was about to throw up, but now I had a bruised foot! I sat down on a bench for about 10 minutes and the seasickness went away. When I started walking down the jetty, a lady taxi driver passed by and I asked her if it was possible to go to the airport and check to see if I could take a flight back to Mahe island instead of riding the speedboat again. We went to the airport and asked, but all the flights were full and so I left my name on a 20 person wait list… the odds of getting a seat didn’t look too good. After that she took me to Valee de Mai, which is a Nature Reserve in Praslin and it has the Coco de Mer palm trees which grows 23-kilo coconuts! The largest coconuts in the world… very beautiful. While I was walking the trail of the national park, I kicked a rock with my left foot this time and got a cut on my big toe. So now I was to feet down and seasick. Optimal condition! I went for a pizza at the beach where I took very nice photos, in fact the best ones of the whole trip. The beach was called Anse Volbert and it is the most striking beach I have ever seen! The water had 5 different colors, there were granite rocks making little islands, palm and pine trees lining the sand and of course the very soothing sound of the waves.
By the time I got back to the airport to check on my standby status, it was already 3pm. Still the list was long and there were only 3 flights left. Again I was lucky enough that my taxi driver knew the girl at the check-in counter and asked her to help me find a seat on any flight. The Air Seychelles girl was leaving on the flight at 5pm, but she decided to give me her seat on the flight and stay there until the next day, just so I could go back! Seychellois are the nicest people in the world! She put me on the flight and jumped over the whole standby list, and by 5:15pm I was already back at Mahe.
That night Jimmy, Monika, Emminielle, a friend of Monika and I went to The Pirates’ Arms for dinner, where they had a cowboy night special. It was very nice to listen to country music in an island where most of the time people play Sega, Seggae and Reggae. After a nice dinner, we went back home and I watch a Mexican telenovela in english with Monika called ‘Cuando Seas Mia”. Interesting how soap operas can captive people from such different cultures; Monika followed the story so closely she could even forecast what was going to happen in future episodes!
The next day my flight left at 11am, and just before going to the airport Jimmy took me to the port to see if I could get a refund on the return ticket I didn’t use from Praslin. The lady told me that they usually didn’t give refunds, but because I was sick she would make and exception. So voila, I got my money back. Afterwards, we went to the airport to check in and I had a little trouble because the people at Air
It was a wonderful weekend and it wouldn’t have been as nice if I would have stayed at that abandoned hotel. I would like to thank Jimmy and his family once again for being so exceedingly nice! They will always be on my good graces and I will always remember
Tuna Fishing Vessels from Spain
The Little Ben
Friday, October 07, 2005
Oligarchy in Mauritius 2
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Oligarchy in Mauritius
They're all over the island. This must be one important dog in this country! Full-sized billboards to show a lost dog and offer a reward? I wonder how much the owner spent for that and if they're ever going to find it. In Mauritius there are more stray dogs than people, and given the way people drive here, there is a big probability that this dog is already dead. Road kill is an every day thing.
Sarah Jane, Sundeep & Tash
Now that there is a new shift at Answer Plus, at 2 am when we go back home we have more people in the van with us. It's fun because before we only had 4, now we have an extra 4 so we always have very nice conversations on our way home. And yet better, now that we have more people I am no longer the last one to be dropped.
It turns out I have an infection in my left eye so during those long nights at the office in front of the computer screen, my eyes irritate a lot. Yesterday I used Varma's glasses for about 2 minutes and I managed to take the picture. I think when I go back home I'm going to have to get permanent glasses of my own.
I know I haven't posted for a while, but really there have not been many interesting things to post in the past month. This one I took last week right next to the office. It's amazing how there is always, always a crowd when some traffic event happens. It doesn't matter if it is 3 am, people will come out of nowhere.