the boat journey / street food before we set off / our pirate ship / Ile aux Cerfs / Marc surprising me by sitting in a strange tree / my (muddy) sandals / huts on the island / sega dancing / expensive sun beds / having a snorkel / an old beached ship / Creole lunch / blending in / amazing mountains / public ferry counter / the view to Ile aux Cerfs channel / waterfall / coconut tree / houses on the river front / Mauritian musicians / lush gardens / the newest pirate / Ile aux Cerfs dock / hammock at Trou d'Eau Douce
While yesterday was more of a chance to get in touch with the cultural side of Mauritius, today was all about discovering the paradise that is the island's coastline. Bright and early in the morning we jumped in a mini bus and drove from one side of the other en route to Ile aux Cerfs, a stunning place that translates to 'deer island'. During the drive we cut through endless fields of sugar cane, some as high as the van itself, and took in breathtaking scenery and little villages. Arriving at Trou d'Eau Douce we jumped aboard a small themed pirate ship, which was manned by Mauritian 'pirates' and sega dancers.
The ship first stopped at a shallow coral reef for snorkelling, and then set off for Ile aux Cerfs. Meanwhile we were entertained by traditional Mauritian sega dancing backed by live music courtesy of the ship's crew. It was quite an experience! After passing through azure blue waters and mangroves, we reached Ile aux Cerfs and immediately I knew that it had to be one of the most stunning places I have ever visited. White sand beaches, crystal clear sea, coconut trees galore and little thatched huts everywhere. We swam in a shallow but fast-moving channel between two islands, and had fun trying to fight against the current but continually be pushed back down stream.
After a couple of hours on the island, it was back on the boat for some Creole lunch (delicious!) before we set sail for a nearby river. Here we got to see some incredible mountains close up along with little riverside houses that were unlike anything I had seen before. The ship moored shortly after and we hopped on board a speed boat to venture further down river, with the final destination being a waterfall within the jungle. Back on the ship, more music and dancing followed the whole way back to port. We left feeling sunburnt, happy and tired and slept the whole van ride home!