Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 16, Mauritius

Nopi is going to explore Le Morne Cultural Landscape,

a rugged mountain that juts into the Indian Ocean in the southwest of Mauritius, it was used as a shelter by runaway slaves, maroons, through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries. Protected by the mountain's isolated, wooded and almost inaccessible cliffs, the escaped slaves formed small settlements in the cav
es and on the summit of Le Morne. The oral traditions associated with the maroons, have ma de Le Morne a symbol of the slaves' fight for freedom, their suffering, and their sacrifice, all of which have relevance to the countries from which the slaves came - the African mainland, Madagascar, India, and South-east Asia. Indeed, Mauritius, an important stopover in the eastern slave trade, also came to be known as the "Maroon republic" because of the large number of escaped slaves who lived on Le Morne Mountain.

Le Morne Cultural Landscape is an exceptional testimony to maroonage or resistance to slavery in terms of the mountain being used as a fortress to shelter escaped slaves, with physical and oral evidence to support that use.Le Morne represents maroonage and its impact, which existed in ma ny places around the world, but which was demonstrated so effectively on Le Morne mountain. It is a symbol of slaves' fight for fre edom, their suffering, and their sacrifice, all of which have relevance beyond its geographical location, to the countries from which the slaves came - in particular the African mainland, Madagascar, India, and South-east Asia- and represented by the Creole people of Mauritius and their shared memories and oral traditions. Deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I am going to see the coloured earths of Chamarel at sunrise as it the best time to see the Coloured Earths.

Geologists are still intrigued by the rolling dunes of multi-coloured lunar-like landscape. The colours, red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow never erode in spite of torrential downpours and adverse climatic conditions. This phenomenon has never been explained but it is believed the earths are composed of mineral rich volcanic ash. I mustnt forget to buy those souvenir test-tubes containing the multi-coloured earth from the tourist boutiques.

Jarca is going to see Trou aux Cerfs,

a crater, 300m (984ft) in diameter. It was formed as a result of volcanic activity millions of years ago and is now choked with silt, water and a dense forest of vegetation. Mauritius is striking because it once was a volcano. Extinct for some 100,000 years, you have peaks and rock strutting right down into the sea. And, as if icing on the wondrous landscape, a coral reef surrounds the islands

Sita is going to the Casela Bird Park

which is home to 142 species of birds including the lovely long necked Pink Pigeons which until recently were threatened with extinction. The lovely dusky pink birds were donated by the Black River Avia
ry and can be seen alongside hundreds of other exotics from Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas.

Where is Marti? Oh, she is gone to find the the Blue Penny
Museum. It is a stamp museum at Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis. The museum collection includes the 1847 Blue Penny and Red Penny stamps.

We have all discovered that Mauritians switch languages according to the
occasion. Over the course of a day a typical Mauritian might use English to write a school essay, Creole Morisien to chat with friends and French to read a novel!!

We are now going to catch up with Marti in Port Louis

where we are going to do some shopping before going to dinner. The cuisine of Mauritius is a blend of Indian, Creole, Chinese and European influences; and is common for a combination of cuisines to form part of the same meal.
Ok, Marti, you may taste some rum (which is made from sugar cane) ...it will put you in the mood to dance the sega ;-)

Sega music is an evolved combination of traditional Music of Mauritian, Seychellois and RĂ©unionnais music with European dance music like polka and

December to April is generally hot and humid but June to November are the cooler, drier months, so its the perfect time for a honeymoon. A cyclone could also arrive during the warm season, so you dont want to be blown away.

We are sure that Amit and Priyanka will enjoy their honeymoon here.......
Mark Twain, who visited the island in 1896, so impressed by its beauty, said, "God first made Mauritius and from it, He created Paradise."

Henceforth we will be monitoring global news reports quite closely as the next leg of our journey sees us travelling through some dangerous terrain.......

until tomorrow....Good night..... bonne nuit from Mauritius......

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