MAURITIUS WHAT TO SEE: PAMPLEMOUSSE GARDEN, GRAND BAIE AND TOUR OF THE NORTH
The North of Mauritius is very good to be explored also by children, mainly for the beautiful botanical garden of Pamplemousse, but also for the chance to stop in one of the beaches of the coast, to assist to some rituals at the temple (Giada was enchanted to look every strange act made by the ministers), to buy the T-shirt with the Dodo and to see the big shell shaped font inside the church with the red roof. Do we want to make happy also the adults? Well, I’ll tell you that in the North you can join nature and culture, visiting the capital Port Louis, about which I’ll tell you in another post.
The tour I’ll describe here below lasted one day, Port Louis included.
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Before arriving to Port Louis, our taxi driver suggested us a stop in Triolet, 5 minutes driving from our Casuarina resort, to visit the Hindu temple of Maheswarnath: it’s the biggest Hindu temple in Mauritius, built in honour of Shiva and other deity. The complex is surrounded by green areas, it’s very nice and colourful, rich of sacred figures and images as in every self respecting temple. The entry is free but keep attention: once inside there’ll be someone who will invite you to enter in one of the little temples and then will ask you to pay. With our local guide we don’t have problems to turn down, that’s why we suggest you to enter with someone local. Walking inside the complex doesn’t require much time, so in brief time we reached the botanical gardens of Pamplemousse.
PAMPLEMOUSSE: THE BOTANICAL GARDEN
The district of Pamplemousse owes its name to the grapefruit plant (“pamplemoussier” in French) and hosts the Botanical Garden of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the most important and the most ancient of the Boreal Hemisphere, in honour to the father of the Indipendence of Mauritius. It was projected by Pierre Poivre on a surface of 37 ectars.
You can choose if doing a guided tour with local people for few Euros: if you don’t have much time, this could be a good solution because the park is wide and with the guide you could visit just the most beautiful and main parts in about an hour. We preferred walking on our own to enjoy the park in free. If I have to be sincere the park didn’t impress me so much, as I expected: sure it’s very wide and the atmosphere refreshing, but the very beautiful areas are only in some points; there’s much green but it’s not different from other parks. However I think Pamplemousse is absolutely a Must in your tour around Mauritius.
The whole park is formed by long and tidy avenues: at their sides we noticed ancient and really giant trees, but they were so strange that impressed also our Giada, who wanted to take some photos you see here below. She loves trees in every form.
The garden of Pamplemousse contains the most beautiful selection of exotic plants. There are about 80 different endemic and tropical palms; among the endemic ones we can remember the Talipot palm, a plant that blooms only once in life after about fifty years. In the park there are also other kind of trees: rubber trees, bamboo trees, a two hundrex years old baobab, poisonous plants, but also spices and medical plants.
Bu the real attraction for everyone, above all for Giada, were the giant waterlilies belonging to Victoria Regis specie, from the name of the Queen of England: I can’t describe their beauty in words, but they’re really impressive! Lying on the water surface and interposed by Lotus flowers, they give a touch of colour and vivacity to the whole ambience.
For the joy of children don’t miss their beloved animals: there are the deers from Giava, imported by the Dutch, a little pond with the ducks and the giant tortoises from Seychelles. Do you know however, where we saw the most beautiful tortoises? At “La Vanille Park”. here the article about La Vanille.
Have I convinced you to visit Pamplemousse and its marvellous garden with children?
Always inside the park there’s a historical building built by English: “Chateau de Mon Plasir”, we didn’t notice.
Cost: 8 Euro; free under 5 (prices 2019)
Opening hours: from Monday to Friday from 8.30 to 17.30
After about two hours spent inside the botanical gardens , we took the car again direction Port Louis, about which I’ll tell you in another post. In the late afternoon we reached that zone near our resort, and stopped twice to see other two interesting attractions in the North of the island, before returning back to the hotel: Cap Malheureux and Grand Baie.
The commander Abercrombie landed in Cap Malheureux when English attacked Mauritius , but the real attraction here is the famous chapel with the red sloping roof, “Notre Dame Auxiliatrice”: inside there’s a beautiful shell shaped font.
Very nice to explore is also the surrounding area, with the sea as background and the black volcanic rocks. The zone is quiet and the atmosphere relaxed.
Driving down towards Grand Baie, our guide left us time (how much we wanted) for a relax in the little beach of Pereybere: it’s nice but not excellent, in my opinion. If you have luck, right in this beach you can meet artists who realize sand sculptures: maybe for this reason, together with the green waters of the sea, a stop here is recommended.
The most beautiful beach in this area for us is Trou aux Biches, at about 15 minutes by car from Pereybere. I tell you about it here.
The well known Grand Baie, very expensive zone, didn’t impress us not so much: it’s not ugly, you know, but for what I’ve heard of it, I expected something better. That day was awul, but except from shops and department stores, and a beautiful avenue, the Sunset Boulevard, I don’t keep heartbreaking memories.
I found however really pleasant the beach area where it’s possible to buy fresh fish, or very good fruit juices from the kiosks: a piece of local life I appreciated more than going from a shop to another in search of souvenirs for friends and parents.
This town is said to come alive during the night, when locals and restaurants open: we are not so interested in nightlife so, after stopping to admire the bay of Grand Baie where boots are moored, we returned to the hotel.
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THE MEANING OF TRAVEL FOR ME
In the last years I follow what Dalai Lama says:” At least once a year go to a place you’ve never been before”.
After years of sufferings and sacrifices, I’ve decided that life is too short and too unpredictable to continue waiting to do what I like and what makes me happy.
I like exploring the world where I live, take photos of it in general but also in its details, film it to hold back those subtle emotions that you could forget over time, and in the end share with you what I’ve seen and felt through my articles.
Travel is for me Love – Freedom – Gratitude
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