South We Go

Week 5 highlights Indian Ocean

This post in Francais

Scuba diving off the reefs of Mauritius, eating lobster fresh out of the ocean, trying the rum of the sugar cane island (Mauritius), saying goodbye to the pearl of  the Indian ocean, flying 7 hours over nothing but water to reach land again on the biggest island of this trip, Australia and starting a search for our van.

Day 28 (29/09/10) Raining day

Today was on of the first rainy days we had on our trip so far, and it is pretty sad because we planned to go scuba diving but because of the weather for the rest of the week I am not sure we will be able to. We spent we morning planning for the next stage of our trip, our arrival in Australia, we need to find a place to stay for the first few days while we find our van. Once we have our van we can head off on our travels. In the afternoon we went for lunch at a hotel and enjoyed a half an hour break in the rain before being forced back inside. It was also a bit cold today so we were not really motivated to do much and spent the evening at a bar watching the rain fall.

Day 29 (30/09/10) Scuba Diving

Today was the title of this entry says we got up early in the morning for a good cause, we had a scuba initiation lesson at the Atlantis diving centre near where we are staying in the north of the island. We arrive at the dive centre to find a hub of activity; people are making dive plans, filling up the oxygen tanks, people trying on their scuba gear. The lesson starts in a simple way, we watch a PADI dive introduction on the DVD player, seeing all the fishes on the screen is exciting soon we will be underwater with them. Its time to suit up, we put on wet suits, get some fins and a mask each, its time to head to the boat. The boat first takes us to the lagoon, where we can stand up, here our instructor Bertie, starts to show us some basic signals and important tips on what to do in case of certain events, we spent about 30min in the shallow water playing around with our equipment. Now we know the basics its time to head out in to the deep blue, after a 5 min boat ride we arrive at our dive site, time to jump in. As you can guess we saw an amazing amount of all different kinds of fish, corals and eels. Just before we got back in the boat the dive instructor found us an octopus that wrapped itself around his hand and we stroked and called him Paul 2.

Day 30 (01/10/10) The Rum Distillery

Finally after trying 3 times to visit the Rum Distillery we finally succeed! We got up early enough, dropped my dad in town and then continue on the centre south of the island to reach the rum distillery. Once inside, apart from being happy to finally be able to visit the place, we get treated very well, as we are the first visitors of the day. The guided tour starts with a visit of how rum is made, we are taken along the whole process, from when the sugar cane reaches the distillery, through each stage of the process with detailed explanations at each step. At the end of the visit, its rum tasting time, here they only produce ecological rum, so nothing apart from natural flavours is added to the rum. We taste a total of 5 different rums, some more finally distilled, some with flavours, my favourite is vanilla. By this time its almost lunch time so the girl that is doing the rum tasting with asks us if we would like something to eat. She recommends a deer sandwich, which tastes very good, and of course we drank sugar cane juice, I mean how could you not considering that the country is covered with fields of sugar cane but it is impossible to find the drink anywhere, as they only use it for exports.

Day 31 (02/10/10) Last day in Mauritius

All good things have to come to an end sometime. It has been a great month, full of adventure and discovery. We enjoyed different cultures, exploded the untouched beauty of Rodriguez, got to know the different cultures that the island of Mauritius so unique. We swam with the fish, watched the birds fly over head, played with baby goats and giant tortoises. We ate octopus curry, spicy baby pineapples, dali pouris, fried noodles and drank sugar cane juice, phoenix, tasted many types of rum. We partied with the locals, karaoked until we lost our voices, and learned to dance the Saga.

That’s what we did over the last month, what we did today was pack our bags, say goodbye to my dad and take our last trip around the island. We wrote our last postcards that we did not send because we could not find stamps on the shore of the only marine natural reserve on the island, Blue Bay, watched the sunset and headed to the airport. Now I am sitting in our 7 hour flight to Perth and thinking fondly of the place that calls itself Paradise Island.

Day 32 (03/10/10) Good Morning Perth

After a 7 hour flight we landed in Perth, the capital of Western Australia, the flight was not great as the people near us were noisy, so we did not get to sleep much. It’s always strange for me to take night flights, as you wake up in a new country, with a completely different culture, and you feel well lost. Even though I have been here people I needed to get use to the environment and the way things work again. The day passed very fast, we arrived at the hostel at lunch time, went out to find some food, we ate real Japanese food, a noodle dish called Ramen, as in France you can not normally find anything other than sushi. In the afternoon we had a looked around the city and headed back to the hostel to look at the vans on offer, we found 2 that were interesting and set up meeting for tomorrow. Dinner was not Australian but Portuguese, we had some great pri pri chicken at Nando’s, I guess sometime soon we will eat a Kangaroo burger.

Day 33 (04/1010) Visiting Vans

Today after sleeping 12 hours I feel alive againJ yesterday I was walking around like a Zombie. First order of business breakfast, a confusing affair in the hostel, you have to rent a set of cutlery from the in order to have breakfast and buy milk, so much for a continental breakfast. We then go into town to open a bank account, this should have been really easy as I am opening it with the same bank I have in France, but no banks will always be banks and now we are still working on how open the account. We saw our first van that doesn’t seem to be too bad except it doesn’t have air conditioning which could be a problem as the summer is on its way. After being in Perth for 2 days now we have seen nothing of the city, we are too busy trying to set up the basic things needed here. I hope that we will be able to get them done soon enough so we can start visiting the city and country and not just run from one place to another place. Wish us luck.

Day 34 (04/10/10) Found a Van!

So today started in the same as yesterday, breakfast, than we hit the town to continue trying to open bank account, so much for world banks, it is not easier, do not believe the adverts you see in all the airports, they still make you jump through hoops. Banks are really annoying in that way they keep your money, they can place it so it earns them more money, you have to pay them for this service, and they still make it so hard to open a bank account. We visited another 2 vans today, and found a really good one that was owner by a mechanic before, and is in perfect shape, for a reasonable price. We put a deposit on it, so now we can say we own a wheel of a van!  Now its time to start pimping the van, we had made a list of everything we need to add to the van to make it our home for our travels.

In the evening we chilled out in the bar of the hostel, here if you write a review you get 2 free beers, so that’s what we did. We met a group of Irish guys and started to learn Gaelic, and taught them some French, fun travel stuff at last.

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