Mauritius (pronounced like “delicious”) is an archipelago island in the Indian Ocean, about 2,000 km off the south east tip of Africa. It’s a relatively small island, drivable end-to-end in about three hours. The roads are narrow and curvy and frequently crossed by stray dogs and passengers exiting the local bus. Interestingly, locals tend to park in the street — wherever and whenever — taking up about most of the road.
The island is a mecca for sailing, surfing, kite-surfing, paddle boarding, wind surfing, and all other types of water sports. A typical day for me included a sunrise paddle-boarding trip out to float among schools of dolphins, a watersports lesson in the early afternoon, and an occasional late afternoon excursion into the jungle or to a remote beach.
Except for my younger brother, I didn’t see or hear another American for the entire week. The local culture is a mix of African, French and Indian. I found the food to be terrible, except for the seafood, but I’m not a curry fan. Local favorites included dumplings and fried noodle dishes from street-side food stands. Both were good in a pinch or when standing street-side in my bathing suit. A bowl of home cooked pasta got most of my days kicked off.
My stay was both adrenaline-filled and relaxing. Nights were spent sleeping at a local farm stay, where deer grazed on my bungalow lawn, and frogs, lizards and birds came and left my sleeping quarters as they pleased. Check out my trip highlights below!
Nowell Upham is Executive Vice-President, Consumer Engagement at The Marketing Arm, and has been at TMA for over eight years.