Mauritius. Home of the Dodo. Home of dipping valleys. Home of the Sun. A small island bursting with vibrant life and beauty that shines across the bumpy, green land. Utopia.
In the middle of a blissful week in a luxurious hotel, we decided to venture into this secluded island surrounded by the bright blue Indian Ocean. We took a taxi in the scorching sun, but the crisp, cold air-con quelled the heavy waves of the tropical heat. We were off to explore.
Our first stop was a simple eroding cliff that overlooked the blue transparent sea that lay home to thousands of sea creatures. 100 metres out, a sparkling coral reef separated the small, calm fish, from the larger more dangerous creatures that lurked in the deep crevasses of the ocean.
We clambered up onto the high peak of the dormant volcano, Trou aux Cerfs. 605 metres up, visible valleys stretched out for miles upon miles. This was where the wildlife lay. The forests were untouched and preserved, as if it had never been explored. It was miraculous to see thousands of great trees standing unharmed. The intense smell of grass and foliage filled the simmering air like a gentle fog. The sharp chirps of birds and the howls of monkeys echoed around the green curves of the island. The valleys were alive. If only everywhere could be like this.
After gratefully taking in the extraordinary views, we came down the gigantic volcano and stopped off at one of Mauritius’ wonders. The Seven Clays. In one large area sat clays that arrayed from rich purples and oaky browns. Seven colours of the same fine material rose and dived in small hills. The sun made the clay shine and the rays bounced off playfully in jagged directions.
Behind the clay, two giant tortoises meandered tiringly in an enclosed section. Their shells had the look and texture of the grey, dusty rocks in their homes. They had faces etched with wisdom, like the trees that guarded the valleys. They were peaceful and went about their lives slowly. The wrinkled giants had not a care for the passing world and were settled in their enclosure. A contrast to the birds zipping around in the trees like a balloon losing its air. Only these winged jewels never seemed to run out of air.
From bright oranges to dazzling blues, the birds adorned the island and radiated beaming, beautiful colours. It fit the tropical memo of Mauritius and gave the island even more life. They chirped songs of carefree tunes. The crickets, hidden in the grass, croaked with the birds. It was as if nature had come together to spread their word of joy. The birds flapped and buzzed in the sky and went to heights close to unseeable. They were marvellous creatures that had settled on Mauritius. They were replacing the long-gone dodo that used to be native to the diamond of an island.
Lastly, as we carried on and finished our decline, we ventured into the National Park Bras d’Eau. It was filled with trees and life and dropping valleys and rich soil and trickling streams next to crashing waterfalls. We stooped low under branches, leapt high over rocks and hopped over a soothing stream to get to an edge of the valley. What we saw was incredible. Once again, you could see for miles into the stretching horizon that met the burning sun. Yet, the main sight was the enormous waterfall of clear, crystal water. It hung like a blanket off the valley and stormed down into the river. The sound resonated throughout the valley and my ears, filling them with a raucous joy. Little sights matched the huge waterfall that filled the river basin with water.
In fact, no place or sights were like the ones Mauritius held. A tropical beaut that lay in the Indian Ocean of the east coast of Madagascar. On a globe, hardly seeable. In real life, it radiated an enthralling energy and light throughout the world. It doesn’t get much better than Mauritius.