The first stop was the market. It was going full swing when they arrived. They found parking easily next to the bus
terminal and walked there. They were welcomed, but not
hounded like in Africa. They were told where was what, so the ladies headed for the pie lady first and ordered pies to take back home to Mauritius. She headed for the chilli sauces and bought what she thought would make nice gifts and for the house too while the cousin was buying salted fish and beans.
They were recommended to a small shop to get the real red bean of Rodrigues. After the market, they headed there: Vivella it was called – a general grocery store with a rather stern aunty with no sense of humour. They bought more beans there – it was cheaper than in the market. The people of Mauritius seem to think that these beans are really special.
Then they headed out of town. By the time they reached Grand Baie, some of them needed to visit a loo and there was none to be found. They took some pictures and then headed to the other side of the bay where they thought there were facilities. Well, it was only a small shop. But one of the shoppers offered to take them to his place to use the facilities. It was only at a stone throw, so they went there while Micha went to ask the shopkeeper for eggs. The lady went into her chicken coop and fetched 5 fresh eggs for him.
They found a coast track which they followed up to Baladirou. It was a bumpy ride for a bit, but one gets to see the little development on that piece of cliff as well as someone’s goat pen cut into the cliffs. At Baladirou they walked down 52 steps to a beautiful, peaceful and white beach. There was a tent there but otherwise they were the only ones visiting the beach that morning.
There was no traffic as such. Roads in Rodrigues are good but not wide and there are practically no signs indicating where is what. Luckily the tiboussol.com map is great. They followed that down to Cotton Bay, stopping at various sights on the way.
It was closing in to lunch time and they did not bring much in the car, so they were on the lookout for an eatery of
sorts. They all opted not to eat at the hotel at Cotton Bay – she sojourned there some 20 years back when she came diving in Rodrigues. And this is how they found Madame La Rose’s place. They ordered fish curry and fish stew and she had calamari with garlic butter. This was served with brinjal achar and lentils. It was simple but tasty and copious.
Lunch over, they headed in the direction of St Francois and
stopped at Anse Ali, another of these pristine beaches
with no one. St Francois is a bit more developed but beautifully laid out. The beach was inviting but they had just eaten and they wanted to see Trou d’Argent. So, they walked through a forest of casuarina and eucalyptus trees to this view point. They opted to see Trou d’Argent from the top – there is a trail to the beach.
This is a
very famous beach that is tucked under a hanging cliff. The sand is while and reflects like silver in full moon – therefore the name! They stayed there to enjoy the view with some other tourists, only very few. Then they started back. Meandering through the middle of the country, they found their way back to their lodgings.
That day was mother’s birthday and the hostess had promised to make them a dinner of dorado fish and cake for pudding.
They showered and rested and then made their way to the bar/dining room where the dinner was served. It was local prawn salad as starter, followed by butter fried fish with rice and chocolate cake and another meringue pudding because in another few days it would be Shameemah’s birthday too. Everything was nice, the prawns were special.