Talking about holidays in the Indian Ocean, a road trip is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. But in comparison to the other two honeymoon islands the Maldives and the Seychelles, Mauritius is the most suitable for just picking a car, driving around and stopping at the beaches or places you like. Why? First of all Mauritius consists of one large island and it´s landscape and vegetation change a lot due to the mountains and different winds. You can´t really check the weather forecast for the whole island. The North is normally minimum 5 degrees warmer and much calmer than the South. We started our road trip in the South as it is well known as a perfect watersports spot and I wanted to take some kitesurfing lessons. The only national park of the country Black River Gorges and the highest mountain Black River Peak (828 meter) are also located here. You can climb it up easily in a couple of hours, get an amazing view all over the island and safe the money (450 euro) for the heli-flight. So my plan was: work and sports first, then the relaxation! But already from above it didn´t look like work at all…Even after a 12 hour flight (from Berlin via Paris with Air France) I still had enough energy to jump out of the car every second and take a picture. Poor driver… After 30 minutes we finally arrived at St Regis Mauritius Resort and found out there was actually no lobby. The idea behind it is to make guests feel like they come back home. Your buttler offers you a welcome drink and brings you directly to your villa (almost like your Mom) and looking at the infinity waterfalls at the entrance indeed reminded me of my apartment in Berlin…The thing I loved most about the villas was the bathroom (surprise, surprise!). The fact they have two huge wash bawls makes it easier for couples to stay a couple even after their holidays. And I could see the ocean while brushing my teeth and didn´t have to look into the mirrow which was also a big plus especially in the mornings. The South is told to be the windy part of Mauritius, but as St Regis is hidden behind the mountain of Le Morne Brabant (556 meters) you can only feel a light breeze on the beach. Le Morne Brabant is on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2008 because of it´s sad history. In the early 19th century it used to be a refuge for runaway slaves. After the abolition of slavery in 1835 a police expedition traveled there to inform the slaves that they had been freed. Many of them misunderstood the message and jumped from the rock. The hotel has six restaurants and if you book half-board you can have dinner in three of them without paying extra (Floating Market, The Boathouse Bar & Grill und Le Manoir Dining Room). On the first evening we were just walking along the beach watching the sunset and at the end we ran into Simply India, the signature restaurant of St Regis with the Indian star cook Atul Kochhar. But since I was the only who one liked Indian food we had to switch to Le Manoir Dining Room which offered French-Mauritian fusion cuisine (in the picture above: mauritian chilli cake, crusted red tuna, fresh coconut, caper, tomato). In the picture below the same restaurant during the breakfast.On the second day of our stay my kitesurfing lessons started. St Regis has the first luxury kitesurfing school in the world: Club Mistral Prestige. Your teacher drives you to a windy spot few minutes away from the hotel and during the lessons he all belongs to you. After fife days you can do it. I only had two days to practice but at the end I was able to steer the kite and make it pull me through the water, which was already a great experience. This spot is really perfect for beginners: the water stays flat for a long time and the wind is stable. The pros normally try to catch the famous One-Eye-Wave a bit further out.The hotel had a library with some serious 1000 pages books as you can see…and their own cinema called La Palme D`Or where you could either watch one of the three movies they showed per day o just book it for yourself (popcorn indluded)…This ist the Boathouse Bar&Grill restaurant at night. The cool thing about it: you could just walk down to the beach with one of your courses and have it there if you liked.On the last day I finally had some time to walk around and test the water. And to be honest I could hardly imagine the beaches in the North were supposed to be even better…On the last evening we decided to try out The Floating Market which turned out to be my favorite one among all restaurants. It was located on the water and the spaces were connected by bridges. That´s what we had: lemongrass crab cake, roasted spiced duck breast with baby vegetables and the best desert on planet (because it is actually fife deserts): the lolly-pop mix.
In my last Brazil post I told you about the wonderful city of São Paulo, which I enjoyed so much! Nevertheless, I have to admit: the most exciting thing about São Paulo was the way to São Paulo. We started in Rio de Janeiro, had a stop in Angra dos Reis and Paraty (later about that) and finally got lost on this 430 km long way – the best thing which could happen. We found ourselfs in a beautiful national park with a mysterious voodoo house and (after we failed to find the way out) on the biggest natural water slide in the world. It was a huge waterfall and the whole village, or at least the bravest among them, was sliding it down. It was one of these fun experiences, which only can happen if you do something you haven´t planned. That´s why I prepared some special tips for you how to get lost: 1. Miss the right exit and just take the next one hoping that it will bring you to the same destination 2. Don´t turn around even if the road is getting smaller and finishes at all in an while 3. Ask the 15 year old teenager in the village, who actually want you to stay, for the right direction. That´s it!At this point the signs were still easy to understand…Half an hour and a wrong exit later we found ourselfs in a national park. There was a curious voodoo house on it´s top without windows but with some clay figures. Danger signs? Let´s go there! This was how we found the water slide.First the guys from the village were kind of doubtful about the lost gringo…then they explained him the right slide techniques and pushed him down…… and slided directly after himThey ended up as close buddies who never want to live without each other again…There were still many things to learn: The professionals slide down on their feet not on their butts.The best thing was the swimming pool at the end, but we had to keep on driving. Besides, we were not invited to the village disco. A small hint to all of you who wants to get lost like this: The are signs for this national park and the water slide as soon as you leave Paraty.