Friday, August 7, 2009

Glass Bottom in Pereybere & window shopping at Grand Bay...

Long time there was no outing; reason winter was running in Mauritius. Feb till May is the season of winter here. Though the temperature does not fall much but sea remains a bit cold. Don’t talk about wind and rain. The speed of wind is always very high during these days and absolutely no time for rain. You never know when black clouds will gather and will start showers. Thanks to God that does not remain for long.
During last days we have heard a lot about glass bottom and under sea walking. I was quite keen to and experience that. Since I was a little scared of under sea walking, we decided to go for glass bottom boat ride. While it is available at few places but our target was Pereybere. Way to reach Pereybere is same as to reach Mont Choisy. From Mont Choisy next is Grand Bay and then Pereybere. From Port Louis TBS Bus Service goes to Pereybere.

So, we went to Pereybere by after noon. First we had a light snack there and then looked for the glass bottom. It is a small beach and there was not much crowd also. We could bargain for the rent, usually the range is 150-400 Rs per person for a ride of 45 minutes.
The boat is usually of a normal size of boat with sitting capacity of 10-12 people but has a fitting of transparent glass in middle. Thru these transparent glasses we can see the life underwater. Though thru the glass usually we can see about 5 /6 feet under water, still it is enough for a good experience. During our ride we could see quite a few live and dead corals and lots of fishes. The boat driver stops the boat in between for some time and gives some bread to feed the fishes and we also did this. Since only two of us were there we could enjoy freely. Nisha used complete bread for those fished and was trying to touch them. We could see only one kind of fishes there but the number of them was big… In a small area we could see hundreds of those fishes. She had a nice photo session on the boat. Then we came back to the shore. Current he is not high so people enjoy swimming a lot here.
Then we headed towards Grand Bay which is about 5 Km from here toward Port Louis. This is again a small beach and like Pereybere known for water sports activities like water sky, parasailing and glass bottom. The area close to this beach is famous for shopping specially cloths market. We also tried our hands there but it was limited to window shopping only as prices were extremely high. We saw a shopping mall there named as GBS Mall. We were surprised when we saw the rates in EURO there in this mall, so there was no point of shopping. This was a nicely build mall with nice interior.
By 4PM we left for Port Louis and then reached home by 6:30PM. It is advised to leave early if you are not having own transport. Over all it was a nice experience of seeing under water life. Now I am planning for under sea walking also.
An advice: Be careful while shopping in Grand :)…
Pereybere Beach information:
Sand - medium to fine grain, coral based, some debris.
Facilities - close by.
Shade - casuarina and palm trees.
Sports - you'll find lots going on here. Swim, snorkel, dive, kite boarding.
Notes - can get crowded

Shiva Ratri in Mauritius...

As I said earlier also, Mauritius is a country where people celebrate festivals with at most joy and religious feelings, same is shown for Shiva Ratri… Main attraction for this festival is that almost 90% of people from Hindu community walk down to Grand Basin, a place where they have biggest statue of Shiva in Mauritius (One of the biggest statue of Shiva in world) and has a sacred pond named as Ganga Talao to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva. Our land lord told us about this well in advance and asked us to be prepared for this. This place is about 24-26 Kms from our place rose hill.
Nishu was quite keep to walk for this but I was a but scared as I had to go to office after this… but later I came to know that we have leave after this so I made my mind to join her. Since entire Mauritius was walking for this so there was no issue to know the way to temple. Two days before Shiva Ratri we started for the temple early in the morning. We did not see much people on internal street but as soon as we hit the main road we saw a number of people walking.
As we were told, this was well managed. People were walking in a row and no matter they we single, group or carrying the KAWAR. Every kilometer or two stalls were there to offer food, juice , tea coffee to the people walking to feel the refresh and have gain energy…after every few kilometers medical facilities were there and proper Police arrangement was there to help people and to maintain the arrangements.
This day it started raining since morning and we had only an umbrella to protect. Any how we were on our way taking rest and shield from rain on the way. We walked well and reached the temple by 12:00 noon. It was full of people offering their prayers and place was full of beautiful KAWARs. We offered our prayers first and then had small refreshment.
It was now 3:00 PM and was time to return. After some time I started feeling tired as I was carrying heavy bag and was wet also. Anyhow I managed to walk few kilometers and crossed the village on the way and as soon as we reached to a town we got a bus. By now rods were almost block on one side as so many people were walking. Bus took quite some time to pass and by 8:00 PM we were at home. We took a bath in hot water and had some food which we carried with us. We were too tired that we never knew when we slept.
Next to next was it was the festival and we went to temple and offered the JAL to lord Shiva. Since people were coming in small groups today we had enough time to do our prayers…
It was really a great experience and I was fully surprised to see the crowed on the road and devotion of people for Lord Shiva.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mauritius: 24X7

Mauritius, a place known for beautiful beaches and sea food, wonderful climate and cool & calm people. You don’t find any rush for anything in Mauritius; everything goes with its own speed. I am sure you will be surprised to know that it is the one side of the coin. The other side is you will see people rushing for transport or closing down the shops and wrapping up the things as soon as the clock approaches 5:30 PM. it is quite difficult to get food items after 7:00-7:30 PM.

Now, gone are these days. Soon Mauritius is going to adopt 24X7 culture. Based on the result of surveys conducted Mauritian Government is taking some progressive steps in this field. Mauritius HRDC is the main responsible body to plan and promote the same in Mauritius and to design a basic infra structure plan for it. Recently a 3 days festival / promotion campaign was organized by HRDC at Port Louis, capital of Mauritius. This festival was open for public till mid night. This was for the first time in Mauritius.

During the festival dance and music programs were organized, arrangements were there to amuse the kids and for light snacks. Transport facilities from Port Louis to main destination of the country were arranged till late night along with the security arrangements for the festival. Road side shops which used to close at 5:00PM were open till late. A big number of people gathered to see what all it was and to enjoy the festival also.
How people of Mauritius take this initiative this will be visible in near future but the festival and promotion campaign was a good time for lot of people for sure. People who never came out to Port Louis at night they could see the lights and decoration, hawkers could work a bit late for 3 days to earn some extra bucks and few people got chance to show their talent on stage.
Anyways just wait and see what is next. All the best for Mauritius.