Meandering in Mauritius: La Peneuse and Port Louis

Posted by Colleen Blaine on 1 December 2010

Living in like a local and the Port Louis Hustle

The days here seem to be extended and are filled with warmth not only from the blazing sun but also from the people. Greetings are enthusiastically exchanged with everyone you pass either in Creole or French and the smiles are genuine.

An afternoon in Flic en Flac, the longest beach edged with topaz and dotted with tourists grilling on sun loungers. Saucy Schwarmas and whole coconuts with a straw are sold by the dozen along with peeled mangos and twisted pineapples. There is a “˜busyness’ about the island as the locals enjoy the beaches and holiday spirit as well. This is what I am learning to love about Mauritius – everyone basks in the Island spirit and enjoys the offerings as they are not exclusively for the tourists. One of my lifelong favourite things has always been warm summer evenings and here there is no other kind of evening. In this small village of La Preneuse I sit out on our little veranda writing as I listen to the geckos squeak above my head and the barking of many neighbourhood dogs.
Port Louis: phew hot and bustling to say the least. Two stop and start bus rides from Black River to Quatre Bornes and on to the capital, Port Louis – 40 km in two and a half hours.

Airless and sweaty. We arrive in Victoria Square station right in the middle of an only locally understood chaos of busses, taxis, food market, clothes market and gambling centre. I cannot bear the thought of anything to eat right now as I walk along feeling as though my face is melting off. You can’t be in too much of a hurry otherwise you’ll end up in gutter trying to pass the ambling locals. I eventually reach the Caudan Waterfront tourist haven and step into air-conditioned bliss! I now sit at a harbour restaurant contemplating the Creole offerings.

The food seems to be a mix of seafood with Indian influence in the form of Marsala curries served with sweet fruit atchars and flavoured rum which is strong enough to put hairs on your chest! Restaurant La Capitianne and a lunch of thinly sliced raw tuna soaking in olive oil and lemon juice with peppercorns. Tangy and delicious with fresh, crusty baguette as the sweatiness of my ride here is forgotten.

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