Photographic Memories Of My Holiday In Mauritius
When Mark Twain wrote of his visit to the island in 1896, he quoted a local as saying “Mauritius was made first and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius.” If there is a heaven, I want it to be just like Mauritius.
This was my second trip to the island, a holiday that filled me with relaxation, joy, a wonder of the natural world, and a deep sense of peace. As a photographer, I cannot imagine taking a trip to anywhere without taking some photographs, but I’m aware that I constantly see everything in terms of a potential shot or great composition. My Instagram and Facebook feeds were brimming with several shots a day, and probably annoying everyone in the process.
On this occasion I decided to travel light taking my Nikon D750 body, a 20mm f1.8 prime, and my iphone 7 plus. It was actually very liberating not to have to switch lenses, and although restrictive in some ways, was perfect for those big landscape shots. It’s also super light, much appreciated when walking up steep hills, and hauling my backside around on a bike!
This was not a photography holiday, it was a family holiday. A special holiday. My eldest child is going off to Uni in September and I fully expect that this will be our last family holiday with all 6 of us. *sobs* So I have many more personal photographs that I won’t bore you with, but I’d love to share this selection. I’m not going to pretend I went native, that I travelled extensively to discover a hidden culture, or an undiscovered side of Mauritius. I spent most of the holiday (when not all-inclusively stuffing my face or drinking the cocktail menu), on a sun bed binge eating books. We did cycle a short distance along the coast to explore the local villages, a stark contrast to the luxury of our hotel. We also visited the beautiful interior; Chamarel waterfalls and the Black River Gorges, The Seven Coloured Earths, and the Hindu temple of Ganga Talao. The island is lush, and extraordinarily beautiful.
I am happiest when close to nature, and a particular highlight was a lone 6 am walk along the beach to watch the sunrise. These strange rays in the sky opposite the rising sun had some kind of deep, spiritual effect on me. I later found out they are what’s known as Anticrepuscular rays; parallel shards of light which appear to converge towards the antisolar point. It’s science yes, but oh my God, it’s bloody spectacular. I will never forget that morning on the beach. It has stayed with me.
Mauritius is a truly beautiful island. The people are so special, nothing is too much. Yes, those working within the hotel are doing their job, but there is a genuine warmth and we made real friends. I felt so comfortable returning to this island and I cannot wait to go back. I shed several tears as we returned to the airport. Our driver said “You are now part of Mauritius.’ I feel this is so. J x
We travelled with Thomson and stayed at the Tamassa Resort at Bel Ombre on the south west coast of the island.