So, where would you go if money and time posed no boundaries?
For me the answer is easy: the lush island of Mauritius, just east of Madagascar– and not just because it has the all-time coolest name of an airport in the world: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (airport code: MRU)
From all that I have read, this is Island Paradise. But there is more than just crystal clear blue waters and white sandy beaches. Mauritian culture contains a harmonious mix of cultures: African, Indian, British, Dutch, French, Asian…just to name a few. The official languages are English and French, but you’d be readily able to practice your Creole or Hindi on the streets of Port Louis.
If, god forbid, you got bored of staring at perfect ocean waves all day long, all you have to do is travel a short distace to the Black River Gorges National Park, just 4 miles from Curepipe. The largest National Park on the island contains sacred lakes, large resevoirs, waterfalls, and the highest point on Mauritius: Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire.
As you would expect when visiting a place with such a melting pot of cultures, there’s good eatin’ in Mauritius. Sure, there’s seafood. But a local menu is likely to also include curry, biryani, pork lo mein, roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and a variety of rice dishes. Loney Planet describes a Creole dish called rougaille, which consists of tomatoes, onions, garlic, and any kind of meat or fish. How do I say YUMMY in Creole?
Cultural diversity doesn’t just offer a smorgasbord of cuisines, but also a colorful array of holidays and festivals. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to witness the Teemeedee festival where people walk on fire in honor of various Hindu gods.
Well, that’s all the time I have today to talk to you of far away places. For kicks I looked up the flight prices (for those of you who don’t know me, I manage a flights team for a large tour operator). A roundtrip ticket in July from Boston will cost nearly 3000 clams, so it’s safe to say I won’t be adding this lovely island to my travel calendar anytime soon… but a girl can dream.