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Local from import

17 August 2020
Magical Table Mountain
8 August 2020
Dunnon Project
18 August 2020

Alina Zawartowska got into hot water when she fell in love with her future Mauritian husband. She has been living on the island for 20 years and is in my opinion one of the best guides there, with great knowledge, experience and a sense of humor. She knows the island nooks and crannies like no other. Privately, she is a very close person to me, who showed me another "non-touristic" side of Mauritius, and with whom the time on the island (and among others) was a real adventure. 😃

Why Mauritius?

Why does a young (at that time) woman land 10,000 kilometres from home? Either SHE wants to escape the tax office, or because of the man.... for me it was the Latter. I fell in love with a Mauritian. We met while studying in Germany, we lived in the same dormitory. First, I saw his beautifully big eyes with his amazing thick lashes. And then ... strangely familiar highlander slippers (popular in Poland in The Tatra mountains). These slippers belonged to a Mauritian electrical engineering student who became my husband after 4 years of acquaintance. It turned out that before we met, he had been in Poland and had bought the slippers in the Cloth Hall in Krakow. To this day, they are (highlander slippers) a mandatory point on my shopping list when I’m in Poland... next to kabanosy (popular sausages) and Michałki (chocolate sweets). The tradition of wearing them has already been passed on to our son.


What can we learn from the Islanders?

Sympathy, warmth and openness towards others people. The Mauritians are extremely nice and kind. They smile and greet you on the street. They are very helpful. At the same time - they are not intrusive.

What bothers you?

A specific approach to time. That is what is typical for exotic places full of palm trees. This is a real challenge for an organized European. Punctuality, deadlines, obligations? These are mostly foreign-sounding phrases. Of course, the canon of a true islander does not include a phone call to anticipate the delay or cancel the meeting. There is no need to bother with such details. People here have absolutely no respect for the time of others.


Let’s say you have seven days on the island and you want to see as much as possible. What places could you recommend?

Mauritius is admittedly a small island, but for someone who is curious about the world it can offer a lot. Of course, you must complete the obligatory program, The attractions listed in each guide, i.e. Chamarel Waterfalls, Seven Coloured Earth, tea plantations, etc. It is really worth seeing. But after passing the obligatory program, it is worth taking the bus and watching the island from its windows with the Mauritians next to you. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the local vibe. For someone who lives in the North, I recommend a drive to the capital of the island - Port Louis. There you can wander around the city, pass the fruit and vegetable market, eat a local snack. For those who live in the West and South, I highly recommend taking a bus to the South Coast by the ocean towards the Baie du Cup. Unforgettable views. Of course, such a trip by local buses brings many surprises such as the door is open while driving, and the driver stops to buy something to eat in a roadside cafe. it's absolutely normal. Therefore, when deciding on such a ride, you should be sure to be in Mauritian mode


What is your favorite place on the island?

Le Morne Beach. But not on the weekend. A wonderful place with turquoise water and the monumental mountain Le Morne in the background. My hammock in my garden. My microcosm under mango trees. This world includes a favorite porcelain mug for morning coffee and comfortable, wicker armchairs. Recently, Polish Radio Nowy Świat has been well received on the island. Let this moment last !!!! There is one more important place - the so-called "Hole". This is a niche in the wall, on the beach near my home in La Prenuse. You can admire the sunsets in the hole and from the hole ... There you go to gossip with your friends in the evenings with a bottle of wine ... oh, If that the hole could talk .....

I can confirm the hole accepts all regrets and claims to the world, tears shed by broken hearts, etc 😁


How did Mauritius deal with the coronavirus pandemic?

The first cases of the virus on the island were diagnosed in late March and very strict restrictions were imposed almost immediately. Schools, places of religious worship (and let us remember that they are mosques, Hindu temples and churches), bazaars, etc were closed. After a few days, a ban on leaving the house was introduced. Only grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations were open. Leaving the house was regulated in alphabetical order - it was so that you could shop twice a week. You had to show your ID in front of the shop. Shopping could take no more than half an hour - 45 minutes. Of course, masks had to be worn everywhere, hands had to be disinfected, the temperature was measured. In stores, traffic was one-way, marked by arrows on the floor. And all this to limit people's contact and keep a distance. The streets were strictly controlled and any unjustified exit was punished with heavy fines and even imprisonment. Helicopters patrolled the public space. Later even grocery stores were completely closed for a week. Fortunately, it didn't last long. Thanks to such restrictions, we had only 300 cases and 10 deaths on the island (the island's population is 1,200,000 inhabitants). Currently, the island is completely virus-free. From mid-May, the restrictions slowly began to be loosened. Since June, life has practically returned to its old tracks, only that we are still isolated from the world. The airport is still closed. We are waiting for a decision when and on what conditions Mauritius will open to tourists.

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