Saturday, August 12, 2006

En vacances avec la famille Valladares

Curiously, although perhaps unsurprisingly, I'm away again, this time deep in the Indian Ocean on the island of Mauritius. It's a long story, so I won't bore you with the details, although fortunately, our flight left before London's latest terrorist scare (but only just, it would seem).

This time, I'm with my family, mother, father, kid brother, his wife, their three lovely children and my cousin, Kim. Apparently, this is something that they've been doing for years and now that I'm single again, I can come too (I'm assuming that Rachelle and I were too busy before - and in fairness, that was a pretty safe assumption).

Kim and I have been doing some comparisons and we reckon that Mauritius is a lot like Goa, and Fiji is also similar in many ways (large Indian population, sugar cane, island in the Southern Hemisphere...). The resort that we're staying in is very nice, and because we were there last year, the staff recognise us - a nice touch, I think.

Far from the beaten track though we are, Mauritius is very connected to the outside world. Tonight, there is an anti-war demonstration in Port Louis, the capital, although I won't be doing any reportage on the event, and the African Athletic Championships are taking place between our resort at Flic en Flac on the west coast and Port Louis. It's the last day of competition tomorrow so I may yet drop in.

Otherwise, this is an idyllic spot to spend some time. The pace of life is fairly gentle, the island is big enough to have variety but small enough to allow exploration of its furthest corners, and the climate at this time of year is well nigh perfect (highs in the low eighties, occasional showers to freshen the air, and gentle breezes, especially here in the central plateau (this message comes to you from Curepipe, the country's second city).

But enough blogging for the time being, I'm off in search of a haircut (it hasn't been done since Fiji and I'm looking a little ragged). There might even be a cold beer involved...

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