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AN OASIS IN THE SUGARCANE (1)

My retreat in Mauritius is the Lodge Andrea on the cliffs, in the south of the Island. It is one of the most beautiful places in our world, a real heaven on earth.

By C.B. VisionsPublished about a month ago 6 min read
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Lodge Andrea / photo © cbvisions photography

A WEEKEND IN PARADISE AHEAD

Once in a while, even an author needed a break from his job, so Jean had no problem with convincing me to go on this trip. He worked for a huge web design company who created the webpages for some hotels and tourist attractions in Mauritius. They usually tested the facilities before they created the internet presence.

I just returned from my last three-week-journey to Germany, where I visited my family; we just signed a new rent contract for an apartment in Pointe aux Cannonier. We had the bungalow in Pereybere full of kittens, that caused quite a lot of problems. Our personal stress level was pretty high.

Jean’s company asked him to do this trip, originally planned just for one night. However, he convinced them to expand it to two nights and also included me as his photographer. I was keen to build up my legacy as a photographer and introduced my company named cbvisions photography to the world. Of course, I have to mention that this trip included his birthday as well.

This benefits from this weekend journey were clear. We also decided to eliminate another one of our problems and brought the kittens to an animal shelter.

After we delivered the kittens to the animal shelter, we made a minor detour to Central Flacq, because Jean wanted to show me the famous bazar. To be honest, that did not impress me much. Giving away the kittens was hard for me and this unnecessary stop in Flacq was not helping to improve my mood that morning.

As usual, the day started very early and with quite a lot of stress. I had to catch three kittens, put them in a box, and ensure that the cat and the remaining kittens were taken care of, all while dealing with Jean and his stressful behavior, which exhausted me. From the beginning, I was against this detour, but had no chance to convince him.

Of course, we started fighting. My mood and the fact that I neither enjoyed nor liked the famous bazar pissed him off. We maintained silence throughout the drive that followed.

Union Ltd Sugar Estate / photo © cbvisions photography

We had to travel to the south of Mauritius. Normally; I enjoyed the view through the car window during such long drives. This morning was no different; however, my mood was down and when we entered the Union Ltd Sugar Estate, a factory premises, I lost my hope of a great weekend. From that moment on, I was deeply worried. We crossed the busy area and followed a bumpy, narrow road in the middle of a sugarcane field. The man-high sugar plants gave me the impression of being stuck in a Stephen King novel.

My first thoughts were anything but positive because I learned the hard way how Mauritius usually exaggerates everything. The sight of the old, dilapidated factory, the endless sugarcane and the gravel road made me suspect something bad.

Our bumpy ride in the middle of the sugarcane ended in front of small, motel-like buildings surrounded by palm trees on the edge of the cliff. All my worries fell off immediately.

The receptionist, a nice young lady, greeted us as soon as we left the car. She led us into the small wooden building, where we had to do the formalities of checking in. After that was done, she even introduced us to the cook, who brought the traditional welcome-cocktail and asked about our dinner wishes.

I knew that hospitality and service were important at Mauritius, yet to be asked about my dinner wishes, while a menu card existed, totally surprised me. Later, Jean and I talked about it and he explained to me, they wanted us to have a unique experience and were quite worried about how I, as a European, would get the traditionally spicy food.

After the small conversation that took place outside between the restaurant and the reception, the nice young lady brought us to our lodge, opened the door for us and wished us a pleasant stay.

The reception / photo © cbvisions photography

From one moment to another, the positive feeling I developed since arrival vanished. As soon as we entered the room, the bed gave off a welcoming vibe. They had set up a huge white net over the bed to keep the mosquitoes away and mounted a huge fan at the ceiling. Neither an air conditioner nor a television set was available in the room. Even the gigantic windows towards the garden on top of the cliff added to a feeling of discomfort at the beginning. Privacy, something that we actually needed more urgently than the heterosexual couples, suddenly seemed to have moved out of reach.

To be honest, we had not faced a problem with our sexuality, yet we were aware of the laws and the severe consequences we could face because of it, so we usually took care to hide it as well as possible. For example, even here we booked and paid two bungalows, even though we never intended to use both.

One of my first thoughts had been: “Oh my gosh, where have I landed?”

As much as I disliked the room at the beginning, I came to terms with the benefits. The bungalow proved to be a place that brought a maximum of relaxation from the daily stress, simply because of its lack of modern technology. Already the first afternoon taught us: we did not need all the devices to have a good time.

It is rare that Jean and I agreed on something; however, we both fell in love with the shower and the good thing was, we had two bungalows, so we also had to showers and there was no need to fight over it.

The shower itself was an own room with an enormous window over the cliff. Even though I was worried that anybody to entered the garden could see my nudity, it was an unreasoning fear. In the crucial areas, the architects used opaque frosted glass for the glass pane. While taking a shower we had a unique view over the cliff and the Indian Ocean. While the warm water splashed on our overheated bodies, we could watch the sun setting the ocean on fire and bathed the cliff in a red-golden glow.

Jean and I absolutely took advantage of it. I guess none of us ever showered as long and as often as we did during that weekend. Pure relaxation.

The view / photo © cbvisions photography

THE DAY ONE EXPERIENCE

The fighting was not over yet; all our bad mood during the Flacq detour that was suppressed during the car drive returned to the surface and broke loose. We could not agree with anything; while I wanted to explore the surrounding, Jean preferred to stay in the hotel. Ever since I came to Mauritius, the British lefthand drive cause some anxiety within me. Even after two years living in Mauritius, this fear accompanied me.

However, with the tension between us, I was willing to overcome this anxiety and decided to explore the cliffs on my own. Jean was not particularly happy about it. He knew my passion for rock climbing and was worried that I might do it again here. And he was not entirely wrong about it. If there was an opportunity, I would definitely take it. While I went to my bungalow to grab my gear, he got ready to accompany me.

Less than an hour after we arrived, we had already left the facilities again. Slowly, still being pissed off with each other, we walked towards the bumpy road. Part of me wanted to enter the sugarcane to take some photos there. The author inside my mind was keen to explore the fields and create a terrifying murder tale, while the photographer wanted to walk towards the cliff. At the end, we decided to explore the unknown area closer to the cliff.

A few yards behind the estate, we came across a small fenced forest. A sign told us that we could expect some deer sighting after crossing the open gate. For the second time that day, I thought of being in paradise. Finally, I would be able to take photos of wild deers. And with a little luck, maybe even from the monkey who can be spotted across the island.

The huge coniferous trees provided us with shade, the cool salty breeze enveloped our sweated bodies, while the constant sound of the waves beneath the cliffs lulled us. Immediately, we felt how our souls relaxed, all the stress and arguments fell away from us. After a while, we even started joking around and as soon as we were out of sight, we walked along the cliff, hand in hand.

We came to another barrier, a small fence over which we had to climb. We did it, however, a few yards further, we decided to turn around and return again.

A small relaxation with a view / photo © cbvisions photography

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About the Creator

C.B. Visions

An author, who writes tales of human encounters with nature and wildlife. I dive into the depths of the human psyche, offering an insights into our connection with the world around us, inviting us on a journeys. (Christian Bass)

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Comments (3)

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  • Mariann Carrollabout a month ago

    Love the story and love the pictures. It’s sad when you have to hide your love for each other on a beautiful vacation place.

  • Kelsey Clareyabout a month ago

    Those pictures are beautiful!

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    That was lovely, and the pics are beautiful. Well done.

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