This was mostly a lazy stop. Mauritius is a little island nation a bit east of Réunion, still off the southeast coast of Africa. Formerly a colony of the Dutch, French, and – until independence in 1968 – the British, today it is multiethnic, multi-religious, multilingual. Moreover, unlike so much of Africa it as a highly stable country with the highest Human Development Index in the entire continent. The thing I was most struck with reading about the country is that when Arab explorers discovered Mauritius, they literally discovered it. Unlike Columbus “discovering” the New World – where lots of people lived and presumably knew they were there – there were no humans at all on Mauritius when the first Arabs happened along in the Middle Ages. And until the Dutch settled it in the late 16th century.
I’ll skip over that whole colonial period – first Dutch, then French, until the British took the islands during the Napoleonic wars – but for one little tidbit. Mauritius was the only known home of the famous flightless dodo bird. Having evolved over eons in relative isolation they had no fear of humans when we started arriving and were easy prey. By the last half of the 17th century, just a few decades after the Dutch started settling the island, they were gone.
We had five nights at a beautiful St. Regis resort and, because of that whole Starwood status thing, they upgraded us to a great suite. Made for a very pleasant stay. The one downside of a place like that is that
you’re we’re always struggling to find good food that passes our low-carb threshold. And that isn’t crazy expensive. The best way to do that of course is to leave the resort and we did that for lunch a few times, going to a great little place called Mapalapaw maybe 30 minutes away. Other than that … we didn’t do much. Sat on the beach. Swam. Read. A little time at the gym. More time at the beach.