Sunday, July 01, 2012

There are three Canadian boats in the harbour and we are planning a pot luck for later in the day.  I have made a potato salad and will bring burgers and buns so we can have a little taste of home on July 1st in the middle of the Indian Ocean.  I hope all of you at home have great weather to celebrate our nation's birthday. 
Port Louis, Mauritius, looking over the harbour
Development along the waterfront
We are in Mauritius now.  It is an island which is home to about 1.4 million people.  While Mauritius was home for the descendants of African slaves and the population was 90 % black, the people here are a mixture of the offspring of African slaves and indentured servants that were brought over from India to pick the sugar cane after the slaves were freed in the early 1800's. The Indian descendants seem to be in the majority here in the capital of Port Louis.
  Mauritius has more wealth than Rodrigues and there is an economic base here, clothing is manufactured as well as a booming IT industry and lots of tourism.  There seems to be the remains of a sugar cane industry as well as the production of alcohol.  We are moored at a marina tied up to our buddies Tagish, because there is no more room at the dock.  We have access to electricity, water and best of all HOT showers. 
Buildings in the older section of town, close to China town. 
As you can see there is a huge variety of architecture in the city, from very old fashioned structures to the latest in sky scrapers.  It is all in the space of a few blocks and give the city a very unique feel. The town in surrounded by large hills and mountains and has a great natural harbour.  We went hiking up one of the big peaks just to the east of town. 
La Pousse or The Thumb, our destination.

The crew of Tagish and Barry and I took a 45 minute bus ride to the other side of the mountain and set off for the summit.  It was a glorious day, it took us about 1 and 1/2 to get up and about 2 hours to get down, as we walked all the way back into town. We met this fellow on the way up, he was on his way to market from his garden, he has fresh cilantro and green onions in his basket.  It was an easy walk through cane fields at first and then the trail became rocky and steeper up through the trees on the mountain side. Some of the footing was tricky because in the trees the soil was still wet and it was very slimy and my shoes would slip and slide. 

The last bit was very steep, and you wouldn't have wanted to slip off the edge.  There were fantastic views from the top and you could almost see clear around the island. Barry could see the boats in a harbour over 15 kilometers away. 

Yesterday we walked up to Fort Adelaide built in the 1830's but never really used in war. It was a much shorter walk but quite steep and I was out of breath by the time we reached the fort. Once again it had great views of the city and the harbour.  The picture at the top is actually taken from the fort.  
Notice La Pousse in the background, that really was quite a hike!
Can you make out the date on the cannon?