Beach Walk and Dodos!

The day after our interesting tour (previous blog) we had a boat trip organised which was cancelled due to bad weather and we were told that it would be the following day so we hadn’t planned anything else. Anyway it was then rescheduled for a day which we weren’t available.  So with a free day on our hands I said to Bruce, “come on lets do a big walk”…13 km later we got home with very sore feet but you could walk forever on this beach..shame about the body!

We started just walking a few of the back streets of Flic en flac to have a look around. Some lovely quiet streets and little shops mostly closed as it was a Sunday. We bought some nice tomatoes and lettuce in this little sort of market shop.

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Dropped our goodies home via the Dodo park which consists of a couple of statues in a park come roundabout. I have to admit that we had no idea that the Dodo was from Mauritius before we arrived.

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Bruce trying to be funny…yes the Dodo is not extinct after all!

The dodo was a metre tall flightless bird which lived on fruit and nested on the ground, was fearless of humans, and took advantage of the island’s lack of predators. Experts believed that it could fly but once it got to Mauritius it had no need to and overtime, a strange reverse evolution occurred.

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The birds was first sighted in the 1600’s and destroyed by 1861. Apparently it wasn’t humans which destroyed the dodo – it was introduced animals such as pigs, rats and monkeys. The dodo is found on the Mauritian coat of arms, its currency and on many logos. It also means tourist dollars with all sorts of dodo souvenirs available .

So we took our lovely tomatoes home, changed into thongs and headed to the beach!

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We are staying at the northern end of Flic en Flac beach and walked about 7 km south along the beach. We discovered that the two areas are very different. The southern end of the beach past Flic en Flac into the area called Wolmar is lined with fancy upmarket resorts such as the Hilton and Sofitel.

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The beach is lined with banana chairs some with the addition of bean bags for double padding! We didn’t see anyone swimming at this end of the beach but plenty of people who looked like they’d been lying on their chairs and tanning for months.

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The water at the southern end doesn’t seem to be as clear as that of the northern end. It becomes more green and some areas have a tannin colour, not sure why but not as pristine. Maybe it was the day we visited. So we walked and walked and then thought we better turn around and head home. We checked out a catch of tuna on the way.

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The contrast between the two ends of the beach was interesting and although we are not adverse to a bit of luxury we were pleased that we were at our end! The water is turquoise especially when the sun is shining and so clear! You can snorkel all the way out to the surrounding reef. The water is very calm but you won’t find any shells, just lots of bits of coral.

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The long stretch of beach at the northern end is is lined with casuarina trees and it is well used by the locals, especially on the weekends. People congregate and have picnics, play soccer or football, have singalongs and camping is permitted as long as you don’t have a fire.

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The downside of having such a well used beach is the litter problem. After the weekend it is really quite bad and although there are workers who walk along cleaning up I wonder why more people don’t use the bins provided! I found it disappointing. Maybe everyone takes the beautiful beach and water a bit for granted.

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In regards to recycling we have been impressed that the shops don’t hand out plastic bags. You can purchase a paper bag or biodegradable bag if needed. They also have a refund on quite a few glass bottles – the local beer and all wine bottles. An amount is added to the price at the check out and then you get it back when you return the bottles but you need to remember to keep your docket. The refund is 15 to 18 rupees (60 to 70 cents) per bottle – pretty substantial compared to Australia. I’m not sure about the water bottles as we have been fortunate to have a water purifying machine in our apartment so haven’t needed to buy any. Maybe a fine for littering should be introduced or more rubbish bins.

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I was dragging my feet after our 13 km walk along the beach. The old heels are feeling it. Pity the body doesn’t keep up with the desire! It was a lovely walk and interesting to see the contrast between different ends of the beach.

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This pics for you Kara!

We could always try the public transport next time. They drive a bit like they are on a racing track though!

Author: Pascale Zufferey

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