But this 25-day trip is not for many of my clients, however they may claim to love Africa.
The beauty is profound. The ecological health is unique, better than practically anywhere else on earth. But the greatest treasure is helping us understand evolution.
This moral rationing has defined Mauritius for four hundred years. Our three days here only increased our agony in having to make such choices.
Most travelers choose their destinations for a basket of reasons including everything from famous museums to beautiful scenery, deep history to culinary delights. A few just want to tick off another destination.
I think the six of us came to Rodrigues because we all love Africa, and this is the most remote and unexpected part of Africa that exists. Like any Robinson Crusoe island hidden in the giant oceans, we also expected very unique beauty, history and ecology. We weren’t disappointed.
I’ve raced my broken Landrover over the Lemuta Plains through a dust storm and avoided every aardvark hole. I’ve navigated through a blizzard in the middle of the night on Chicago’s highways. I’ve kept my Vauxhall on the right edge of the ditches in the Scottish moors. I’ve even zigzagged a bus on the Chapman’s Peak Road over the Cape!
But this was a first: My Peugeot in Port Louis.
The ideological and even moral divide between these two main Mascarenes Islands are as great as the political divisions around the world between the right and the left, and one is forced into concluding that in a relatively short time, only one will still be standing.
Snakes? I know, for most people they command little love. We place the few humans who like them in remote categories generously tagged as “weird.” But where I’m going in a few weeks, they’re more precious than pirate treasure!
Next week I travel to the furthest eastern part of Africa, Mauritius. Everything about the island nation is unique, including its biology probably best represented by … a snake.