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.
Look on the bright side: Driving in Mauritius is like being the first astronaut to drive on Mars. Yes, there’s problems. It’s costly. But what an adventure.
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!
I’m in Mauritius, defined by geography, pirates and free money. I flew in from its much larger and much poorer cousin, Reunion, and the contrast between the two couldn’t be greater.
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.