Honeymoon 2009

As I was clearing up some space on my hard disk drive, I stumbled upon the journal of our honeymoon trip and all the fond memories came flooding. Just the other day we were reminiscing our honeymoon trip – the pristine beach, the bicycle and scooter ride, the landscapes in Reunion, and the glorious Creole food. It’s so reinvigorating just to recall our holiday and we made a promise that we will return to Mauritius one day.

HONEYMOON TRIP TO MAURITIUS AND REUNION ISLANDS (25/7/09 – 7/8/09)

MAURITIUS ISLAND (25/7/09 – 1/8/09):

Day 1 (25/7/09) – Saturday:

– Air Mauritius flight at 4.30 p.m. from KLIA – reached Mauritius airport at 7.00 p.m. (6 hour flight; time zone difference: 4 hours

– Arrived Beau Rivage resort at almost 9 p.m.

– Greeted at the Beu Rivage hotel: warm welcome and was served an assortment of tropical fruit juice.

– Too tired – still on Malaysian time – dozed off. Skipped dinner that night.

Day 2 (26/7/09) –Sunday:

– Woke up early at about 4 a.m. – body clock has yet to tune in to the time difference.

– We were the earliest for breakfast. The breakfast area is so beautiful with the sight of palm tree swaying to the wind, the sound of the waves crashing, and the cool blue view of the pool. The breakfast spread – awesome spread of fruits, salads, crepe, waffles. We ate to our hearts content. The waiters and the waitresses there are extremely warm and friendly – excellent service – except that we were spoken to in French – and when they realized I don’t understand French, they warmly greeted me in English – service is above our expectations.

– Lazed around after breakfast.

– For lunch, we had pasta aglio olio at the café overlooking the beach and was served falooda (milk with passion fruit drink) by the beach side.

– Lazed around at the beach after lunch – just relaxing and watching the sun-bathers

– Dinner: Indian buffet (awesome spread of Indian cuisines – décor – attention to details – waiter and waitresses dressed for the occasion) – we totally enjoyed ourselves. We were mesmerized by the amount of details put in to create the Indian atmosphere. The whole dining area was basically converted within a day. The kolam was so beautiful and the spice decoration on the buffet area was so fine and detailed – it must have took hours to form designs with the spices. It was totally amazing how they spend so much time and effort in the décor. And the waiters and waitresses were in Indian costumes – so lovely. For each guests, we were given red pottu (for the ladies) and white ash (for the men). The dining experience was something that we will cherish forever!

Day 3 (27/7/09) –Monday:

– Bicycle ride around Trou d’Eau Douce (a town near the resort we stayed).

– Lunch at: Sous le Manguier – under the mango tree – opposite the church, fantastic home-cooked food – Marlin steak and aubergine curry; roughail; beetroot and potato salad (awesome!)

– Dinner: Gala dinner (5 course meal)

1st course: Tuna with rocket salad

2nd course: Pumpkin soup with cream sauce

3rd course: Red snapper with Chinese cabbage

4th course: Fowl with mushroom (with wine reduction) and mash

5th course: Creamy ice cream with crispy waffle

Day 4 (28/7/09) –Tuesday:

– Scooter ride: Port Louis (capital), Triolet, Grand Baie, Cap Malheureux – Northern and Eastern territories.

– Lunch: Snacks (samoussa), excellent sugar cane drink (RM7 per glass), Chinese fritters with dumplings and tofu, Chilli balls and sweet potato pancake.

– Dinner: Asian buffet (spread of sushi, shashimi, Chinese noodles, tuna charsiew, Thai salads, lemongrass grass jelly drink).

– Dance performances – Indian dance, Chinese dance, Mapouka (African dance) and sega.

Day 5 (29/7/09) –Wednesday:

– Scooter ride: Sphinx (Lion mountain), Souillac, through the Black River Gorges National Park, Curepipe – Southern and Central of Mauritius.

– Lunch in Souillac – lobster in rich tomato sauce.

– Dinner: Romantic dinner under the moonlight by the ocean.

Day 6 (30/7/09) –Thursday:

– Lunch: Room service: Roasted tomato soup, Arabiata pasta, Dorat steak.

– Dinner: International buffet (a wide range of Indian, Chinese, French, Thai, Mediterranean, Italian cuisines) – delicious dessert (Lemon and almond cake; banana with coconut pie; coconut ice cream; sorbets) – we savored every morsel of food.

Day 7 (31/7/09) –Friday:

– Watched sunrise.

– Beach day: Glass boat ride – chanced upon a group of humpback whales – we were so lucky! Pedal-boat ride – slow and easy ride.

– Lunch: Pamela pizza (Hawaiian pizza with ham) – lazed around by the beach  – started to rain – spotted a rainbow.

– Dinner: Set menu

Starters: ‘Caeser’ style salad with red mullet fish fillet, crouton, tomato, cucumber parmesan shavings (Alfred); Conchigliette pasta stuffed with vegetables & ricotta cheese, watercress, lemon dressings & olives tapenade (Me)

Main courses: Pan-fried dorado with fennel seeds, yam puree, mango sauce (Alfred); Sauteed cabbage croquette, spinach emulsion & tomato ‘fondue’ (Me)

Sweet endings: Pineapple entrement with four spices, chocolate tuille & red fruit coulis (Alfred); Assortment of ice cream & sorbet on a crispy biscuit with creamy chocolate.

Day 8 (1/8/09) –Saturday:

– Breakfast

– Pedal boat ride

– Lunch at the airport – excellent meal

REUNION ISLAND (1/8/09 – 7/8/09):

Day 8 (1/8/09) –Saturday:

– Arrived at 4 p.m.

– Took a taxi to St. Denis (the capital of Reunion).

– Stayed at Phoenix Hotel (€48 per night).

– Walked around St. Denis town.

– Dinner at St. Denis: Reflets des Iles – traditional Creole dishes – chicken carri (curry), morru with spinach, roughail – the menu is translated in English, a rarity in Reunion – the waiters play the tropical island card with their snazzy shirts.

Day 9 (2/8/09) –Sunday:

– Breakfast – Croissant, pains au chocolat (chocolate-filled pastries), tropical juice and tea.

– Took a bus to the airport to rent a car.

– Toured around St. Denis.

– Took the coastal road to St. Gilles-les-Hauts – checked in Chambre d’hotes Mme Edith Ramassamy (€40 per night)

– Lunch at the snack bar – thorn mais, crudite du crabe, thorn mais gratine, bouchons (Chinese steamed pork dumplings).

– Chapel pointue

– Checked out Le Maido

– Dinner: Jamaican pizza with ananas (pineapple)

Day 10 (3/8/09) –Monday:

– Woke up at 5 a.m. – got ready to go to Le Maido before sunrise

– Drove up to Le Maido (1/2 car ride to the top) — Spectacular view.

– Breakfast at the chambers d’hotes – baguette, yogurt, homemade banana jam, and tea.

– Drove by St. Leu – saw the paragliders.

– Stopped by at a patisserie – Panini gratin, strawberry tart, chocolate tart, almond with banana fillings (pain au almond), pain au chocolat.

– St. Leu – St. Louis – St. Pierre (saw the kite-surfers – a beautiful beach town bustling with activities).

– Drove up to Cilaos (breathtaking view) – soaked in every bit of the scenery.

– Checked in Chambre d’hotes Mme Bertha Gardebien (€40 per night).

– Went around the small town which is located centrally on the island enveloped by the surrounding mountains – totally breathtaking!

– Patisserie – Goiaeve tart, vanilla puff-pastry, bonbon.

– Dinner at Le Vieux Cap – cote de porc fumee aux lentilles de Cilaos (smoked pork rib with Cilaos lentils) – signature dish, rhum-arrange (pineapple and orange), Cilaos pink wine. The service is old-fashioned (with a energetic waiter) and the décor seriously rustic, with an open fireplace, stone walls and exposed beams.

Day 11 (4/8/09) –Tuesday:

– Breakfast – two types of jam, baguette, tea.

– Drove around Cirque of Cilaos – Ilet a Cordes and Bras Sec (two villages around the Cirque of Cilaos) – no words can be used to describe the beauty of the cirque.

Day 12 (5/8/09) –Wednesday:

– Drove around Cirque of Cilaos – Canyon de Bras Rouge (waterfall).

– Went down the Cirque – marvelling at the beauty of the landscape.

– Had lunch at a snack bar – bouchons, frites (fries), American hotdog sandwich, thon mais gratin (baked tuna with corn sandwich with cheese toppings – RM 12.50).

– Drove to St. Pierre – looking for pay-phones – saw kite-surfers having a ball of time.

– Drove to Bourg-Morat.

– Checked in Chambre d’hotes Piton de L’eau (€45 per night).

– Drove to Paines de Palmistes – waterfall at Cascade de Biberon – a short hike up to the waterfall.

– Drove around Foret de Bebor (reserve forest).

– Dinner: Le Panoramic – Baked vegetables with fish and watercress sauce, watercress soup, chicken carri with palm heart, banana flambé with rhum, rum-arrange (passion fruit).

Day 13 (6/8/09) –Thursday:

– Woke up early to hike up Piton de la Fournaise.

– Wonderful breakfast – baguette with 2 types of home-made jam, fruits and tea.

– Drove across Plaine des Sables.

– Drove up to Pas de Bellecombe (base before the hike).

– Walked across a huge path of lava rock before hiking up the volcano (Piton de la Fournaise) – 3 km one-way hike.

– Hiked up the volcano and saw the crater – highest rim of the volcanic crater – from the top, we sighted the highest peak of the island, Piton des Neiges.

– Took 7 hours to hike up and down – exhausted. That was my first time hiking a mountain. I wore a shoe that was a little too tight and I was suffering in pain when descending the mountain. Crying in pain I told Alfred that I will not go for hiking ever again. Halfway down the mountain, it started to rain. Upon reaching the car, I was ecstatic that the ordeal is over – and was so relieved to take off my shoes. I was overcome with the adrenaline rush – a sense of accomplishment – and turned to Alfred and said “Sayang, let’s hike Mount Kinabalu”. He rolled his eyes, lol.

– Drove around St. Benoit looking for a place to stay – full-house.

– Drove to Bras-Panon and checked in at Chambre d’hotes La Passiflore (€46 per night).

– Dinner at St. Andre – Le Champ Borne – fish curry (Creole dish), roughail, black sausage with pickled vegetables, and the deep-fried fish cutlet.

Day 14 (7/8/09) –Friday:

– Best breakfast – Cakes, croissants, dried bread biscuits, banana bread, 7 different types of jams (Marmalade, tangerine (tanguer), banana, tomato, mango, Goyavier, strawberry), peeled local tangerine, frozen banana with syrup – with fantastic company by the hosts.

– Drove up to Takamaka – spectacular view.

– Went to Bras-Panon vanilla co-operative – bought a packet of vanilla pods, Guiave jam, vanilla tea and vanilla coffee).

– Returned the car at the airport – Au re voir.

– Reunion – strong French influence – a blend of Indian, African, and Chinese influences – a very unique experience.

Slideshow of the photos taken in Mauritius & Reunion:

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