Port Louis

Thursday, April 20, 2023
Blue Bay, Grand Port District, Mauritius
I was up early this morning, had breakfast and kept working on my laptop. After Marjolaine’s hour in the water, we loaded up and drive to Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. You may wonder why we aren't getting together with our members here again. There is a standing offer from us to be available if anyone would like to spend more time with us, we made sure to stay on Mauritius Sunday for that reason, but they are busy with other things and from their perspective there was no need to get together again. We ejoyed the Sabbath together, now "life" takes back over with its various demands. 
On the drive north, we reminisced about our first family visit here in 2002; it’s hard to believe it’s been that long. The island has been revolutionized by technology and a growing economy. There are tall buildings around a place called Cyber City, and more in Port Louis. Things have gone well for Mauritius, which is often cited as an example of how ethnically, religously and linguisticly divergent populations can get along well and even thrive.
The heart of today's Port Louis of it is the Caudan Waterfront, a commercial development of banks, restaurants, a luxury hotel, high-end shopping, and a casino next to the main shipping and fishing port. This was all only four or five years old when I first came here. It has continued developing; Marjolaine was surprised by some of the upgrades. 
It was named for Jean Dominique Michel de Caudan, a Frenchman who started a saltpan here in 1726. Other buildings grew up around it until it became the capital of the island. Some historic building are still standing: The first meteorological observatory of the Indian Ocean, a stone building, now hosts the Namasté restaurant, which is our favorite in Port Louis. This is where I took Marjolaine for lunch, which was delightful.
Also, in the Caudan Waterfront is the Blue Penny Museum, housed in the old docks’ office. The two-pence blue penny stamp was printed in Mauritius in 1846  and is one of the most expensive stamps in the world because of its rarity. In 2021, a ball invitation bearing the stamp was auctioned for 11,000,000 Euros!
After a late lunch, we had a walk around the waterfront to see how things have changed, and across the street to the covered market, always a colorful and lively place where aggressive merchants hawking their goods will make every legal effort to part you from some money. Marjolaine bought two displays of tropical spices to gift when we return home.
 As we exited the market I had a strange experience, I’ve never had before. Light tropical rains had been coming and going much of the day, under the blue sky and puffy, white, cumulous clouds. As we reached a street corner, I stood exactly on the line where the rain began and ended. To my right it was raining, to my left it was not. If I held my right arm out from my side, it caught rain drops. If I stretched out my left hand it stayed dry. I was stuck between a dry and wet place. It didn’t last long, but I don’t think I’ll forget that.
Then we drove back to the hotel, through light rains. I filled the tank so we won’t have to worry about it tomorrow morning. I brought some leftovers back to our room from lunch and that was my dinner tonight.
We also repacked our bags once again, and double checked that we weren’t overlooking anything. Tomorrow we’ll be off to Reunion Island.
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You must have seen many changes since your first visit there 20 years ago, especially the waterfront development. Kind of real that "life takes back over with its various demands," so we're glad you enjoy the times of rest when they come,


I am simply amazed at all the places you have visited over the years and wonder if there is any place left on earth you've haven't already visited! What a blessing to have experienced so many cultures, peoples, locales. I realize, from my own travel experiences, that with such opportunities come hazards, illnesses, frustrations but you are adept at "keeping calm and carrying on," especially when you have God to protect and guide you, for which we, your readers are grateful and for which we continue to pray.

Tess Washington

I agree that was a strange experience! Thank you for this narrative and the photos! I've checked the location of both Mauritius and Reunion on the Indian Ocean as you've mentioned. 2 large wall maps are in our study. I'm following your travel route!