We’ve all seen pictures of holiday-goers and honeymooners wallowing in cascading pools of water, sipping cocktails and gently observing the view of the clear blue ocean. These snapshots of the resorts in Mauritius set the bar of beauty incredibly high.
We recently visited Mauritius for a week and stayed with Ollie’s folks up on the side of Tourelle du Tamarin. Living outside of the resort, we got to experience the true flavors of Mauritius and all her glory.
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Our visit to Mauritius constituted as one of our digital nomad adventures, testing the waters of working remotely and refining the balance between work, play and the absorption of a new culture. We were incredibly lucky to have a beautiful, comfortable home to stay in, a car at our disposal and the heart-warming comfort of family.
I think that we can safely say that staying outside a resort in Mauritius increased our experience 10-fold.
Digital nomad preparation
As we were still working, there were necessary arrangements that needed to be made. These included:
- A productive work environment with reliable WiFi. The home we stayed at had ample working space, a fantastic WiFi connection, and a back-up generator – which we actually used when a huge storm knocked out the electricity for a short period.
- Communication during working hours. The time difference between South Africa is two hours and so we had a little window in the morning for outdoor activities. We took advantage of this window, but often we worked earlier in the morning. As a result, we finished earlier but always made sure that we were in communication.
- A spirit for adventure. When not working, we used every moment to explore what Mauritius had to offer.
Adventure in Mauritius
We explored the following activities (showcased in our vlog). Without exaggeration, every single moment was special.
Surfing in Tamarin Bay
The waves were cooking the day after we arrived. Unfortunately, the rumors about the locals are very true. The local surfers only get about 60 days of surfable swell a year. This means that locals take the day off work to surf on days with a good swell, and they are very aggressive towards foreigners who try to sneak into the lineup. Regardless of the rumors, we rented boards for an hour and managed to have a little bit of fun.
Rhumerie de Chamarel
There is a large amount of sugar cane harvested in Mauritius and, as a result, a large amount of rum consumed. We visited the Rhumerie de Chamarel on one of the rainy days, stopping at the various viewpoints to absorb the scenery along the way. After a tour of how the rum is made, tasting a delicious cocktail and kicking back eight shots of rum – we were ready for a sit-down lunch.
Hike up Tourelle du Tamarin
It is possible to hike up Tourelle du Tamarin if you get a pass permit. Our neighbor had one and so we jumped on board to take part in the fun. We only found out afterward that he planned on going at 4:45 am on a Saturday morning. However, it was too late to back out and so we rolled out of bed at the sound of the alarm and bundled into the car.
There was a huge thunderstorm the day before so the mud was fresh and the mosquitos were hungry. Starting in the dark was half the adventure in itself and after a few wrong turns and route confusions, we finally made it to the top – only to have our breath completely taken away. Never had we seen such a jaw-dropping view. Neither words nor video footage can encapsulate beauty. We ran down and returned home within in two hours; full of mud, battle wounds and smiles.
Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarding and snorkeling
We were lucky that Ollie’s dad had a few boards and snorkels for us to take advantage of. We went on two different SUPping missions – each with imprinting moments. The first one was on a very still bay with the family. We shared a board and hopped off intermittently to cool down. The water was so clear and we got to see all the sea life a layer below.
The second adventure was magical. We paddled out at sunrise in Tamarin Bay. We came within an arm’s distance from a pod of dolphins. If that wasn’t enough – we also spotted a turtle, baby hammerhead sharks and a rainbow of fish while snorkeling on the reef.
As we were staying with Ollie’s dad, we managed to fit in a lot of family time. Every evening we would sink down into the pool on the deck, with a cold beer in hand and chat about the day, work, life, and ambition. Dinner around the table trips to the supermarket and going out for dinner – all special memories that laid the foundation of an incredible workstation.
A visit to the resort
We decided to get some alone time as a calming moment amidst the adventure. We treated ourselves to a visit to a beach bar in Flic en Flac. The drinks were massively overpriced but if you consider that you pay for the experience and the view – we got a real deal! It was great to reconnect – just the two of us.
Grand Bassin and Hindu Temples
Visiting the Grand Bassin and Hindu Temples was a phenomenal cultural experience. Not only did the view stretch from one side of the island to the other, but the entire experience was educational and beautiful.
These are just a few of the enriching experiences that we had outside of a resort. We’ll go back in a heartbeat, and continuously relive the memories in our mind.
If you are lucky – you may even witness one of the most incredible thunderstorms to ever happen.