Sunday, August 2, 2015

YOLO in Mautitius July 2015

The symbol of Mauritius is the dodo bird,  Here I am in front of the Natural History Museum in downtown Port Louis, which has a small collection of these statue that people have decorated to depict different scenes and ideas.  This one has an old sailing ship on it,
The last thing we saw as we left Rodrigues was this local fisherman who raised his sail and set off in a different direction just in front of us.
We headed west into this sunset towards Mauritius.
Two and a half days later, this is the first sighting of Mauritius.  It is an island off the northern tip called Gunner's Quoin because of its shape.  Very distinctive.

Tis is the rocky cliff face of the higher end of Gunner's Quoin as we passed it and turned south to head along the western coast down to Port Louis, where we had to clear into Mauritius.  Looks like a cave in the lower section.
Jason as we close in on Port Louis.
 A nice view of the mountainous inland of central Mauritius as we approach Port Louis, the capital.
Coming into the port, this is the view of the mountains and the city on the flat land.
We used the same channel as the big cargo ships.  The Anna, the supply ship to Rodrigues is the little blue ship at the far right.  You can see how small it is compared to the big container ships, but Anna filled the wharf space available in Rodrigues.
Old, rusty Chinese fishing boats rafted together off to one side of the channel.
One arm of the inner harbor channel, looking at a very old red brick building.
The Coast Guard has nice, big ships here.  Their location is the landmark the yachts look for to know where to come to clear in.
The waterfront food court where we tied up to the "Customs jetty".  Their jetty was actually around the corner, but has been taken over by the water taxi boats, so incoming yachts tie up here.
The view from the corner of the harbour where we are tied up.  Port Louis is a modern city with lots of new buildings mixed in with the old.
YOLO tied up at the railing to clear into Port Louis, Mauritius, at the Customs jetty, looking back at the channel into the harbour where we just came from.
Looking forward to the harbor waterfront and Port Louis city center.  Tying up in the downtown area makes it easy and close to get things, but folks hang out and gawk at us and can look right into the boats.
The Customs building just off behind the restaurant where we tied up.
The Caudan Waterfront is a high-end shopper's destination on the waterfront, with big brand name stores and museums, cinema, and tourist shops.  The tiny marina is there, too, but there's not enough room for all the boats that want to use it.  Note the decorative umbrellas overthe walkway.....
You can imagine how pretty this would have been in the years when it was new.  The stone structures are all over this town and this country.
Big banyan trees drape their roots over the road near the museum.  They keep them cut so the cars can pass under them unscathed.
As long as we were tied up next to a good restaurant at the Customs jetty, we joined Myra and Paraic from Saol Eile for dinner our first night in town.  We had good, cheap Indian meals here.
Karen and Jason at the Indian restaurant on the waterfront, about 50' from YOLO.
Hawkers set up their wares along the streets and people have to walk around them, often in the streets to get past.
Remember those umbrellas at Le Caudan Waterfront?  After a night of brisk winds, a few of the umbrellas blew inside out and a brown one in the middle fell down and was hanging upside down.  A policeman cut it down.  It can get quite windy here.
A local crafts faces into these logs of wood and driftwood and displays them for sale along the waterfront.
Our first tourist site that we visited.  Aapravasi Ghat means "Place where the immigrants landed" and is where the indentured workers were first brought to Mauritius.  Here they were logged, examined, bathed, fed and directed to their new work places.
The restored stone block buildings are very nicely done.  This World Heritage Site is free and the only one dedicated to indenture workers in the world.
The officers' kitchen where they could put on a kettle for tea.
You can still see the asphalt/bitumen/tar/blacktop that they put onto the floors to try to keep them somewhat waterproofed.
The bathing area where the indentured workers were bathed after their arduous ship passages from their home countries.

Another view of the bathing area, looking down from above.
The ceramic drains for the area.  Broken and cracked, they still look like they work and they are from the 1800's.
Putting the stone block walls back together for restoration requires the individual blocks to be numbered so they know how the walls were built originally.
A bronze plaque to indicate where the immigrants first stepped ashore in Port Louis.  They took sixteen stairs up to their new lives in a new country.
The stone block buildings are still in use today throughout the country.  Pretty rock solid, eh?
Photographs of each of the newly arrived indentured workers were taken and one was put into a booklet for the person to carry as identification and the other was kept at the landing site for their records.  Amazing faces, all so foreign.
The little metal tubes were attached around the neck or waist of the worker when he left his country and was the source of their identification when they arrived.  They had to wear it all the time until they were processed through Port Louis and sent to their new work location with new ID.
The Parcel Post Office, just next to Aapravasi Ghat.  This is where our mail package was eventually retrieved.  Another impressive stone building still in use.
The regular Post Office is another one just a bit further down the road.
More banyans in the park.
A blue dodo statue with an octopus painted on its rear end.
Another dodo statue on the museum grounds.
The arch of Chinatown.  There is an arch at each end of the road through Chinatown in many countries.
A sunset at anchor in Grand Baie, a few miles back up the coast on the northwest corner of Mauritius.
Karen with Herve Laurent and his wife, Sophie.  Herve has been in the Vendee Globe race around the world, single-handed twice , and is looking for sponsors for a third race coming up in a year or so. They joined us for a pot luck dinner on YOLO.  Some of his stories about racing in the deep southern oceans scared me and I told him I wanted a photo with a man as crazy as he was while he was still alive.
Karen taking a photo of a sugar factory chimney in the mirror.  This was at L'Aventure de Sucre, the Sugar Adventure, a tourist attraction to show the methods and processes for making sugar and rum from sugar cane.  Mauritius is still one of the top sugar exporting countries in the world.
Looking down onto one of the huge furnaces in the sugar factory below the chimney.
Massive gears and machinery were used to crush the cane and extract the sugary liquid to make sugar and rum.
They've built a museum around this machinery and factory, but it no longer runs to produce any products.
These are the crushers at the start of the process.  You don't want to get a hand caught in these rollers!
A good outline of the process.
Fifteen different sugars are produced from the sugar cane.  The darker ones are the most sought after, but the darkest one is mostly molasses.
The museum housed an art gallery inside as well.  There was an exhibit about Rodrigues and these metal fish heads in a sculpture looked colorful.
A great photo of three ladies catching octopus on Rodrigues.  Not many skinny women around there or here.
Octopus drying on wooden poles in the sun and wind of Rodrigues.  They almost look like wind chimes.....
A 'typical' home in Rodrigues, with just 2 rooms.  I liked the colorful display here with the bright oranges and yellows.
Some of the foodstuffs Jason pulled out of YOLO's cabinets and settees.  He looked at each one and marked the expiration date on them with a big black marker.  Any expired food went off the boat in the black crates and was given to the local Coast Guard guys on shore.  It takes a lot of food to keep this boat running but we now have a lot less of it.
More of our food out for inspection..... A two-day exercise and then I had to put it all away again.

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