Safari day 1
Safari day 2
Safari day 3
I’ll start this week as all good blogs should finish, at the end…
I was greeted home from holiday by a number of people with variations on:
Apparently while we were away there was a breaking news story that a Bishops Stortford couple had been attacked while on Safari. He had been shot and killed while she has been kidnapped. The fact that I’m writing this indicates that it wasn’t me, unless I’ve got a whole Bruce Willis sixth sense vibe going on…. So if you find yourself not reading this perhaps I did die after all …
After just three days of Safari we were exhausted and when this was combined with a 3am start from South Africa and a full day of travel – Mauritius is hardly “just next door”, as we had thought when we booked the holiday…Mrs B looked like death chilled over and collapsed at our hotel. It was at least three days before there were any signs of a revival.
This left me kicking my heals while she recovered. I spent about an hour trying to hook up our portable Blue-ray player to the room’s TV. I was getting nowhere but as luck would have it when we had booked in, a Welsh guy had come across and introduced himself as the hotel’s chief engineer. He was responsible for the hotel’s infrastructure and explained the hotel policy was to have someone from your own region acting as a liaison in case you had any problems. Because he had said he was an engineer it got me thinking and so he soon received an unexpected phone call. I explained my unusual problem and he dispatched one of his staff.
Just as well I made the call otherwise I would never have made the system work (I have been known to take a TV off a wall in a hotel, as I figured how to plug in one of my portable devices)….I needed a separate remote control and a code to be able to reset the system, which they kindly provided. I do like to challenge any hotels I stay in…
This was only our second all-inclusive holiday package**, - neither of which have turned out to 100% accurate, as people seem to take liberties with the meaning of the word “all” – which in this case included and excluded in equal measures : -
** We normally fend for ourselves......
Food – Buffet (which, other than for breakfast, neither Mrs B nor I are particularly fond of – Yum….. lukewarm food that other people have pawed over and decided to leave) and limited menu choices at the other restaurants. Mrs B went a-la-cart once and got stung £20 for a salad….
To be honest the food was not bad and we had a choice of:
2 restaurants for lunch - Pool Bar and Mediterranean style
4 restaurants for Dinner – Indian, Chinese fusion, Mediterranean and Buffet
Our favourites were the Indian and Mediterranean.
We only used the Buffet once – which was at least once too often.
Then there was the Chinese fusion. The food was nice but we seemed to run into problems with the staff’s attitude. We arrived at 9pm for our first visit to an almost empty restaurant – it is advertised as opening until 10pm. The staff asked us if we had booked and then went through an elaborate game of somehow trying to squeeze us in and insisting we should have made a booking.
A couple of days later, when we actually tried to book a table for that evening, we watched the waiter open an almost empty page and then tell us they were fully booked….We went back later when the manager was in the restaurant and asked for a table the following night. You could tell the waiter desperately wanted to tell us that there was nothing available for 9pm but he didn’t dare…Fine if they want to close the restaurant early but they shouldn’t advertise it as staying open until 10pm if they do…
Drink – most soft drinks, cocktails, local wines (I can confirm that Mrs B certainly whined when she tried it…) and local spirits were included. Again Mrs B went off menu once and decided she fancied a Baileys one evening…kerching! Another £10 thank you very much.
Water sports and beach keep fit program
This would have been brilliant if the times advertised in our room actually bore any relation to what was happening in real life. When we got to the keep fit area we were met with the following excuses:-
"No. That happened an hour ago.”
“The instructor has gone home ill” or “Not turned up at all”
“It will be held later” – only when you went back at the new time, no one seemed to know anything about it…
Still we did get some instruction in snorkelling and Mrs. B, who had been very nervous about it and didn’t really want to do it, took to it very well. I was impressed that she progressed rapidly from floating about in the swimming pool to actually going out in a boat to snorkel in the sea…. I lost a few brownie points however when I referred to Mrs B as Flipper the bush kangaroo.
We did have a bit of luck when we went to book a dolphin tour – The organisers wanted £150 to take us across the island to a special area for seeing dolphins. We were tempted but we didn’t have any cash on us and they didn’t take credit cards. We were going to go back later and book it up but in the meantime we went down to the beach to find out about the free glass bottom boat trips that the hotel provided. The next boat trip was about to leave and we were going to go on a later trip but the organiser said we should join this one as you never knew what you would see (Or more likely if they would run the next trip). I’m so glad that we did go and that I happened to have The Beast with me because 5 minutes out some dolphins appeared and we spent the next 20 minutes tracking them. Marvellous - especially as it saved us £150.
Was that a blue whale on the horizon or did a small island just sink….
We also might – unconfirmed - have seen a blue whale. We were having breakfast one morning when far out to sea there was a huge splash, I ran to the room and grabbed The Beast while Mrs B trailed the movement along the beach. Just as I returned with The Beast I saw one last splash, before it vanished for good. It was only later that someone mentioned that it might well have been a Blue whale as there have been sightings - So unless anyone has proof otherwise I'm taking it that I saw a blue whale or at least the splash of a blue whale....
Other animal sightings
When we visit hotels in warm foreign parts there are usually tribes of cats and or packs of dogs wondering around enjoying the benefits of free food provided by the guests. Not so much this time, we glimpsed a couple of very timid cats who really were not interested in any human interaction and three (so not really a pack**) dogs, very friendly but only half-hearted beggars – they looked well fed and I think just turned up for the look of the thing.
** To be officially called a pack would you need 52?...............or is that just playing cards?
What there was in abundance were sparrows and probably enough to explain why they are such a rarity in Britain’s gardens and hedgerows these days (I won’t have anyone blame Mischief and McG, they are, and I’m genuinely pleased to say this, crap cats having caught precisely 1, I repeat, 1 bird between them in 14 years. To be honest that looked more like a suicide than a genuine hunting triumph…). It would appear that the sparrows have either decided to turn migration into immigration or they could not afford the return fare and so have extended their holiday indefinitely.
(Late breaking news, I got swooped on by a whole gang of sparrows last night - who landed on the laurel in front of our house – They had a rather raucous discussion - Probably arguing over where they were and why Dave Sparrow was always lead navigator***, despite his unerring ability to get them lost every time. So much for them not making it back from Mauritius…or was Dave trying to get them out there….Hope to see you next time....
So that wraps up a rather excellent holiday and sadly we have come back to real life. I’m ashamed to say that other than trips to and from the airport we never left the hotel – it is advertised as a resort after all. Mrs B was exhausted and just needed the break and I found there was a surprising amount to keep me and The Beast happy…
If it turns out that I am still alive we will definitely be going on safari again – next time bring on the gorillas, leopards and more cheetahs…
Next week I might possibly have some exciting concert news (well for me anyway), some Olympic news as well as the return of some of the regular sections :-
- Watch of the week
- Show me the sunny (which will move to a monthly spot)
- Record of the week
All taken with The Beast in Mauritious
Dave came in close to check that he had remembered
to shave his armpits..... He might well be lost but that
was no reason to let his grooming standards slip…
|Sunset - enjoy it while you can - I suspect you will|
be rather sick of them by the end of the photo section.
1 of 2
What’s better than saving yourself
£150 seeing a dolphin?
2 of 2
Saving yourself £150 seeing a
whole pod of them…
|Sunset No.2 of a series of around 1,000....|
Don't worry I've only added a few of them ....
Not much more to say - I'll have to work on my
|The Sunrises didn't quite have the same impact as the Sunsets|
other than being much earlier in the day before sensible
people have got up......
|I don't know why, but I just love the light reflecting |
off this beach hut...
Technically this is a sunset shot but I thought I might try
and sneak it in under a nice light section....
|A relaxed Mrs B shortly before |
being arrested for my murder....
Following my badly timed
blue whale remark....