Travel to Mauritius – Part 9 – Mauritius Titbits
There are some things about Mauritius that isn't obvious but need to be highlighted:
Beaches - Despite whatever promos suggest, beaches are not wide and open and more narrow strips of sand. The beaches are blessed as they are very safe for swimming as the waters are shallow and ideal for water sports. For conservative Asian guests, its ok for women to be topless on any of the beaches here. However they are all tourists and you wont find any tourist like that on the public beaches. Public beaches are not crowded and full of casuarina trees. There are no street vendors or shacks as well. Snack vans that serve Ice creams and snacks visit beaches on and off.
Roads - There is one big highway that cuts the country from South to North. Phoenix, Curepipe and Port Louis are towns located on it. The highways are very well marked and there is hardly ever any traffic. Locals always complain about ever increasing traffic and generally overestimate times. You can be sure they are more like Richie Rich and Dollar worrying about inflation !! (We were told it will take 2 hours to reach our hotel from Airport and we made it in 1 hour 30). Inner roads are narrow and therefore one cant zip around. Due to paucity of traffic and extremely organised nature of the drivers, you will hardly ever see an accident.
Buses and road transportation - Public Transports are good and handy. For shorter distances you may find them expensive but they are far better than a taxi. Buses don't run beyond 8:30 / 9 PM and so if one wants to come back from a restaurant after that than a vehicle is required.
Timings - Restaurants don't open in the evening before 7. Some don't even operate for the afternoons. Banks and currency exchange counters open at 8:30 and close at 4 or earlier. Currency and travellers cheques are freely accepted. No office opens before 8:30 or is open after 4:30 on most days. Supermarkets are open till 9 PM. Shops close by 5 PM, so no evening hours window shopping. Restaurants don't require prior bookings except the high end exclusive ones.