Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mauritus - 16 March - snorkeling!

Stephen with our hotel behind him
On Friday we all woke up a little earlier, at around 8am. As we opened our balcony door, we were met by two boys from a couple of rooms away - Barney (nearly 3 years old) and Oscar (4 years old), who had come to say hello to Ana and Liam. Barney solemnly told us his Mum was sick - oh dear, we said. Oscar wandered into our room and approved of "The Gruffalo's Child", which is one of Ana and Liam's favourite books. And so we struck a friendship. So of course we ended up arriving for breakfast at about the same time as the day before. And that's our excuse and we're sticking to it.
Me with the Mauritian coastline behind me
After a rather big breakfast, the kids headed out to the mini-club for some games first at the club house and then at the pool, and we adults finally headed out for some snorkeling! The skipper was the same grumpy man as yesterday - I forgot to mention him but he barely spoke the whole trip (yesterday and today), young and tanned and not too ugly but all serious business-like and no smiles in case they hurt. His only words were to warn us not to get too close to the shallow waters of the reef  - well worth listening to. 
I tried jumping backwards off the boat in a stylish diver's way, but of course I wasn't wearing any diving gear and I failed miserably to look stylish as my mask was kicked off my face by the fall and I came up coughing and spluttering. Stephen naturally took the ladder - git. 
Anyway, we finally got into the water! Words fail me here - it was awesome and despite snorkeling about 40 min, it felt entirely too short. So many different tropical fish and colorful corals! I noticed a beautiful fish in stripes of different shades of blues and yellows that followed Stephen around... and so he'd managed to pull yet again! No fish followed me - sniff. He pointed out some beautiful long pipe fish, I showed him some gorgeous, enormous pink shells, we scattered together a shoal of yellow fish with two more pipe fish in their midst (we couldn't resist he he). I saw a pinnacle with two round through-holes near the top covered up by a lacing of red coral which looked amazing with the sunlight shining through, but Stephen had swam too far and by the time I got his attention, I'd lost the site. It was all incredibly beautiful. We loved every second of it and hoped we'd get the kids into the mini-club again soon so we can do this again (and again? Or would that be too greedy?). ;)
We met the kids by the main pool as arranged, and after playing a little bit more in the water with them, we went for showers and lunch at the bar. Ana wanted to go back to the mini-club after lunch to learn how to do a Sega dance, which is a traditional Mauritian dance, but Liam was too tired and not at all interested. So Liam stayed in the room with Stephen for some rest, while I took Ana to the mini-club. She reluctantly put on the traditional Sega dress (long skirt and a cropped top) but totally refused to dance or let me go. We watched the other girls for a while but she did not get into it, so we gave up and went back to our room... where we found Liam was fast asleep on the bed! Aawwwww. So Ana played quietly on her own for a while, careful not to wake up her little brother, while I got on with some blogging and Stephen played his new star-wars game on the iPad. 
When Liam woke up, we noticed he'd had a "little accident" and wet the bed! Ooops! Poor Liam, he was horrified! We quickly washed him, changed his clothes and as we were heading for the beach, I also noticed my flip-flops were missing. Blast - I'd left them by the pool in the morning! So I went to the pool to retrieve my flip-flops and to reception to ask them to change the sheets, while Ana, Liam and Stephen headed out to the beach. 
The beach was gorgeous at that time of day. By the time I got there, Daddy and Liam were in the middle of building a wall between the rocks to stop the tide from getting through, and then Ana and Liam went round and round the rocks and splashing about and jumping over the sand wall. There we also met up with the neighbour boys, Barney and Oscar, who promptly borrowed our kids' buckets and spades and had enormous fun - Oscar even managed to get a little fish in "his" bucket! He was so proud! Rachel, another South African child from the kids' club, came along a little later dressed up in a traditional sega dress in reds and whites - she looked beautiful and her parents and Ouma (grandmother) took full advantage of the sunset colours and took loads of pics of her in various poses and settings. Stephen did so too of course, so here you can see some of his stunning pics... :)

 After sunset, it was time to get ready for dinner, which was again lovely. For dessert, Liam got to have his own little glass of chocolate mousse and he thought he'd died and gone to heaven! "All for me!" he kept repeating. To our amazement, he managed to finish the lot, and his face was a picture of pure happiness smudged with bits of chocolate. My kingdom for a camera! :D
We then went out for a little walk. Liam couldn't hear the waves as we were leaving the restaurant, so he said that they'd gone to sleep and we mustn't wake them up (!).  We saw Jupiter and Venus next to each other over the sea, looking absolutely stunning next to the Pleiades, with Orion and Canis Major above them. The skies look so dark here despite the hotel illumination and there were so many stars!  Stephen of course couldn't resist the pull of trying out some astro-photography, so the kids and I sat by the stairs to the beach and I told them stories about the stars and the planets while Stephen "hunted" on the beach for the perfect setting.  Here you can see one of the resulting pics.. isn't it stunning? :)
We then continued with our walk, but a few metres ahead, Liam heard the waves and he said "Oh no Daddy, I told you to be careful, now you've waken up the waves!". So of course now that the waves were awake, neither of the children wanted to continue with the walk, so we went back to our room to get ready and off to bed. And so ended another day in paradise... and tomorrow was my birthday! Can life get any better? :)

1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday again you, told you you look like a totally hot twenty-one year old, Picard was right after all :)
    And I don't believe Ana is your child, wear a skimpy costume and not dance, you are fibbing Dr R-C :)
    Liam and Ana look adorable as always, and yes, Dr. Potter's photo is truly stunning! We, the old MSSL crew went out in G'ford last Satday and we saw those lovely planets bright in the night sky..course Guildford doesn't have quite the backdrop you guys have there in Mauritius...
    keep smiling you guys, great blog :)