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Bird of passage

Tag: Beach (Page 1 of 2)

MAURITIUS Road Trip: One Week Itinerary

Mahébourg Waterfront, Mauritius

Not many have heard of Mauritius, but a lot of you might have heard of the Underwater Waterfall. It’s the biggest waterfall on Earth and it’s in Mauritius, an island with azure waters and soft sands.

Mauritius or Île Maurice in French comes with peaceful comfort, tons of activities, amazing wildlife, great curries and seafood. It’s a relax place with excellence flow.

Le Mourne Public Beach

I met a lot of vacationers with months in the country, while some were stopping by for few days. However, if you have about a week to spare, with a driving license, then you are welcomed with a simple road trip itinerary that you could easily adjust to your preferences.

One of many scenic routes of Mauritius

Firstly, please note that you’ll see diversity in this country. You’ll hear locals speaking to each other in English, French and Creole. You’ll see people from around the world and everyone’s different. This is the last place to feel awkward, because warm welcome is opened to everyone visiting Mauritius.

Cap Malheureux Church, Mauritius

Secondly, please also note that there is no complication in doing the road trip here. The island itself is pretty small, driving from the very south to the very north takes about 1.45 hours, while from left to right takes only about 1.30 hours. Food is easy to find, fresh sugar cane juice is even easier to find and public toilets are everywhere. Foreign driving licenses are accepted, roads have clear signages, petrol filling stations open until late and parkings are mostly free. GPS is not needed, sim card is not necessary, only a free map from the rental place and you are ready to enjoy your week in paradise! 🚗

Day 1 - Arrival

There is nothing much for the arrival day. It’s usually the day to do all boring bits, like exchanging money or buying sim card. For driving around Mauritius, you wouldn’t need any internet or GPS to navigate because free maps that you could grab from the airport or at your accommodations are already very clear. Also, roads here are not complicated at all.

Mauritius’ skyline

When you exit the Arrival Hall of the airport, you’ll spot many bureaux de change and on the right, you’ll see a hub of car rental services. I’d say it’s a great place to choose your car, negotiate, make payment, deposit, load your baggages and go. The boring bits are over! 😆

Save on your hotel - www.hotelscombined.com

Day 2 - Poste Lafayette, Pereybere to Grand Baie
  • Poste Lafayette Public Beach
  • Roches Noires
  • Pereybere Public Beach
  • La Cuvette Public Beach
  • Grand Baie Public Beach

Poste Lafayette to Grand Baie

So, I’m gonna kick this off with Poste Lafayette. There are many beachfront resorts in this area, so if you happen to stay here then you are very near. Taking B15, you might wanna stop at Poste Lafayette Public Beach, which has a small sandy beach area, suitable for swimming. You could park and walk towards the north. You’ll be at Roches Noires, where you will find a massive area of black rock, with amazingly loud wave crashing sound, a sign warning people not to swim and public restrooms. This place is extremely picturesque due to the contrasting colors of black rock and blue sea. It’s also very energetic!

Black rock at the northern part of Poste Lafayette Beach

If you follow B13, you’ll arrive at the Pereybere Public Beach. It’s one of the very crowded beaches on the island, but that’s because you could do a lot here. There are heaps of food vendors, choices of restaurants and souvenir boutiques. The sea itself is also very calm, very safe to swim or you could even rent a kayak and spend hours here as well.

Beach art at Pereybere, with cute admirer

Next up, it’s La Cuvette Public Beach. This beach is an odd one, because it features everything. Cliffs hang on one end, rocks decorate the other end and between them are short sandy beaches. It’s nice to walk through all of this and decide your spot. Plus, if you wanna stay for long, then you could simply switch up and there are few shower facilities in the area as well.

The final stop of the day could be Grand Baie Public Beach. It’s really close to La Cuvette. There are many restaurants, cafes, clubs and bars that are by the beach and some even hang just above the sea. If you are not driving, then this is a good stop for few drinks and party scenes can be found here as well. 💃

The very clear water of Grand Baie

Day 3 - Port Louis to Mont Choisy
  • Port Louis Waterfront
    • Fort Adélaide
    • St James Cathedral
  • Trou aux Biches Beach
  • Mont Choisy Public Beach

Port Louis to Mont Choisy

First thing first, let’s head into town for some morning treats! Around the city area of Port Louis, parkings are not free and you can’t just park anywhere like in other places. But, once you are happy with the parking, I’m sure you’ll enjoy walking around the city. It has amazing waterfront with loads of souvenir kiosks. Port Louis Waterfront is a good stop for food. However, you could wander around Fort Adélaide or visit the oldest Anglican church of Mauritius at St James Cathedral.

Stained-glass windows of St James Cathedral, Port Luois, Muritius; Minolta A3

You might ended up spending many hours in Port Louis but once you are ready, we could head out to more beaches! Next stop is on B36 and it’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius. The blue water of Trou aux Biches Beach is decorated by colorful sunbeds and white fine sand. It’s also a good snorkeling spot as well as jet skiing and paddle boarding.

However, if you are looking for something just as nice, but with less people, then you might wanna go to a beach next to this, which is the Mont Choisy Public Beach. It’s very quiet and peaceful here.

The peaceful scene of Mont Choisy Beach

Day 4 - Le Morne Brabant to Flic en Flac

One of many amazing views from Le Morne

  • Le Morne Brabant
  • Le Morne Public Beach
  • Flic en Flac Beach

Le Morne Brabant to Flic en Flac

Personally, one thing that I think you should try when in Mauritius is to hike Le Morne Brabant. It has been declared a World Heritage by UNESCO. It’s the most preserved area of the island. It also holds a lot of history as well. This mountain was used by escaping slaves, who would committed suicide by jumping off the cliff here.

The view from the top of Le Morne, with an elegance cross

During the hike, you’ll get amazing views of the island and the wildness of this mountain. It’s a must! To get to the very top, it’s only illegal to be accompanied with Mountain Guides of Yanature. They are the only people who have the right access to the route, otherwise you’ll be trespassing. Click here for more information and reservation.

Yanature, Beyond the Peaks

After you are back on the sea level, then you might as well freshen up a little. There is a stunning beach very close to the base of the hiking route. Le Morne Public Beach is a perfect place to have a fresh dip. The water feels good and the breeze is pretty nice. It’s not only a good spot for swimming, but it’s also good for any other watersport activities as well. A perfect spot to catch some waves here is called One Eye.

Le Mourne and its blue water

But if you are looking for a place with more watersport facilities, then head over to Flic en Flac Beach. It has long white sand beach and great scuba diving sites, especially the one called The Cathedral. It has an arch that you dive through the dark and greeted by warm light on the other end.

Day 5 - Chamarel to Macondé
  • Seven Coloured Earth
  • Chamarel Waterfall
  • Macondé

Chamerel to Macondé

For today, we’ll gonna go off the coast for a bit. We’ll start at Chamarel Village. There is so much to see here. One place not to miss is the Seven Coloured Earth. It’s almost like a rainbow on land, with families of turtles! 🐢

Not far from here, there is a lookout point that gives you a whole sight of the Chamarel Waterfall. So, you’ll probably ended up spending many happy hours here.

Next stop is at the very south tip of the country, there is a sharp curve called Macondé. It has a small stairway that gives you a better look of the road, which is very panoramic.

View of an excellence curve at Macondé

Day 6 - Gris Gris to Mahébourg

Sun is setting nicely at Mahébourg Waterfront

  • Gris Gris Beach
  • La Roche Qui Pleure
  • Pont Naturel
  • Blue Bay Beach
  • Pointe d’Esny Beach
  • Mahébourg

For today, we gonna start at the very south area of the island. At Gris Gris, there is a big space of rock beach. It may not be a place to swim but it surely looks nice in picture. From Gris Gris Beach, you could walk to La Roche Qui Pleure. It’s a rocky tip that looks like a crying man, with crashing waves as tear.

Then onto something similar, but too nice to skip is the Pont Naturel. You’ll have to park quite far and walk towards the tip of the land, searching for a bridge and a hole. You might wanna watch out for surprise waves and splashes that come out of nowhere. 😂

For our next place, it’s Blue Bay Beach. This is a perfect place to snorkel. The reef is amazing with loads of colourful fish. The next beach is by the Coastal Road. Pointe d’Esny Beach is a hidden gem. The beach is blocked by buildings of resorts and hotels. You’ll have to park by the road and find small pathways that you could take on foot to the beach. It’s very calm here.

Last stop for the day is Mahébourg. It’s a small town with cute waterfront and loads of restaurants. At Mahébourg Waterfront, you could walk towards Pointe Canon, which is a memorial place that gives you the view of few tiny islands close by.

One of tiny islands that can be seen from Mahébourg Waterfront

Day 7 - La Cambuse and the farewell

For the last day, I want to end the trip at La Cambuse Public Beach. It’s a long beach with big trees that have odd shapes because of the wind. The water is extremely blue and there are toilet facilities as well.

Then sadly, we have to leave. On to the next journey!

Locals with their boat at Mahébourg

 

 

 

 

 

BOURNEMOUTH: Top 10 Places to Visit

Bournemouth might not be on many people’s list when thinking about destinations in England. It’s a bit underrated. Some haven’t heard of it before and some don’t even know where it is. Well, it’s right by the Jurassic Coast, the South of England.

Bournemouth is known for it’s 7 miles of the UK’s best beach (according to TripAdvisor in 2016). It’s a perfect place for sports and outdoor lovers, with awesome countryside and buzzing nightlife.

For anyone interested, I have a list of places that you should visit while in Bournemouth and a really beautiful cycling route for you! 🚴

Top 10 Places to Visit in Bournemouth
  1. Bournemouth Parks
    • Lower Gardens
    • Central Gardens
    • Upper Gardens
  2. The Balloon
  3. The Bourne River
  4. Coy Pond
  5. Meyrick Park
  6. St. Peter’s Church
  7. Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff
  8. Bournemouth Beach and Pier
  9. Boscombe Beach and Pier
  10. Alum Chine and Argyll Gardens

I. Bournemouth Parks

Bournemouth Parks are separated into 3 areas, the Lower Gardens, Central Gardens and Upper Gardens. These 3 areas are different and each has their own vibes. Though, all of them are perfect for a sweet walk, a quick cycling or for a fun picnic.

The Lower Gardens are the busiest. It’s where most of the actions happen. It’s only 2 minutes walking from the town’s square and only couple of minutes away from the beach. It’s busy with kiosks, young people out and about and there is a Mini Golf as well. ⛳️

The Central Gardens are a little quieter, with a small river along the gardens. Trees and plants here are a little taller and bigger than those in the Lower Gardens. The walk is pleasantly accompanied with beautiful pergola. Here, there is a tennis court and a playground. In the Pleasure Garden, there is a World War I memorial, scripted with beautiful notes.

The Upper Gardens are the most relaxing ones. There are 3 different garden’s theme: European, Asia and North America themes. It’s more green here and there are more to see along the way like decorations of each themed gardens, the water tower and long wooden walkways. The gardens take you more or less to Poole.

II. The Balloon

This Hot Air Balloon is one of the landmark of Bournemouth, right at the Lower Gardens. It allows you to see Bournemouth from above and it offers great views of the beach and the piers. Unfortunately, it’s not available at the moment, but hopefully, it’ll reopen soon.

III. The Bourne River

The Bourne River flows through the whole length of Bournemouth Parks and reaches the beach. The stream goes through everything, the paths, the trees and the rose beds. Throughout the parks, there are several cute falls of this stream and it’s actually a really relaxing sight.

IV. Coy Pond

Coy Pond is a Koi pond right by the end of the Upper Gardens, just a bit outside of Bournemouth. The pond is beautifully surrounded by trees around the bank and some other animals like geese and ducks. There is even a small island! It’s a perfect stop after all the traveling through those gardens. Though, if you prefer driving there, there are several parking spots available. It’s one of my most visited spot in the whole Bournemouth and Poole.

V. Meyrick Park

Meyrick Park is a large field area, with many walking and running trails, including the cross-country running trails. I was lucky enough to spot a baby fox here! 🦊

Meyrick Park is also a home to one of the biggest Golf Club in town; The Club at Meyrick Park. It’s also a home of the Oakmeadians RFC Rugby Club. It’s quite fun to watch them doing their things, especially when you have a special seat. This secret seat is by a walking trail, right behind the club.

VI. St. Peter's Church

St. Peter’s Church is right in the heart of Bournemouth. It’s a minute away from the Square, about 5 minutes from the Lower Gardens and less than 10 minutes walking from the beach. The church itself is a very elegance sight, with incredible interior. The churchyard is calmly beautiful and it is protecting the spirits of many novelists, including Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

VII. Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliffs

Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliffs offer best views of the ocean throughout the length of the beach. From the overcliff, the stunning Old Harry Rocks can be seen as well. Plus, there are many paths that lead you down to the beach.

VIII. Bournemouth Beach and Pier

Bournemouth Beach lies just underneath the overcliffs and it’s accompanied by one of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK. It’s also really clean! Good thing about the beach is that there is so much you could do. It’s great for skaters, runners, swimmers, surfers, campers, families, friends or couples. It’s also really safe and convenience, with lifeguards, free toilets and showers. The beach is perfectly decorated with colorful huts that you could rent to maximize your fun. If you want to know more about these huts, please click here. 😊

Bournemouth Pier lies beautifully by the beach and it’s a perfect spot to watch the sunset! It’s stunning! It’s also not far from beach facilities and the town’s square. Also, there is so much you could do on the pier such as sipping cocktails at the Aruba Restaurant & Bar. Drinks here are nice!

IX. Boscombe Beach and Pier

Boscombe Beach and Pier is quite similar to the Bournemouth one, but it has more restaurants, cafes and sports facilities. Somehow, it’s a little quieter. Boscombe Beach is actually a perfect place for campfire during warmer nights.

X. Alum Chine and Argyll Gardens

Alum Chine and Argyll Gardens are probably the greenest and most tropical area in Bournemouth. It’s perfect for walking around, under the shade of massive trees. There are few small suspension bridges over the gardens as well.

Recommended Cycling Route

I have provided you with a cycling route that’ll take you to other places that you shouldn’t miss. It’s not difficult, but it’s quite a long distance. Though, it’s manageable within a day. So let’s just pack some snacks and drinks!

  • Bournemouth Pier
  • Boscombe Pier
  • Hengistbury Head
  • River Stour
  • New Forest National Park
  • Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary
  • Ringwood
  • River Avon
  • Moors Valley Country Park and Forest

So, let’s start at Bournemouth Pier then keep going along the beach, pass Boscombe Pier and stop at the Hengistbury Head. (5 miles, 30 minutes)

From Hengistbury Head, we are heading toward Christchurch, passing the River Stour, then entering the New Forest National Park to the Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. (16 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes)

After spending sometime inside New Forest National Park, then we are exiting the park, heading to Ringwood, passing the River Avon, checking out the Moors Valley Country Park and Forest and then heading back to Bournemouth. (25 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes)

This route took me 9 hours, including eating, stoping to take pictures, and getting lost. I departed from Bournemouth Pier around 10 a.m. and got back into town around 6 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

KOH PHANGAN: An Island in the Gulf of Thailand

Koh Phangan is one of the most popular islands in Thailand. Not only because it houses the world’s famous party but also because of what it has to offer naturally. It’s a place for all preferences. There’s something for everyone.

Please click here to read more.

 

It’s very close to Koh Samui and they share similar features, especially the weather and transportation.

You could check out my previous post about Koh Samui here.

Top Beaches in Koh Phangan
  • Mae Haad Beach
  • Koh Ma
  • Chaloklum Bay
  • Thong Nai Pan
  • Haad Thong Reng
  • Haad Nam Tok
  • Haad Rin
  • Baan Tai

The sand bar of Mae Haad Beach links the main island with Ma Island.

 

The clear water in the area of Koh Ma.

 

The beach by the main pier at Thong Sala in Koh Phangan is a great place to relax after the journey or before saying goodbye to this island.

 

Baan Tai Beach taken with an analog camera; Minolta A3

 

 The finest sand of Baan Tai Beach

This amazing sunset was shot at Baan Tai Beach area in front of our resort.

Top Waterfalls in Phangan
  • Paradise Waterfall
  • Thaan Prawet Waterfall
  • Thaan Sadet Waterfall
  • Thaan Praphad Waterfall
  • Phaeng Waterfall

Phaeng Waterfall

Activities that You Should Try While in Phangan
  • Full Moon Party at Haad Rin
  • Wakeboarding at Wake Up! Wakeboarding
  • Wipeout at the Challenge Koh Phangan
  • Daytime party at Slip N Fly
  • Kiteboarding with Breeze Kiteboarding

 

 

These things make Koh Phangan so special and I can confidently say that you’ll never get enough of this island.

Please click here to read the full article.

 

 

 

 

 

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