Holiday in Mauritius – first few days in a cyclone

Note – A tropical cyclone, also called a typhoon or hurricane, is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans. They are all the same, only different distinctive terms for a storm are used in different parts of the world. Hurricane is used in the central and Northeast Pacific, Atlantic and the Caribean sea while Typhoons are what they call it in the Northwest Pacific.

A few months ago, I attended a big event in Mauritius, my brother’s long awaited wedding.

Note – Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean, 1200 miles off the South East coast of the African continent.

I brought back lots of good memories, mauritian tea, shells and with it some memorable but stressful memories too.

Before I go any further, I have to mention that I am a Mauritian Expat, now living in England, Uk. I left Mauritius 19 years ago, so I am like a tourist there, with the advantage of knowing the language and having friends and family there.

So, after a long process regarding setting a date for the wedding, then taking days off ( my work, the hubby’s work and the children’s school ) we set off to Mauritius for 14 days.

We started from London, stopped at Dubai for 4 hours, and finally reached the island after a total of 20 hours ( plane and airport transfer )

Being tired is an understatement. The whole mind and body have to reset themselves, due to the time difference too.

As soon as we landed, the stress started. The tropical cyclone that was making it’s way towards the tiny island was making progress and it was now a direct hit.

For the next few days, I relived my teenage years and this time I was very frightened as the last time I was in a cyclone was in 1994. Yep, that’s old I am, I was there in 1994.

The difference was that in 1994, there was a power cut during cyclones and for a few days, the whole family were huddled in the living room, with candles, a battery powered radio to receive weather updates and also to entertain ourselves with the music. Because that was the only entertain for the whole family, not including board games. These days, my children, maybe even me, would not last a power cut for a few days.

Fast forward to 2018, I was on my mobile, looking at weather maps, following the trajectory of the cyclone. There was no power cut at all. My children were watching cartoons in French, which they do not understand, but I guess cartoons are cartoons for them. Even whilst in Portugal they happily watched portuguese cartoons. My brother was actually finding it hilarious that I thought there was not going to be electricity. It is not 1994, he kept reminding me. I am sure some parts of the island had a power cut.

Nevertheless I was terrified. Terrified the wedding would not take place, and also terrified that the tiny island could disappear. Yes, that is the disadvantage of having internet and overseas news at your disposal. Back in 1994, all I had was the radio telling me where the cyclone was, hence no need to overthink. But then I was only a teenager back then, I am sure howling winds, torrential rain or even the possibility of the tiny island disappearing in the massive ocean was the least of my problems.

One of the interesting thing about the internet age was that I was able to keep in touch with friends and family from differents parts of the island as well as different parts of the world. A few friends from England were there for the wedding too and they witnessed the cyclone from a house near the beach. Trees were torn and scattered along the beach, boats were broken, the island was a mess.

I was also in touch via Instagram with tourists on the island and it was interesting to see their photos and posts about what their hotels were doing to make their stay enjoyable and safe.

While I was on the island, winds howling around me and rain lashing out, international newspapers were writing about how ‘the hotspot holiday destination for many, especially honeymooners is being threatened by a very strong cylone which is very likely to cause extensive damage ‘

Reading the news did not help. The whole family was beyond stress.

The metal poles for the wedding’s marquee were already up, at some point the marquee itself was up but had to be taken down due to the wind.

We stocked up on bottled water and food while the shops were still open, food and knick knacks to last us a few days. It was still very hot and being indoors, with all the windows and doors shut, made it even worse.

The price of the water bottles went up in a matter of a few hours as soon as the cyclone went from a Category 1 to a Category 3. I managed to buy a few only as the shops were out of stock.

Berguitta, the cyclone left after a few days.

I love this corn snack and I got to try South African wine.

Many people’s houses were destroyed, there was flooding in certain areas. The cyclone’s next target was Reunion Island.

On my brother’s side, a few things had to be postponed, a few non major changes, but everything fell into place and the wedding went ahead smoothly, only 2 days after it was all clear. It was such a relief. I have already suggested a name for their child when/if they have a girl. Berguitta will be a perfect name.

While I was in a cyclone in Mauritius, there was a storm as well in England, and I learnt that my garden fences broke. It never ends, does it?

Have you ever experienced something similar while on holiday?

Stay posted on what I did after the wedding, before I had to catch a plane back to Winter in England.

Coming up – A day at the beach, I visited a dormant volcano, Driving along the coast….



Two Traveling Texans