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Exploring Mauritius

Exploring Mauritus
Monday, 22 October, 2012

The crews of the World ARC fleet had a great day today exploring several of the attractions in the northern part of Mauritius, to learnt more about the country’s rich history and also how it is today. The stops of the tour were first to the Chateau Labourdonnais, an old colonial house which has been beautifully restored, and then to the L’Aventure du Sucre eco-museum which details the sugar making history of the island as well as its deep history. The crews also had a great lunch, at the Restaurant Le Fangourin, courtesy of the Mauritius Tourist Promotion Authority (MTPA), before moving on to be guided through the interesting botanical gardens at Pamplemousses.

The Chateau Labourdonnais was the residence of the most famous French governor of Mauritius, Mahe de Labourdonnais. In fact it has been relocated to from its original site and carefully restored to its original grandeur. Walking around the rooms of the teak built house one sees exhibits of original furniture as well as presentations and exhibitions on subjects such as the fruit grown in the grounds, local art and also information of the restoration project as well. Surrounding the house is a wonderful orchard of indigenous and introduced species providing a good selection of different fruit which were also tasted after the tour.

The L’Aventure de Sucre museum is housed in a disused sugar cane mill. It tells the story of Mauritius’ history and also the introduction of its sugar cane industry from the 1750s onwards. The presentation areas are thoughtfully set amongst the big metal structures which previously worked away to produce the sugar and so one gets a great impression of the huge scale operation that once dominated the site. Of course, there is the opportunity to taste these sugars, and many of the tourists learnt for the first time the difference between the different types of sugars.

Following a splendid lunch the group visited the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam botanical gardens at Pamplemousses, which are a short drive away. These gardens, started in the 1750, are home to a huge variety of plant species including 80 different types of palm trees. The groups of crews were expertly guided around the gardens by the tour guides from the White Sands Tours group who also answered the many questions from the group on the trees, plants, and history of the gardens. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon and to walk off the lunch!

The group had a great day out and are grateful to the very professional guiding of the White Sands Tour group and also the MTPA for the lunch. It was great for the fleet to spend the day together but also to learn so much about the most recent port of call in the World ARC tour. Thank you once again to those involved to make it possible.

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