Explore My City this week is presented by Natalie from Natalie James Photography Blog who lives in Mauritius with her husband and two young girls.
Over the nearly 9 years that we have lived on this tiny island, some places just seem to attract us again and again. Yes, I truly love to visit one of the many 5 star hotels but often our fondest memories are of simpler and more relaxed places.
The Breakfast Beach
My absolute favourite, although I think it is our youngest daughter’s favourite too, is what we call The Breakfast Beach. Tucked away to the side of a most beautiful beach, under some Filao trees, is an unassuming restaurant which is open from early every day.
You can bury your toes in the cool sand and enjoy a traditional egg breakfast. Their food is simple but good and reasonably priced. It is one of the only places in Mauritius where you can sit on the beach, at a restaurant, not in a hotel.
Often we are the only ones there, with the white sand and clear crystal water all to ourselves. From a small wooden shack next door you can even hire a paddleboard or windsurfer and go out to the reef.
The Black River Gorge National Park
One of the main attractions of living on our side of the island is The Black River Gorge National Park. The forest covers 2% of the island’s surface area and has amazing hikes through the valley, up to and along the crest of the hills.
With little kids, you don’t need to walk far for them to have fun. Just as you enter the forest from the Black River entrance, there are streams where they can paddle, skip stones or search for tadpoles.
About a 15 minute walk further into the park on the main route is an area where the river has widened to a small pond which, if the water is high enough, makes a great swimming spot, there’s even a rock to jump off. Pack a picnic before you go as there are no shops or drinking water in the park.
The American Diner
I have never seen such a prettily decorated children’s play area attached to a restaurant before. The diner is fantastically decorated in retro-American style, connected to the restaurant through a small door that only children can get through, is a ‘pretty as a picture’ candy-stripped playroom.
Their menu not only satisfies large appetites but smaller ones too with a fun collection of American favourites.
Tamarin Bay on the west coast
The wonderful thing about Tamarin Bay is that there is always something different happening. Sunday afternoon/sunset is our favourite time. Beach tennis courts are set up, street food vendors selling Mauritian specialities, line the streets and there is nearly always a group of local boys drumming away on a moutia (hand drum) and the goatskin drum, ravanne.
Our girls have had surfing lessons since they were a young age with the Tamarin Bay surf school, they give lessons to people of all surfing levels. It is too cute to watch their beaming faces when they can stand up on the board and ride a wave onto the shore. We have had just as much fun though catching waves in on boogie boards, which you can buy at all the supermarkets.
Thanks to Natalie for sharing this amazing and beautiful little corner of the work with us. Don’t forget to check out her Blog and Instagram feed for some more truly stunning photography around Mauritius and their worldly travels.
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Photos © Natalie James Photography