Wednesday 30 January 2013

A taste of Heaven... then a little touch of hell!

Well what a year it's been so far and we are still in the month of January! As you can see as Andy suns himself in the shade, Mauritius was everything we hoped for and more. Idyllic hotel, beautiful sand and lapping waves, even an adult-friendly pool! The weather was scorching and unbeknownst to us, a grade 2 cyclone was heading our way! Ignorant of the impending storm, we enjoyed the most amazing display of fireworks on a beach at midnight, welcoming in the New Year with a glass of bubbly in the hand... and as for the first of January, well, we went for lunch to a Chinese restaurant. A far cry from the traditional steak pie!

Our hotel was a 10 minute walk along the beach from our elder son, Kenneth's, girlfriend's parents' home.  (Have I mentioned that Kenneth's girlfriend is Mauritian, and they were spending Christmas and New Year with Natalie's parents, and we had decided to tag along?)

It was a joy to experience Mauritius with the help of a Mauritian family. We were taken to the best restaurants, seafood, Chinese and Indian... not to mention the wonderful meals shared within the family home! Merci beaucoup,  Maman et Papa Thomas!

Our previous visit to Mauritius was in 2001. So we have made a promise to ourselves to return to Mauritius well within the next 10 years!

Now to the cyclone,  Andy said that it was like a windy day along the Largs prom! How he loves to understate events. No drama out of a crisis for him. As for myself I went and enjoyed a hot stone massage while the storm surged around the spa. (spa cabin in background of the photo!)  I felt like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and expected the spa cabin to fly off into the cyclone at any moment. I can truly recommend being massaged in the eye of a storm. I believe that a massage at anytime is probably an eye of a storm experience. The photo below is of my view of paradise from my spa cabin after the storm... in fact it is after my round of golf at a 5-star golf course where even my golf was heavenly! When in heaven it seems that everything takes flight, including my golf ball.

As you can gather we ate well, drank indulgently... but no hangovers!... and were treated royally to all the best that Mauritius could offer. Sunset cruises accompanied by dolphins, a range of cocktails that Tom Cruise would envy and surrounded by a service industry that is unique in its approach to customer care!

Now there is a flip side to enjoying paradise. Yes, you guessed it. Down to earth with a bump, well more a smooth landing at Heathrow and a cancelled flight home to Glasgow. Sooooo... not the perfect return to the UK. Twenty hours after setting off from Mauritius we have a bed for the night at a Heathrow airport hotel and the promise of a flight home in the morning! This was just the beginning of the besetting and beleaguering episodes that were sent to try... No I am not moaning, although I was then, and when the Largs lurgie from hell descended on my sinuses you can bet there were a few moans coming from under the duvet. However I also reflected that every time a little cloud on life's sky appeared... clouds such as earache, headache, sore throat, coughs and sneezes, deafness tra-la-la... I went back in time and caught a memory, a silver lining and promised myself that I would enjoy each and every day with the same sense of joy that I had while being massaged in the eye of the storm.

Merci beaucoup, Jenny, for giving me a massage that will last a lifetime! you are only the best masseuse ever...

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