Rodrigues Island

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Rodrigues Island is without a doubt one of the most unknown places on Earth. It is located about 500km northeast of Mauritius and basically functions as an independent country to Mauritius. The island itself is pretty small but it is also a very beautiful and a fun place to be. While it is a major pain both getting a plane ticket out there and then having it leave remotely on time as mine was nine plus hours late, it is worth coming out for a day or two. Besides, the night sky here is so clear that you can almost see every star in the galaxy I swear.

As I said, I was supposed to get in around noon and I got in around 9:30pm. It was very frustrating and I didn’t have a place to stay. When I finally arrived I trusted the taxi driver to take me to a good place in Anse aux Anglais which is about 1.5km north of the capital Port Mathurin.
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My first stop after getting settled into the delightful Ti Pavillion Herbergement was Bambou Resto for some pizza. It was actually really good and I was joined by two local guys for some Phoenix beers. They had never seen an American before so I was kind of a celebrity. That’s the 100th time I swear this trip that’s happened where people say I’m the first they’ve ever seen. It’s pretty cool I guess but man we have to travel more people!
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I woke up very early, at 5:30am to get a head start on the day because I had a lot to do in a very short time as my flight was at 2pm back to Mauritius. I had breakfast on the waterfront watching the fisherman walk out to their boats at low tide to get ready to find the days catch. I love doing that and it is nearly the same on every developing island.
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Afterwards, I got on my motorbike and started cruising around the gorgeous green and hilly island. My two main objectives were to get to the famous beach, Trou d’Argent, which required a 30 minute drive on the bike each way plus one hour hiking through the lava rocks each way so that was 3 hours plus time spent at the beach. The only way the beach is accessible is by foot or by boat. My second objective was to get a souvenir passport stamp at the immigration office in Port Mathurin.

First, I somehow found the way to where I was supposed to park to start the walk to the beach from the crappy map from the tourism office. I then made two rookie mistakes that were pretty dumb. First, I didn’t bring water with me and by 8am it’s already 100 degrees and humid as hell. Second, I left the motorbike parked in the sun and the seat is black pleather. So when I got back it burned the hell out of my ass even through the bathing suit.
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Anyway after a gorgeous hike through a series of beaches, none of which were marked, I made it to Trou d’Argent which as you can see (above) didn’t disappoint. Luckily for me, as I arrived sweating profusely and thirsty as can be-there was a family from La Reunion there and they offered me water. Honestly, they may have saved a disaster because it was really hot and I don’t know if I would’ve made it back without passing out.

I am grateful to them and had a wonderful 45 minutes in the water cooling off before heading back where I spent more time looking at the other amazing beaches which were just as gorgeous as Trou d’Argent. They are well worth more time than the guidebooks tell you to give them.

After the beach I headed back into town to try to get a stamp. After searching the whole damn police station for the immigration guy I finally found him and sat him down. He wouldn’t give me a stamp as he said he didn’t have any. Bullshit I thought-I knew he did. After about 15 minutes of prodding he finally asked to see my passport.

I am used to it by now when I show my passport to a new person and he fingers through it and gets confused. My passport is literally an inch thick and is almost completely full yet again. He asked the normal question I get; what do I do-am I a spy? A gun runner? Etc??? I understand why they ask that kind of stuff but I say I am a tourist and I like to get stamps from where I go.

I explained how Rodrigues is self governed and virtually independent from Mauritius and I think I struck a chord of pride with him as he finally reached into his drawer and pulled out a stamp. He snickered and said where do you want it? I showed him the sweet spot to stamp and I was off like a thief in the night and very happy!

So that was basically my way too short a time in Rodrigues but I did manage to see most of the island and everything that I did want to see for sure. I also made it to the Saturday market on the harbor in Port Mathurin, where although I didn’t buy anything, they did have some nice things and clothes. Unfortunately no good tee shirts! But the island was just very chill and the type of place it’s nice to be for a day or two.
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Now I am back in Mauritius proper for a few days chilling in the sun at the Le Meridien Hotel, as if I didn’t get enough today but what the hell? It’s been a long trip and I kept Mauritius and the Seychelles for last on purpose after a long trudge through Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.

Comments

  1. Yet another interesting island trip report – From what I’ve seen so far, it must be pretty tough (or better: “encouraging”) to leave some parts of Africa – yikes

    cheers ^^

    PS: congrats on exceeding the 251+ countries mark

  2. You were right I had never heard of it and even if I had I would never had thought to go there. However, once again I have been convinced. I love how the beach is sheltered by the walls of sharp rocks. Very Crusoe like.

  3. Thanks Askin for that note and yes its both hard and encouraging to leave parts of Africa-just depends what part on what day!

    Nellie it was really cool to see that and pretty unique. The best part of the walk to the beach was that there is nobody there and you really have no idea where you are going. The trails aren’t marked and neither are the beaches. The only reason I knew was because of those French people and I had seen pics of it beforehand. However, they are all similar and all very cool. The water was phenomenal too and you could swim out beyond where the chasm starts and its really wild out there. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in the neighborhood…

  4. How gorgeous it is there! I’d seriously planned a trip to Mauritius/Rodrigues as part of a RTW last year but had to delay/cancel. BTW.. for Angola visa, I found a site Eco Tur that says they can issue the invitation letter and visa support.

  5. Hey Jordan, the problem for me with the Angola visa wasn’t the letter and visa support because I had that stuff from very good and reputable company within Luanda. The problem is simply the Ambassador to the US and the government is a nightmare to deal with and they simply dont want to issue tourist visas-they want your business dollars.

    It’s ironic because they are hosting the African Cup of Nations and everywhere on tv they talk of how Angola has arrived and I’m thinking-no they haven’t they are a disaster and have no regard for people.

    Aside from the recent shooting of the Togo team bus in Cabinda, they are impossible to deal with-the bureaucrats at least.

    I know they are good people but these restrictions have got to end. Unfortuntaely for me I have a hook up I didn’t know about until a few days before I left to get the visa so next time it should work out but very frustrating to deal with them as they had all the proper paperwork etc for 6 weeks and still didnt issue my visa. It ended up working out better for me anyway because Angola wouldn’t have been convenient for this trip anyway.

    Mauritius is beautiful true. However, my first impression and this is only after one night on the main islanmd is that its too much of the big hotel. There is nothing else to do. You are at the mercy of the hotel and the exorbitant prices they charge you. For instance, last night I wanted to go out to grand bay to a few places a friend recommended but they would only take me in the taxt for $100 each way for a 20 minute drive. And there are no regular taxis around Pointe aux Piments…very frustrating.

    However, I just woke up after being forced to pay $45 for the buffet last night so maybe after a full day in the sun on the great beach I will feel differently. I just hate being ripped off. Rodrigues was awesome and I would’ve loved to soend more time there. I will probably have some Mauritius stuff up tomorrow.

  6. Pity you had such a short time. My TCC friend was recently there as well, a British woman, and she said it was fantastic as well.

  7. Hello Lee, this is the first I’ve heard of Rodrigues. So I googled it and it looks much as you said. I am planning a holiday to the Indian Ocean later this year with my husband and we may add this into the itinerary as a stop off from Mauritius. Cheers.

  8. I have some good news from Haiti. The travel agent, Jacqualine, who booked my Haiti trip and a few of my readers’ as well survived the earthquake. I just read an interview she did with CNN. I was delighted to hear that she was OK.

  9. Richard R. says:

    I’ve just been sent your blog and I can’t believe how many places you have been at such a young age. Congratulations and good luck with your goal. I will be reading and living though you.

  10. That’s great about Jacqui, Lee. I emailed her the day it happened hoping everything was OK with her and I hadn’t heard back anything. Send me that link if you have a chance. Glad your trip is going really well and awesome pics.

  11. Richard thanks a lot for that note and Ryan, I emailed you I think your right email address but jic I dont have the link anymore but just google her name and its the 4th or 5th thing that comes up about halfway down the aricle…she gives some quotes dated like Jan 14th or so…my connection here is crap and I’m trying to watch the Cowboys/Vikings game on streaming video and its coming in awful!

  12. twinky custodio says:

    Wow such a nice place to visit! Im going there in a few months for a business trip. And my boss allowed me to have a 5-day vacation afterwards. Ive looked at travel guides and am planning to book an all inclusive package from mauritius connection dot com/Insider
    would you guys recommend this? I had a friend who said getting one will save me the time of having to book a hotel and plan where i will eat and have fun.

  13. Anthony Worner says:

    ” … the first American they had seen.”

    Ridiculous. I lived on Rodrigues for two years and there was a steady stream of American yachties coming by. There was no airstrip then.

  14. Hey Anthony, apparently they hadn’t seen any American yachties coming by. It must have been cool living on Rodrigues although I would think it could’ve gotten boring, especially if it was before the airstrip, etc. Why were you there?

  15. Hi Lee, am traveling to Mauritius later this year and thinking of going to Rodrigues for a few days. You said it’s good for a day or two. Would 4 days (2 travel, 2 there) maybe be too long? Also, how did you like the Ti Pavillion place? Would you recommend this for a lone female traveler?

  16. Hey Laurie, yes the Ti Pavillion was very safe and cutesy with a nice family who runs it and its clean and in a good location. 2 days is perfect on the island, make sure you rent a scooter and get out to the beaches! Rodrigues is a great place.

  17. Pete Steward says:

    That’s Anse Bouteille not Trou d’Argent

  18. I am 99% sure its Trou d’Argent…well thats what the French people I was walking with told me and they had been there several times previously…

  19. Nick Redmayne says:

    Pete Steward is right – the penultimate pic you’ve posted is Anse Bouteille. Troux D’Argent is much wider… NOT bottle shaped… Actually I’m pretty sure it’s the first pic.

  20. Fantastic pics! It brings back great memories of my holliday to Rodrigues Island and Mauritius. Would love to go again. Thanks for posting

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