Yesterday was one of the most bizarre days of all my travels. Athena and I hung from a ceiling, she became a giant, we walked on multi-colored earth, we rode giant tortoises, and Athena held a crocodile. And the funny part of it all is I’m not making this stuff up or exaggerating. Mauritius is a curious place.
At 9am, we left the hotel and drove to Curious Corner, a house of illusion and mystery. Our favorite exhibit was the Curious Corner Upside Down Room. We explored the kitchen, living room, and dining room in this upside down world filled with little details like puzzling photos and mirrors. So many things were not what they seemed at Curious Corner, including a giant Athena grabbing a tiny Mommy. We had a full day ahead of us but I wanted to take my time at Curious Corner. I had imagined all of the things I would enjoy most about Mauritius, but I didn’t even consider Curious Corner as one of them. Now, it’s my favorite experience so far. I’m a very curious person… always trying to explore and discover new things and understand how they work. It’s part of the reason I love traveling so much. Curious Corner was made for people like me.
Our next stop was Chamarel Seven Colored Earth. The seven colored earth is a relatively small area of sand dunes comprising sand of seven distinct colors – red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. The earth is particularly unusual; created by volcanic rocks that cooled at different temperatures, the earth formed beautiful patterns of colour in the exposed hillsides.
The earth looked like it had been spray painted or like I had fallen into Alice’s Wonderland. Although the temperatures were rising as it approached mid-day, the viewing platforms had coverage from the sun. Was it a mirage from the heat? Nope, it was an actual natural phenomenon.
Heading south along the ocean, we drove toward La Vanille Reserve. They have over 1000 tortoises as well as crocodiles, butterflies, monkeys, iguanas, and deer. At the main entrance, they offer an opportunity to hold a baby crocodile. Initially, I just walked by because I assumed Athena wouldn’t be interested, but she asked me if she could do it. I was shocked, but agreed. Without hesitation, she reached out for the baby crocodile. I took at least a dozen photos with my mouth agape. My child continues to impress me.
This wasn’t the first place I’d visited where you can hold a crocodile but it was the first place where you can touch and even sit on a tortoise. Although riding a speeding tortoise isn’t on my list, I did let Athena sit on one. I wonder if it’s the first time someone rode one of the tortoises in a tutu? It might be safe to say that only Athena would do that.
I knew Mauritius would be full of beautiful, natural landscape and stunning, turquoise waters, but I didn’t expect to find curious, bizarre discoveries around every corner.