Saturday, February 28, 2009

In the Garden of Eden, Baby

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, honey, don't you know that I love you? In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, baby, don't you know that I'll always be true?

- Iron Butterfly

Do you remember the episode of the Simpsons where Bart inserted Iron Butterfly lyrics into the church hymnals and everyone was singing "In the Garden of Eden, Baby!" That is one of my favorites. Because nothing screams "church" more than Iron Butterfly.

So the title of this post has a purpose relevant to my voyage. I have found my Eden. And its name is Mauritius.

Unfortunately we were only there for one day. But it's a beautiful and unique place. Mauritius was inhabited by the Dutch originally. It was occupied by the French. And later came people from India. Somewhere over that history the Dodo birds were all killed off and became extinct. They were native to this island. Mauritius is on a coral reef. Coral reefs are found between 30 degrees north latitude and 30 degrees south latitude. (See, I pay attention in Global Studies class!)

The island itself is beautiful. There are mountains and thick vegetation, but only 2% of the rain forests actually remain because of the island being built up. 2% still looked beautiful to me.

I ended up being a trip leader for 26 students to a place called Parc Aventura, which is like a high ropes course. There are foot-bridges that are high up in the trees. I have very few photos because I was holding on for dear life!!! They were so wobbly and I was worried that I was going to lose my footing. But lo and behold I made it across to the other side, safe and sound, out of harm's way. We were also hooked on to harnesses, which clipped onto the cable above by a caribiner. Fortunately I also took my malaria pills, because this place was teeming with mosquitoes. (Thanks again Joe and Jackie!) Below is a photo of one of the wiggling footbridges that I crossed:
The second half of the day in Mauritius was spent at a place called Flic en Flac beach, which is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the world. White sand and warm, temperate water. Loved it.

People of Mauritius speak Creole, French, and English. It is like India and France hooked up and moved to Hawaii. There were Hindu temples of pastel colors, which to me looked like palaces in Candy Land:
(I believe if you're on my blog's website, you can click on the photos I post to make them bigger and they will appear clearer. Then you can see why this temple reminded me of Candy Land.)

There were gorgeous views everywhere you looked. And I got to practice my French. Regardez cette belle plage, mes amis!

So if you know me well, you have heard the story that ever since high school French class I have had my eye on a place called Seychelles. One of our lessons was about this exclusive island archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean.....a place that never really marketed to American tourists, but was an exclusive spot where one could fly from Charles de Gaule in Paris. Since then I was sold. I wanted to go someplace different and unique on my honeymoon and I have been talking about it ever since. Well, wouldn't you know last Fall one of my best friends Holly got married and where did she go on her honeymoon? Yep. She did it. She took MY spot! But I'm bound and determined to still go anyway. I claimed it first. As soon as I find some lucky fool, we're packing our bags and heading for Seychelles.

Yesterday as we sailed away from Mauritius, I am pretty sure we sailed right past Les Seychelles. I got one step closer to being "in a godda da vida".


MikeScorpio said...

Glad to know that the author of the rime is having a time that's sublime...(I know, corny as hell...)

Buddy said...

Oddly enough, I-G-D-V showed up on my iTunes lastnight.

Dara said...

OMG, it *does* look like Candyland!!
So pretty :)

Alena said...

When I was in elementary school, Seychelles issued some promotional postage stamps with Star Wars characters on them, and marketed them on TV in the States. I was so excited by the commercial, my grandma helped me find Seychelles on a map. If I remember correctly, they did eventually buy me those stamps. And I've had a special place in my heart for Seychelles ever since.