Mauritius: Day Fourteen

Saturday 1st August 2015:

This day was going to be crazy. We woke up really early once again and after everyone had had their breakfast. My dad started preparing the food at Fajr time ( around 5.30am). We went outside to wait for my dad’s cousin to pick us up to go to my cousin’s place (yes I know, a lot of cousins – Al hamdulillah).

I took opportunity to cut a fresh unripened coconut so I could sip on it.

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We left by closing the gate behind us and after 20 minutes we arrived at the place.

My dad’s cousin went to get a truck to get us to the port. He arrived like 30 minutes later and in the meantime we got inside to great the family.

As I entered I said: السلام عليكم and saw my auntie’s baby which was so cute. I was speaking to her and shocked that she was not coming but as we were speaking I could hear french being spoken.

I asked my auntie: “who is speaking french?”, she replied: “these are friends of ours”. I entered the kitchen and saw a lovely family. I went to greet them and introduced each other.

We were now stuck between speaking French, English and Creole.

We all helped each other in transporting everything from the van to the truck and we then left.

On our way to Grand Gaube, we got stopped the Mauritian police. The guy was about to fine my uncle because he was driving a truck full of people. I felt like I was in a movie haha.

It was illegal doing that.

We were so scared that the day was going to finish even before it could start.

My uncle was worried but he had a friend in the police that wasn’t working very far. He texted him and he came and resolved the situation. Mauritius haha!!!

We arrived at the grand gaube at the port which was not bigger than half a superette car park. It felt quite intimate as if we had the whole to ourselves. We jumped out of the truck and made our way to the boat and unloaded everything. It was crazy as there was so much we had taken with us.

All of a sudden a thought came to my mind, where is my camera bag. I jumped back onto the truck to check and nothing was there I asked everyone and no one could remember. I started becoming agtiated thinking that it would be a picture less adventure when all of a sudden I went to another little van and I saw the camera bag at the back. Relief came over me.

We boarded in less than 50 seconds and off we went.

The boat I was on had no engine so we had to be towed by the first boat.

It was so scary yet so exciting to just be on the indian ocean with nothing around but water at a speed that was enough to scare you but also slow enough to allow you to stop and ponder on the beauty of this earth.

I was anxious just in case we were going to visit the same place I did on Thursday but it wasn’t so excitement took over as soon as I understood that we were going to a place I had never been called: Ile aux Bernaches.

We became closer to the place and we could see the level of the water decreasing as we were getting closer to the shore. The boat without the engine crashed into some rocks but no damage was done due to the incredibly slow speed.

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We boarded off the boat and straight onto the island. We started unloading the stuff from the boat onto the sand and it took us about 20 minutes altogether. We helped out by putting all the stuff needed and we kept on looking at the horizon because of this magnificent beautiful turquoise water that I couldn’t believe my eyes. Subhan Allah.

Everything was ready so I started making my way towards the water and I felt the need to explore and do a detour of the island to see the beauty of it. It was a rather small island so in less than 15 minutes it was all conquered.

I stopped at some point and took some pictures.

The landscape was getting better and better I just couldn’t help but running back to the group to grab my Mamiya 7 with my rolls and go back to capture this craziness. After grabbing my camera I turned my head on this otherside and saw the creek of where he arrived. I walked without anyone following me and saw this.

I began to smile and returned back to the place I was.

I took a detour and went further out again but towards the north of the island not knowing what was awaiting me.

The water was so clear the pictures are not even doing justice to this place.

My uncle was enjoying walking in the water and my cousins were already exploring the waters.

I approached the rocks and saw this.

I approached the border on the rocks and as I attempted to capture; the terrible happened. My Mamiya 7 shutter speed dial came off and nearly fell into the water. My heart stopped!

I tried putting it back but no avail. I was in distress and just in front of this magnificent scene. My cousin came with his friend from France to ask what happened as they saw my distress. They were chatting and after 10 minutes of engineering fight I managed to screw the shutter speed dial on my Mamiya 7 but it was on the wrong value. So my 1/500 became Bulb etc…

I was not ready to stop so I took my Canon AE-1 with me just in case. I took the risk to shoot the Fuji Reala 100 roll that I had just placed in and shot. I shot with using my brain to readjust the value of the exposure.

I carried on shooting until it was time for lunch.

I paused and admired the whole scene that was so difficult to take in due to the magnificence of it.

I went back to the group to pray and eat and off we were in the water.

My brother brought the GoPro and we started swimming in the crystal clear water.

I went in with the friends from France and I didn’t have any protection for my feet so I swam without touching the ground for 4 hours non-stop. Had I touch the ground I would have cut myself with the corals being so sharp and pointy.

I took advantage to float when I needed to relax by just chilling. It was so amazing and I really thought I was in paradise. No one around and pure visual bliss.

After 4 hours of intense swimming we were ready to leave so we made our way to a creek where the water consistency was much more like a river.

We arrived at the creek and a bunch of youngsters were partying, they were from France too and they were so loud.

We swam for a long time and the water was not clear at all but the temperature was gorgeous. I caught a tan and felt so good.

I realised that I had to wear my snorkelling kit and the sand was the whitest sand I had ever seen in my life. The softness of it was wow.

Everyone joined it even the parents and uncles.

It was gorgeous. After that we made our way back to the port as the day was coming to an end.

No words can describe how beautiful this day was.

Mauritius is beautiful.

I had to stand up on the truck on the dual carriageway to take that picture at 50 miles per hour I was crazy.

We went home to shower, eat and pray.

We were so tired from the intense swimming we decided to go home.

 

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Author: Nadeem Karim

| London / Paris Photographer - Mu'min |

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