Mauritius. – When travelling, it’s important to me to visit where the real people of the city meet, shop, eat, natter with their friends and go about their everyday business. Especially on a busy Saturday morning. It gives insight that is often lost whilst travelling, especially when there are irresistibly beautiful white beach to be on.
The capital, Port Louis, has it main market or bazaar downtown near the waterfront on Farquhar Street and is a must visit. Here traders boast with their fresh produce, the smell of earth hangs on the air and the flavours of the offerings are reminiscent to a time that pre-dates overproduction. I feasted on pineapple, cut just for me, and drank from a freshly hacked-open coconut, delicious.
WIsh I could have captured the smell of these lemons.
Upstairs stalls with ‘Made in Mauritius’ saris, t-shirts, baskets, wooden and traditional handicraft products, local jewelries and souvenirs at a very good price. Especially if you haggle, which is expected. It was fun to see how many Afrikaans words were spoken soon as the store owners knew we were South African.
Across the road are the fish and meat traders, not for the faint hearted as fresh produce is butchered to order and rather small fish are offered up to customers. Fascinating though and in some accounts a more honest approach to the diet.
Fish on offer outside the market.
Signage in the meat market.
In the beef, pork, goat and fish sections, sights like this await you. The smell of blood is sweet and pungent on the air.
Next to the market is the large shopping mall ‘Le Caudan Waterfront’ where there are stalls, shops, food court, restaurants and museums in one place. Including the Post Office Museum and Shell Museum. With it’s 170 boutiques, Le Caudan Waterfront has certainly become a mecca for shoppers visiting Mauritius. But actually, somehow buying from independent traders in the buzz of the main bazaar, held far more appeal to me.
Read more about my time in Mauritius here.