Forget what you saw in the brochure…Mauritius is far more than simply fly-and-flop, as Tom Parry discovers when he takes the wheel on a memorable Beachcomber Tours educational.
Sarah Archer is bonkers,” we concur as I traverse our modest, cherry-red Suzuki Celerio through a midday melee of traffic on a bustling Mauritian high street.
Horns sound, stereos blare and arms wave wildly in navigational gesticulation – and that’s just from our own rental car as my team and I quickly get into the groove of local motoring etiquette. We later end up stuck; wedged rather comically between two metal posts while attempting to make a badlythought- out U-turn.
At this juncture, and with some tricky manoeuvring so far only leading me to scratch the vehicle’s rosy paintwork, it feels like a good moment to reverse back and explain…
We’re on a crusade (quite literally), the inaugural Travel Trade Crusade ‘Mauritius a La Car’ stage, with a route which, if followed correctly, will take us from Beachcomber’s Trou aux Biches resort in the north to Shandrani on the island’s southeast coast – the final destination of our adventure.
The aforementioned Archer – Beachcomber’s national sales manager and co-founder of industry charity motoring challenge the Travel Trade Crusade – has devised this unusual way for us to get out and see the island.
Beachcomber opened its first property in Mauritius in 1952 and now boasts “the only eight hotels on the island”, she playfully reminds us throughout our stay.