At Chemin Grenier- turn left out of drive and keep going about ten minutes to a large bus interchange on your right. Turn right inland up hill eventually and look for Winners supermarket on your left once in built up area. This busy town has all kinds of shops, banks, market stalls.
Emtel showroom is there for advice re MiFi device if needed. Lots of little stores sell too up scratch cards in units of 100 Rupees to top up a local mobile/sim card. Orange and Emtel are main networks in Mauritius.
The lagoon is tidal with waist or shoulder height water at high tide. Tide times are on TV news in the evening on MBC Channel 1 .
You will see fishermen walking to the reef to fish or get squid. Or bait. Small fish can be caught from the beach. Snorkelling with jelly shoes if near beach house is best. WATCH FOR SEA URCHINS purple in colour…varies in number but this is not a manicured hotel beach! Spines can easily break skin and cannot easily be removed, painful.
Please warn children if paddling and wear jelly shoes, trainers, available locally very cheaply if needed.
Walk away from beach house at high tide for better swimming spots…look for white sandy, non rocky patches in the sea. Ask locals.
Better swimming beaches at St Felix towards Bel Ombre, left on coast road out of drive. This is a public beach with changing facilities, car park area visible from road, toilets. At first roundabout on way to St Felix driving west, there is a turn to Plage Publique at Pointe aux Roches- very pleasant uncrowded beach. At St Felix itself best bathing area is about ten minutes walk to the left towards a luxury hotel (Shandrani). You can swim in front of any hotel in Mauritius even as a non resident as long as you walk on the beach to get there.
If you need to be in touch there is a device (Emtel Mi Fi) to plug in socket which will create a local wi-Fi network for several users in the beach house. Wifi is available on advance payment top up basis with Emtel. The information folder in house has number to use at Emtel shops to buy extra credit in fixed rate packages of 5, 10 GB etc valid one week or one month.
Full information in instruction pack in house.
Please note this is not for downloading of large files or streaming! For trouble shooting, go to Emtel showroom in Chemin Grenier. Or Internet cafe in Souillac on main road up from bus station on left- very helpful.
TV in Mauritius
5 MBC Channels are government owned so good news stories feature! Actually good as a contrast to international gloom. Private local. TV companies coming soon. For freely expressed views and opinion see the range of local papers. International papers only in larger cities.
You can get local and international news in French, English, various Indian languages. There is a film channel but many English/US programmes dubbed in French. BBC World News and Tele 5 Monde available plus other networks.
There is a TV and DVD player. Very cheap good quality DVD’s at Internet cafe on main road A9 at Souillac near Dream Price Supermarket – opposite side of road.
Nearest is at Surinam on main road parallel to coast road inland. Also at Souillac and Chemin Grenier. Cash can be changed at banks or dealers in Chemin Grenier.
Small shops in Surinam on parallel road inland. Patisserie, cash point, interesting little businesses, street old there too. Plus vegetable market near traffic light in town centre on main road, near taxi stand.
At Souillac on main road up from bus station Dream Price is good value but limited range and no alcohol as Muslim chain. Behind bus station on wide road with Post Office is a good butcher/fish seller next to veg market. Friday is his best day for fresh unfrozen supplies but go by 9 am. He has good frozen tuna- at £3 a kilo. Other fish about £2 a pound best quality.
Street vendors sell veg too. Mauritians love to grow food, talk food and enjoy eating it like the French. But two other great world cuisines are here too.
Generally we have had no problems with theft but sensible to close any window without bars at night and not leave phones, watches etc by a window. Walking on the beach in either direction is fine and lovely at sunset. To the left you will reach Riambel public beach where there is a bar and small restaurant- your local for an evening Phoenix beer. You will not see many tourists on the beach but there are other rented properties at Riambel. To the right you will eventually reach Pomponnete with dramatic seas and a beautiful beach at Pointe aux Roches.
Water and washing
For ecological reasons, water is only solar heated. Should be no problem in most circumstances unless there is rain and cloudy weather for two days.There is a washing machine in the corridor at back of beach house. And ironing board plus iron.
The villa is self catering. Basic supplies like milk, tea, coffee is available. Water from the tap is safe. Bottled water very cheap. Corinne can make delicious Mauritian meals for Rs 250, plus cheap local ingredients. Or buy main ingredients and ask her in advance.