Mon 15th Oct
Walked around Port Mathurin - good to see it busy with shops & lots of street market stalls open, bustling with people - after sunset, the town 'dies'!! There's no-one around....!
Having visited several places, I discovered my reading specs were missing - major disaster!! Of course, I re-visited everywhere - and eventually they turned up - found on the ground outside the Tourist Office (lovely, helpful, good-English-speaking girl in there!)
Investigated hiring a scooter to tour the island - none available, so finally decided to take the local bus (19rupees) out to Point Cotton, on the far NE of the island to see the countryside en route, passing over Mt Lubin on the way, and see what was out there - excellent decision! Beautiful tamarisk wood backing onto a lovely white sand beach with the occasional black granite (basalt?) rock sticking up and waves breaking on the reef nearby. I had a lovely swim (my first for a very long time!) & relaxed on a lounger under palm-trees in the nicely-designed resort hotel pool area until the 5 o'clock bus (last one) left. At least that was the plan, until I discovered my camera was missing.... the bus driver was so understanding & helpful - "Go to the hotel - I'll wait".... Yes!! I'd dropped it while changing to return... "Il n'y a pas des voleurs ici!" (we don't have thieves here) he told me proudly when I returned triumphantly, waving the camera.... I enjoyed the scenic ride as the sun was setting, with lots of locals playing football after the day's work, everyone relaxing outside their houses & lots of 'Caribbean' music played onboard the bus as we wound our way over the mountains back to Pt Mathurin...
Tues 16th Oct
Had to move berth on jetty away from tug - they'd mended their engine & needed to test it... so it was a matter of walking the boats back to a nearby floating metal dock off the concrete jetty - big enough but very close to shallows astern... fine so long as no movement astern! But VERY early tomorrow (Wed) will have to move away from jetty completely whilst the weekly supply ship manoevres around & ties up to the jetty. Once it's safely in, we can come back to berth again - until it leaves on Thursday, early morning, but then we'll leave for Mauritius anyway - hopefully following the ship out, so no problem knowing which way to go out through reef!!!
Today was partly also spent sewing a reinforcing connection (stitching was coming undone) between a maintrack car and the sail, organising some laundry to be done (there's no laundry here so you have to find a local who's willing to do it for you!) but eventually getting out by local bus over the mountainous interior around Mt Lubin to see the southern coastal region of Rodrigues. Interesting to see how people live here and southern reef lagoon area had lots of lovely wooden double-ended fishing boats - with option to raise a simple sail to help them go downwind. Very dry land just now - they need the rain of the wet season. Later walked over to Baie des Huitres (Oyster Bay) which is a short distance to SW of Port Mathurin - a lovely bay with fishing boats but not a lot else - so walked back again.
Interestingly, because this used to be a British colony, they drive on the left-hand side of the road and all official & road signs are in English - but they mainly speak Creole or French - so it's been enjoyable practice for me chatting to them!