Unreasonable at Sea day 70: Mountains of Mauritius
We arrived into Mauritius Port, Port Louis, in the morning around 8. Cesar and I stayed on the ship working in the morning until around 12:30, then head off with Daniel for a run, straight up the mountain.
At first we got urged to take a cab to the base ($50 USD!!, super expensive here), but it turns out the base of the hill was about a 7 minute jog. So we jogged to the base then bushwacked our way directly uphill.
The brush was as high as me, and I was swimming through the grass to carve the path. I got nearly 1000 mosquito bites and later noticed some scratches on my shoulder that I hadn’t much noticed, but waiting online for reentering the ship, the students definitely noticed because they assumed it was an encounter with a coral reef (as mostly everyone from the MV Explorer / Semester at Sea fled to the beaches for our 8 hours in Mauritius.
Finally, we made it to the electric lines / satellite tower on the top, and sure enough, there was a paved road that leads directly up to the top. We had started to doubt that there was even a road up there.
It is quite a colorful city, and we could see our ship in the distance.
An interesting phenomena is all the “snail” shells that we were seeing as we walked upwards. We assumed they were from the ocean years prior, but as there were so many intact “seashells” it just made sense that actually, there are lots of giant land snails.
We head down the paved road, Daniel ran back to make it back to the ship on time, and Cesar and I walked through the town, passing through the “old city” along the way. I call it old city because it had many old stone buildings and churches.
It’s quite a colorful city.
And we passed by a radioactivity testing center, so we went inside to ask for more information, and it turns out that: xrays are a new technology for Mauritius Island, so they have just been open for 6 years, mostly aimed at hospitals and dentist offices. Not exactly the type of radioactivity from nuclear power plants that Protei is aimed at tackling with the Safecast Geiger counters, but perhaps something to consider in the future…
We grabbed a whole lot of fruit (apples, peaches, plums) as well as salt / pepper covered star fruit. This was so good. I saw some ripened starfruits on some trees in the town and in people’s backyards. Lucky.
Mauritius seems like a really interesting mix of Indian, Asian, African, and French / Caucasian. It seems quite touristy, like a resort town. I still do not know much about it, but I had a great few hours.
On the way back to the ship, we stopped at the “duty free center” thinking that hopefully we’d be able to grab some last minute alcohol and use up our Mauritius rupees, but instead, it was an extremely fancy, expensive shop selling rugs, precious stone jewelry, tapestries, and cashmere scarves for thousands of Euros. One of the sales guys was both looking at me questioningly – sweaty all over, mosquito-bitten, and bloody shoulder from brush scratches – yet he still kept persisting “don’t you want to try on some jewelry?”. As if I was ready to spend 10K Euros on some precious stone adornments.
Here is the hill we just ran up, and here are some guys fishing right at the drainage. I think.
We walked back to the ship, got into a slight encounter with a drunk guy right outside the port, walked through the restricted gates, waited online with the students to get on board. People were worried because, as the line was so long but the 6 o’clock deadline was approaching, they might both arrive late on board and get dock time, and miss the burgers being served on the 7th deck BBQ that ended at 6PM. It’s a nice ploy to get students on board by the deadline. Apparently, so many students returned to the ship drunk that they were overflowing the drunk tank (with 26 patients!).
In the evening, we had a Town Hall meeting, and most significantly, introduced many new folks:Julie: a global traveller, waiting to hear about being a fulbright scholar
Kamron: adventurer, charity, former VC
Reyan: IP lawyer
Caroline: from nike foundation; branding, GM , lived / worked in europe , s. america , canada, sailing enthusiast
Sean – creative director microsoft
Debrief about the 1 hour “deep dive” sessions with the mentors and the individual companies: people generally like the 1 hour sessions with the entrepreneurs. Colman mentioned that the guys who showed up with something on paper were able to get far help, so do your homework. So we will continue to work in these 1 hour sessions as they are: intense, get everyone together, effective, and allow for good feedback. Perhaps 90 minutes will be ideal.