Sometimes life on a tropical island get a little to much to bear. The constant sunshine, endless sandy beaches and recurring sunsets all proved too much to bear for the German and I. In order to rectify this conundrum it seemed the only logical option was to book a trip to the island of Rodrigues – maybe a few days on a more islandy island would be just what the doctor ordered. Little did we know that this was the best idea that a Scott and a German had ever had and from the moment we arrived on the island we were in love with it. Huge stretches of empty volcanic rock and brilliant white sand plunging into a crystal blue ocean and, although you may encounter a few goats or cows you can wander happily for hours without seeing another person.
Day 1: As we were only visiting for a short time we decided to go full tourist and make the most of our stay. We kicked this off with a 5 am wake up to go and watch the sunrise, a stunning show but certainly one that prompted a fair amount of complaining from my companion. “It’s too cold”, “It’s too early”, “It’s too bright”. “It goes up too fast” all said with a whiny accent.
After scuttling off the beach in search of woollen jumpers and breakfast we rented a scooter, donned our helmets and sourced the most useless map in existence before heading out in search of excitement.
First stop was the Vanilla tortoise national park. Herds of giant tortoise roam free in a Jurassic Park(esk) enclosure as beautiful white birds swoop over head. After petting all the tortoise you can handle the guide whisks you off to a vast cave where you are treated to stories about the magic of the cave. A word of advice though… however excited you are at the prospect of tortoise meeting please please please resist the temptation to ignore the designated tour hours as you will be forced to spend 3 hours wandering round the smallest museum in the world and seriously reconsidering your life choices as your read for the 10 millionth time that the Dutch and British killed everything in Rodrigues and Mauritius.
Day 2: In any good adventure the added element of surprise is always most welcome. Waking up with a stonking ear infection whilst in the middle of nowhere really was a delicious twist to our trip. This infection doomed us to wander around, heads to one side, like quizzical zombies whilst waiting for the ear drops to take effect. This didn’t stop us however form soaking up more of the stunning countryside that surrounded us and, once the drops had settled, we headed off on our dirt bike to find food. Food came in the form of two whopping platefuls of octopus in ragu with salads, pickles and chips. Waddling away from the restaurant we felt thathe only thing left for us to do was to set off on a brisk stroll along the beach to try and make room for dinner. Here we found giant coves filled with treasures and beautiful arches it was all we could do to run back to our hotel at night for crab salad, vegetables, rice and more octopus.
Day 3: Not being a huge fan of jumping to my potential doom I have to say I was slightly unsure about the idea of throwing myself off a mountain (three times) on a Zipwire…. the German assured me this was a good idea….! It was – don’t tell him. The Tyrolienne Zipline is insane and the guides are stunning with their acrobatic stunts whilst crossing the gorge. Word of advice – don’t wear short shorts… wedgies occur! After the treacherous crossing we took a short cut down a hiking trail to visit the Bone Caves where giant stalactites hang from the ceiling in octopus like formations and the smoke from ancient torches blackens the roofs.
Final day: One of the best things about the island is that it is so quiet. There are certainly worse ways to end a holiday that by getting up and devouring your all inclusive breakfast then taking a 20 minute walk through the mountains to a beach inhabited only by goats. Where you can swim, sun bath and search for treasure until the time to leave for your flight. I would also suggest grabbing some road side BBQ to eat on your way back to the airport.