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  • (In 2013) My great, great grandfather Samuel Stephenson had built a ship here - the "Rosalie" - at the beginning of the 19th century, just after the British forces won Mauritius (then called Isle de France) from the French. He sailed her to what were then the Dutch East Indies and ran opium to China, before running aground near Bali and falling foul of pirates. I took a trip about an hour south of the hotel to check out Ville Noire near Mah├ębourg, where ships were once built. Traversing the old bridge, I was thrilled finally to see Captain Stephenson's old stomping ground. Those early European sailors had founded a nicely sheltered shipping base here. I imagined Samuel walking across that same bridge of Ville Noire, in the taverns, and even feasting on dodo.
  • Port Louis (in Mauritius) turned out to be a sizable city boasting a new colonial-style shopping centre on the old quay. We strolled into the Blue Penny Museum, which had some fascinating old photographs of the early days of European settlement in Mauritius. And then it was back to the hotel for one last secluded, starlit dinner. This was a rare occasion of outdoor privacy for us, and it almost brought out the inner Romeo in my pale-blue Scottish person. There was no jazz to complain about, only the lapping of the Indian Ocean and a warm sea breeze, eliminating the mosquito threat. It was a sweet finale to a surprisingly lovely break.
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