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Magical Mauritius

COSMO staffer, Yolanda Bilang, blogs about what not to do en route to a tropical paradise.

As people who know me will testify, I have a bad habit of missing flights as a result of unlucky events occurring en route. So, this time round, I wanted to make sure that absolutely nothing would stand in my way of getting to the tropical paradise of Mauritius to join the COSMO team already there for the annual COSMO Swimwear shoot. My itinerary consisted of catching an insanely early 6am flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg and from there, onto the island. And arriving in time for check-in meant a gruelling 3am start.

Upon arrival at the airport parking lot, disaster struck early on as I misjudged the angle of my parking spot completely and proceeded to wedge my car right into a pole, leaving some serious dents and scratches. But, I was on my way to golden beaches, so I didn't let this phase me. It was so early that there was no check-in crew in sight for another hour, so I perched myself on the cold airport floor and waited patiently in the front of the line, like a good little girl.

Once check-in finally opened, my plan to be super-charming worked as I had the clerk giggling away, as I told her about my bad luck of catching flights. She weighed my suitcase, looked at her watch and said that it was all fine and I was good to go. Then disaster struck again. As she opened my passport, she frowned. I had accidentally grabbed an expired passport! My jaw dropped to the ground. There was absolutely nothing I could do but head back home and try to arrange a flight for the next day. I was devastated.

Getting To Mauritius – Take Two

Due to a fabulous colleague, I was booked on a flight for the next day. The time of the flight was 5.45am. This time round, I decided to take a taxi. It was booked for 4am, but I was taking no chances, so changed the time to 3.30am. The driver, however, had his own ideas and decided to show up and rudely wake me from my slumber at 2.55am. I knew this was way too early, but I decided not to risk any possible further hurdles in getting me to my destination. You can imagine my relief when my suitcase was checked in and I was handed my boarding card. I was finally on my way! Wooohoooo!

A Slice Of Heaven

Through the aeroplane windows, I could see beautiful mountain ranges and crystal-blue waters unfolding beneath me, and the island itself is laced with green palm trees and sugar cane plantations. The Lux Belle Mare resort, which is hosting our crew, is named after the pristine golden beach nearby. I was welcomed by warm and friendly staff, and was offered a deliciously chilled welcome cocktail with lemongrass and ginger. I was then shown up to my room. I couldn't believe my eyes: I felt like a princess! Everything is massive - the shower, the bath and most importantly the bed, which could comfortably sleep six.

I have a gorgeous balcony that looks out to the beautiful golden beach and windward palm trees, as well as the biggest crystal clear blue pool I think I have ever seen in my life. This place is breathtaking, and the temperature is perfect. There are three different restaurants to choose from, including the beach restaurant (yes, please). I had an hour to get showered and dressed before finally meeting my crew and some of the models at the main restaurant. I got to the restaurant too early, so decided to enjoy a well-deserved cocktail down at the pool bar. The bartender offered to surprise me with one of his very own special cocktail creations. The mouth-wateringly delicious creation is called 'Secret Angel' – and, man oh man, was it good! I sat back in my comfy bamboo chair, sipping on my ice-cold cocktail with a massive smile on my face. I might have gotten off to a shaky start, but this is going to be a great week.

>>>Go To 'Chillin', Island Style'


Author: Yolanda Bilang
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