You’re usually not a fan of mornings. A buzzing alarm clock, a screaming baby, or a loud garbage truck always seem to wake you from a deep sleep. Not today. For once, the sunlight slowly nudged you awake. Even after realizing that morning had arrived, you kept your eyes closed and your body snuggled under crisp white sheets much longer than you usually allow yourself. You only got up to pull open the curtains and reveal large bay windows before returning to your cocoon. There was no rush with a perfect view of peach-tinged sand and bright turquoise water from your king-sized bed.
This perfect morning is courtesy of Le Tekoma. Yesterday, you landed at the little airport on Rodrigues’ western coast. You drove up the island’s central ridge and through deep valleys, passing large vegetable farms and lots of fruit trees, en route to Pointe Coton. There you found a little beachfront hotel. Leaf-shaped loungers and sun beds were filled with pillows that matched the color of the water. The color scheme flowed into your room, which was decorated with teak furniture and enlarged photographs of the coastline. The bathroom featured a walk-in closet, two natural stone sinks, and an outdoor bathtub. While the view of the gorgeous beach was never far from sight.
Rodrigues is one of Mauritius’ autonomous outer islands. The volcanic island lies 650 kilometers east of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Though named after a Portuguese explorer in the early 16th century, the uninhabited island received few visitors due to its remote location. The French eventually brought sugar-cane plantations and slaves to the island. The latter were left behind when the island was transferred to the British at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. It’s now considered the place to see what Mauritius was like 20 or 30 years ago.
You think you would have liked, make that loved, Mauritius 30 years ago. When you finally do emerge from bed, set out to explore the stunning coastline. Start on Pointe Coton, the long beach right in front you. Walk south to Trou d’Argent, a sandy beach sheltered by two cliffs. Find schools of parrotfish swimming just beneath the surface of the water, but not the hidden treasure that many claim is buried there. Go scuba diving through caves and arches in search of two species of damselfish found only in Rodrigues’ lagoon. The shallow lagoon that encircles the island is bordered by a protecting coral reef; 18 small islets lie within it. While Mont Limon and Mont Lubin, two volcanic peaks, stand guard over the island.
You might hike one of the mountains or visit Port Mathurin, the little capital that’s only seven streets wide, tomorrow. But after such a fun-filled day, you need to return to the hotel to relax again. Stop at the Kreek Beach Club for passion-fruit juice and a fruit salad. Make an appointment for a couples’ massage at the end of your trip. Watch the shadows emerge from the trees and feel the sand cool off as the sun starts its descent. Then follow the smell of curry and seafood toward dinner on the terrace in the sheltered garden.
By the time you finish eating, a drum beat has been accompanied by an accordion. Join the clapping and soon start to feel the rhythm of the sega tambour music. It’s an intoxicating way for the evening to end. Luckily, you get to sleep in again in the morning.