Africa February 2015- Part 4

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I like to have a mix of culture and relaxation when I take longer trips. I normally go to Europe for 4 or 5 days and I end up running around the entire time.  10 days of running around is just too much for me. So I decided to head to Mauritius for some relaxation after the cultural portion of my trip.

Mauritius is a island in the Indian Ocean, located off the east coast of Madagascar.

FullSizeRenderWhy would an American from Chicago go to Mauritius for holiday? Simple, there was a direct flight from Johannesburg and a Hilton. I could not have asked for a better location.

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The Hilton Mauritius in Flic En Flac was amazing!!  It was exactly what I needed. I was able to relax, in fact I did not touch my laptop for the 5 days I was there.  My room was located right near the ocean. When I checked in I was told I was upgraded to an oceanfront room. Well I went to check out my view, it was ocean alright, with a side of nude sunbathers.  Turns out, the beach is not nude, just these 2 older women decided it was for them. Lucky for me they moved the next day.

I had one activity free day, so I parked myself at the adult only infinity pool. It was amazing. The best part? The hotel staff made sure it stayed adult only.

IMG_3533I had signed up to walk with Lions over at Casela Park. It sounds scary then it was. The only problem? Apparently I am allergic to lions. I was also able to have an interaction with some cheetahs, more like I posed for pictures and they just laid there. But it was a great place to spend a day while on holiday.

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I also did a city tour of Port Louis and learned a bit about the Mauritian history. The tour included some shopping near the waterfront. It was raining so hard, I am pretty sure it was upside down at one point, so I have minimal photos. Normally I try to find some fun local items to purchase, but the only purchase that day was a umbrella.

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I had a memorable time in Mauritius. I made several new friends, in true Flo fashion. But then I had to begin my 36 hour trek home…… Mauritius to Johannesburg to Munich to Toronto to Chicago.

I would definitely go back, because I just realized I can do a different routing, like go through Paris or Frankfurt. As you can probably  already tell, I had a great time just relaxing, hence the short blog posts.

But don’t worry more adventures await! Upcoming trips include, Paris, Dallas, London and Australia………….








Africa-February 2015

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I am having a love affair with Africa. The more I go the more I want to discover. Last June, there was a fare sale to Johannesburg via Toronto. So I booked a ticket for February, thinking it was perfect time to escape Chicago and that I would have plenty of time to figure out my plans. Well…. let’s just say life (other trips) got in the way and come December I realized I should probably at least get some hotels booked.

I had the original foresight to book my flights to and from Toronto. So I just had to figure what I planned to do once I arrived in Johannesburg. On my previous trip, I had booked a private tour with Ekala Tours, so I considered booking them again.  But for me a day or two in Johannesburg is plenty, as it’s just another big city.  I considered doing safari but after my Kenya fiasco of a solo safari, I was hesitant to book another one. I also knew that I would need some downtime preferably some place the sun would be shining.  I am stilling hoping to hit my 50 before 40, but I decided I rather really enjoy my travels, rather than just go to get a stamp in my passport.

I had originally considered going to Victoria Falls ,Zimbabwe. But something deterred me. So then I looked into going to Durban, South Africa and taking a day trip into Lesotho. Since I was traveling solo, I experienced some difficulty arranging tours.  I made a rookie travel mistake of booking my airfare and hotels before confirming my tours. I am thankful for refundable airfare options and understanding hotels, (Hyatt Johannesburg). Ironically I ended up doing my first choice, Victoria Falls.  I had considered several beach options, Cape Town ( water is way too cold), Mozambique ( visa issue),  Seychelles ( too far north).   I finally ended going to Mauritius, an island off the east coast of Madagascar.  If I am honest, it’s because there was a direct flight on South African Airways,  part of Star Alliance so I get my miles, and well there was a Hilton.  I am sure there is a world out there where there is no Star Alliance flights and no Hilton or Hyatt’s, but it’s a not a world I am willing to discover yet.

So in the end, my trip went a little something like this…..

Chicago-Toronto-Frankfurt-Johannesburg-Victoria Falls-Johannesburg-Mauritius-Johannesburg-Munich-Toronto-Chicago

10 flights, 3 airlines and one amazing story.

Stay tuned for more details…..