After a wonderful stay at Solana, we were eager to head to our ‘home’ for the next 2 nights, Otentic Eco Tents, that are located in a small village known as ‘Deux Freres’ in South East Mauritius. As we arrived at Otentic, we were welcomed by 2 jolly gentlemen, Jerome and Cedric, who helped us carry our luggage into our tents and led us down to the kitchen/lounge/chill area.
The tents? Well, they are just something else. First, you climb up a few steps onto a balcony with camping chairs that overlook the mountainous area (lots of green). The interior has a rustic style, white linen and lots of wooden detail. When I say wooden I mean: wooden bed bases, wooden bed side tables and headboard, wooden shelves, wooden floors and wooden hangers and hanger rail (that’s a lot of wood). To get to the en suite, follow a few steps down, and there you are! The open shower simply consists of a shower nozzle and a drain area. The oak shaped basin sits on a wooden dressing-like table with a mirror just above it.
Now, you would probably expect the kitchen/lounge/chill area to be indoors – you’re wrong. In fact, that’s what makes Otentic so special – no space here is made from brick or cement but rather out of trees, wood and canvas tents.
The first part of the chill area that caught my eye had to be the little wooden bar, where again, Otentic do things differently. Here, you make your own cocktail (there is a recipe book), flat white, pour your own soda as well as your own wine, and whatever you take, you write down in the ‘honesty book’. Second, was the beautiful pool in the middle of the entire space that is covered by overextending tree branches.
Later that afternoon, Jerome treated us to a trip up one of their look-out mountains, also known as, ‘the View Point’. As sunset approached, we hopped on their 4×4, cooler box filled with wine and beer in the back, and headed through vast sugar cane fields.
We made our way to ‘the view point’ as we got to the top, the rain decided to make an appearance (what an anticlimax) – so, we made our way back to the tents, had some supper and hit the sack, or rather, tried to (because of the strong winds).
The following day, Jerome prepared us for a day filled with adventure. He mentioned that we would be venturing around on a little speed boat (which, for someone who suffers from sea sickness pretty easily, left my stomach turning) out to Ile Aux Cerfs where we would also be taking part in some kayaking.
We strapped on our life jackets, go-pro’s and headed off to Paradise Island, and boy, I cannot think of a more fitting title.
We stepped off our boat into white sand and flowing crystal clear water. We made our way around the island, which has another name, Deer Island (it was inhabited by Deers’ before civilization hit the land). Besides the many water activities, this island also has a market filled with Mauritian souvenirs, bikinis, sarongs, basically, typical island things. There are also obstacle courses in the treetops, a thatch bar/restaurant area for food, drinks, and different rum flavours (of course). Sadly, Scrooch and I had both forgot to pack in the most important thing, money! So, we were unable to buy gifts at the market or try the bubble-gum flavoured rum (silly us). Tip: Always carry some cash with you (even when you aren’t expecting that there will be anything to buy). This special little island is, hands down, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. With an area to tan under the palm trees, crystal blue water and lots of things to do, it is a must-visit!
Next on the agenda was kayaking, but before that, Jerome proceeded to show us what we know as ‘The Tarzan trees”, with shoots hanging to the ground, these are the oldest Tarzan trees. Jerome and Scrooch spent a few minutes playing Tarzan and swung amoung these timeworn trees.
We spent some time kayaking amid the mangroves, but the moody wind cut our time short (and we were hungry), so we made our way back to Otentic. We planned to head back to the view point but were stopped by the rain (again), so we spent the evening relaxing at the chill area and had some divine supper. Think braaied Tuna, mixed roast veg, quinoa and a green salad, followed by chocolate mousse for dessert.
On the morning of day 5, we finally made it to the top of the view point and what we had before us were blue skies, never-ending greenery and sugar cane fields. After spending some time videoing and photographing, we headed back to Otentic, where Joseph awaited us.
For lunch, we would be going to the small village of Anse Bambous to be treated for lunch at La Case du Pecheur. This restaurant, famous for its seafood and surrounding mountainous landscape is detailed with all sorts of shells and clam decorations. We were seated at a table overlooking the lagoon and on the menu for lunch was ‘hake fish pops’ for starters, chicken in red sauce with rice or fries for mains, and 2 scoops of vanilla ice-cream for dessert. Once again, we found ourselves rolling out of the restaurant (this seems to be a usual thing in Mauritius). Back in the car, Joseph transported us and our very full stomachs to our next destination.
Next stop: Preskil Beach Resort