We inadvertently sent some of the world of La Gaullette into the sheltered world of the Mauritian tourist. We completed the walk at a long concrete jetty near Case Noyale and caught a local bus back to where we had left the vehicle. The survey had only taken a couple of hours and it was around mid morning, so we decided to treat ourselves to a bit of a touristy afternoon ourselves. We drove up the hill at the back of le Morne, past the gorgeous village of Chamarel to one of the high class restaurants perched on the side of the mountain, with incredible views of the banana and sugar plantations down to the south coast. We wandered in and asked whether we could just get a coffee. The Maitre De looked at us in our ragged clothes and thought – hey ho , they are white so they must just be eccentric millionaires. He wanted to put us on a small table near the kitchens but we insisted on a terrace view – it was only morning and they were not yet busy, but a coach party had just turned up for an early lunch. He ensured we were down the other end from their tables. We really only wanted a nice cup of coffee, a glass of water and then we would be on our way. We were so used to each other looking like a pair of tramps it hadn’t really crossed our minds that anyone else might find it us a bit odd. As we sat there sipping our cappuccinos, I sniffed. I sniffed harder. Jeremy could smell it too. Our feet were still covered in hard baked sewage and when we looked across their cool dark tiles, you could see our footprints right across the floor.
We quickly paid and left and then roared with laughter as we head up the hills. The rest of the day we acted just like the tourists, we looked at the sights from the top of Black River Falls, visited the Alexandria Falls, the temples at Grand Bassin, and drove back through the little lanes of the tea estates and sugar plantations to Calodyne. Where I promptly got a bucket, filled it with warm water and toilet duck and doused my trainers overnight.