Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Mauritius Trip

Recently Suni, Adu and I went to Mauritius. I was very excited because of the sheer photography opportunity it presented. And I was not disappointed. Mauritius is Landscape photographers heaven.

But to say that Mauritius trip was eventful was an understatement!  But let me tell you what I carried and why, it may interest some of you guys.

1 E-30 My Main Camera.
2 E-330 Camera for Suni
3 E-P2 My Backup Camera (and boy was this of help!!!)
4 12-60 Primary Lens walkabout lens to go on my E-P2
5 7-14 Wide angle for landscape lens for E-30
6 14-54 Primary walkabout lens for E-330
7 35-100 Lens for special occasions,

 

So this was my gear as far as lens and cameras go. Apart from this I had other usual stuff like extra batteries, extra SD and CF cards, flash, diffusers, tripod (which I never used).

The walkabout lenses need to have 2 characteristics, first they should provide decent range in wide and telephot and second they should be fast enough in terms of focusing as well as aperture and there is not better lens the ZD 12-60 and in close second comes 14-54 both excellent and both very good.

Walkabout lenses are handy for quick shots like these

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For wide-angle I specially ordered 7-14 from US. I knew I would be going to some exotic place this July, so I knew I needed a wide angle and 7-14 did not disappoint. Lovely lens.

The wide-angle is used for photos like these.

 The Resort

The Booking

We booked out trip through Kuoni Travels which is now SOTC. The experience was pretty cool. No hassles no surprises and no worries. We received the air tickets, insurance, hotel vouchers vi email. We were explained about the itinerary by the rep and was told that we will get more info on arrival. We had taken USD 1000 in cash for the trip. The Trip (4 nights Lodging, breakfast and 3 nights dinner, taxi to-from airport and sightseeing cab for 3 days) cost us Rs 108,000.00 for 3 of us.

Days #1 – The Landing

We landed in Mauritius @ around 7AM in the morning. @ Plaisance airport The immigration was a jiffy and smooth. Indians have no problems there. Its visa on arrival for us (a few countries who have this for Indians) so it cant have been better. We came out @ around 8ish after exchanging the USDs (always exchange in @ Airport, you will get best rates). The taxi with our name was waiting for us. The driver was helpful and very informative.

We arrived at the hotel @ around 9:30AM and were quickly checked in. The Casuarina Resort & Spa was a fantastic sight. It is situated in Trou aux Biches - North West Coast At 5 kms from Grand Bay and abt 1:15 hr  from Plaisance Airport, with white sandy beach along the blue lagoon across a secondary road.

First day was entirely upto us. So after getting refreshed in the hotel we went to the beach. I shot a few pic obviously.

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Casuarina Entrance
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After roaming on the beach for couple of hours. We took boat out to sea to watch some marine life. It was a nice experience…

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Some good looking creature above the water too! :-)
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Adu went snorkeling! :-)

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Day #2 – Parasailing and Ile aux Cerfs island tour

The Cab came for us @ around 9AM on Day-2. The night before the tour company person had left us a note on the time of pickup. The first stop was the parasailing @ a beach near-by (forgot the name of the beach). The parasailing experience was extremely exhilarating! They also have scuba scooter. We didn't take it tough.

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On the way we met some things interesting….
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The Ile aux Cerfs was a beautiful island.

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Some pretty creatures on the beach
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Here is where my E-30 broke down :-(

Last pic from my E-30

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UPDATE: My E-30 has since been repaired by Oly. THANK GOD I had an 2year extended warranty for pro DSLR. So didn't have to pay a penny!

Day #3 – Submarine ride, Botanical Garden, Fort Adelaide and Port Louis market

The previous evening we had asked our guide to book our tickets for the submarine ride. It cost us around 7000 Mauritian rupees for 3 of us.

The Submarine ride was unique… Loved the creatures under the sea, but couldn’t get pics because of thick glass and also the very very low light. Here are some samples.

On the way to Submarine
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Inside the submarine
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Artificial reef under water…
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Another submarine…
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The Bubbles…
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Next stop was Botanical Garden. its a lovely place! Pictures speak for themselves I believe!

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The beautiful lady was our guide Gul :-) very helpful
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The Fort Adelaide (aka La Citadelle) was cool, calm place. With a lot of opportunities for panoramic landscapes. \

Named after the Queen Adelaide, the fort has been built between 1834 and 1840, under the direction of William IV.

At 240 ft. above sea level, Fort Adelaide, also known as 'La Citadelle' has fulfilled the strategic purpose of guarding the harbor against enemy attacks and fires that broke in the city.

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On the way back we saw the Church of St Marie which was
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Next Stop was Port Louis Market

A Wonderful colorful Place :-)

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A Road side vendor
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Colorful Beads!
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Some Wood art work
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and the ubiquitous DODO :-)
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Day #04 – Visit to Model Ship building factory (Curepipe), Trou aux Cerf dormant volcano crater, Ganga Talao (Grand Bassin), Chameral waterfall

Day 4 began with a visit to the Ship building factory, where they explained us how the models are made. It was very interesting. Apart from model ships, they had other arts as well as you will see below.

On the way to ship building factory
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Model Ship
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The Titanic
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Other crafts
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Trou aux Cerfs Volcano and the view of Curepipe town from above

View from the Crater Edge
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Volcano
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Ganga talao (Lake Ganga) aka Grand Bassin, it is place of Hindu religious deities. Very Nicely maintained and very picturesque.

I will again let the pictures do the talking

Mangal Mahadev - Shiva Statue 108 ft.
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Another Lord Shiva
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Hanuman
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Ganapati and Laxmi
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The Chamarel Waterfall and 7 coloured Earth. It was raining like crazy, luckily I had the rain cover to pull it off.

Chamerel Waterfall
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Chamerel 7 colored Earth
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Day #05 – Back to India, but not before one more visit to the beaches

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Some beautiful faces tooo…
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The lonely beaches
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And some fun!
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At the airport for departure to India.

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I feel if you guys get a chance, you must visit the place. Its lovely, wonderful, ever scene breathtaking.

CIAO