Ile de la Réunion (a.k.a. France)

Monday 14th October. The laundry. Le Port, Réunion.
Alas “The laundry” isn't the latest hipster microbrewery, it's the place for washing clothes, which is my task for the morning. So I stuffed my backpack and bike panniers full of grotty clothing and cycled over to the other section of the marina to the laverie. I get to watch the miracle of a machine doing magic with water and soap so it's actually a bit of a treat.
Here we are in Europe! Politically at least, if not geographically. Ever heard of Réunion? Nope. Me neither before this trip which is a shame because it's a real little gem. It's basically one big volcano (maybe technically two) and it's part of France, like really part of France, not just an overseas territory or protectorate or former colony. Just full-on France (Outre Mer). Which means it's pretty civilised, has great roads, everyone drives Citroens and Peugeots and Renaults, everything closes for a couple of hours in the middle of the day s…

Mauritius/Ile Maurice/Moris

Friday 27th September, Mauritius/Ile Maurice/Moris.
Friday evening, the end of another week and things are winding down here in Port Louis. We've spent the week settling into the luxury of a marina, getting to know Port Louis and exploring the rest of the island. And it's all been very pleasant and enjoyable. And yes, we may have spent some time in the local microbrewery. If you are ever in Port Louis I highly recommend indulging in the Flying Dodo beer at the Lambic restaurant - really, really, delicious, fresh beer (the Belgian Wit, IPA and NEIPA in particular, mmmmmm...yum).

Karl takes in the view of Port Louis from the 19th century fort.
The all important market - just look at those tomatoes!

Lots of old buildings around as well as the shiny new highrise. Gives a great feel for the 18th/19th century colonial life.

So we arrived last Sunday, spent the day at the immigration dock completing the arrival formalities and managed to make it ashore in time for sunset drinks at a …

Ile Rodrigues to Ile Maurice (Mauritius)

Sunday 22nd September, Port Louis, Mauritius.
Wow. That was a bit of an overwhelming arrival. And I haven't even stepped ashore yet. We seem to have arrived back at real, proper civilisation for the first time since Darwin – over two months ago. As we came in to the port we saw buildings more than two floors high, in fact, several floors high. There's lots of ships, big fishing boats, port buildings, a helicopter!. 
We seem to have located the entire Chinese fishing fleet - that's just one row of them.
We're tied up now at the immigration/customs dock awaiting the completion of formalities. Right beside us people are eating lunch outside restaurants, there's a bar, there are loads of people, hotels, traffic, a McDonald's! 

As we came in to tie up people were taking our photo instead of taking our lines (thankfully a nice coastguard officer was there to take the lines). There's the makings of some sort of live music being set up on the esplanade. And it'…