It is now 2 days since we left Brisbane to set off on our latest adventure and what a ride it has been!
You may need to grab a coffee and a bit of time as this post is a bit long-winded.
Our first night in Singapore was uneventful. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza at Changi Airport since we arrived about 9pm on Monday evening and were scheduled to depart the following afternoon at about 3.30pm. Note the word ‘scheduled’.
The following morning we caught up with GMan’s cousin and her husband for coffee. No, they do not live in Singapore but were visiting from Victoria so it was a great opportunity.
By now we knew that our flight had been rescheduled to depart 25 minutes earlier than the original time. However, the arrival time in Mauritius had also been amended – to almost 2 hours later!! What!! That made no sense at all. Then we discovered that we were now flying via Kuala Lumpur instead of directly from Singapore to Mauritius. The new arrival time was 8.40pm.
Things continued to deteriorate. We arrived at the designated gate in plenty of time to board but there was no sign of a plane. Yes, the inbound service had been delayed and it did not land until after the boarding was due to commence. The flight eventually departed almost an hour later than scheduled.
I have never been to Kuala Lumpur and my first impression was not amazing. Herded into a small area exiting the aerobridge, we were then instructed to make 3 queues to pass through security screening. Miraculously, this subsequently became one line. The security staff did not seem to have any sense of urgency to screen the transit passengers and I could sense that our estimated arrival time in Mauritius was slipping further into the evening than ever. Thankfully, Kuala Lumpur Airport offers easy-to-access complimentary Wi-fi so I was able to while away the time with a Facebook post and a couple of emails.
We were finally underway on the last leg of our flight and discovered that our arrival time was now 9.30pm – almost 3 hours later than the original time of 6.45pm. Of course, this was barring any further delays. During the time in Kuala Lumpur, I had managed to contact the rental car company and the host of our accommodation, however, my revised estimates were now a bit short of the mark but near enough.
Touchdown and welcome to Mauritius!! Unlike many major Western airports, the immigration process at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is entirely manual and the small number of staff seemed to be working on ‘island time’ yesterday evening.
The gentleman from the car rental company rang as we were standing in the queue and we assured him that we would not be too much longer.Even though the office was due to close at 10pm he kindly waited for us, albeit, at the entrance to the building. We had already decided that if the office did close – worst-case scenario, that we would just have to get a taxi to our accommodation which was only about 6km away. This had been an intentional decision and one that we were very thankful for as we drove out of the airport and onto the main road.
One of the things I had read when planning this trip was that driving at night was not recommended. We did not have a lot of choice when it came to flight times so I had known that we would be driving a relatively short distance to our accommodation in the early evening, however, this was no longer early evening. So, we just took a deep breath and headed off.
We had not pre-ordered a a Sim card for our phone on this trip and were without our trusty Google Maps. In the mad rush to get the car rental finalised I forgot to ask for map so we were completely dependent on my memory and some signage at a couple of major intersections. Miraculously, we made the short journey without any hiccups and arrived at our apartment to find our host patiently waiting for us. Check-in was simple and swift. The keys were handed over with a promise from Jane that she would return in the morning to greet us more fully and answer any questions we might have.
After a shower and about 6 hours sleep this was the view from our balcony this morning.
A perfect day in this island paradise and we were ready to embrace it.