Saturday 1 June 2013

The mauritian roads are.....

well maintained and the driving standards are high........NOT!
The trip from the airport to my accommodation started well enough, wide dual carriageway type roads and roundabouts and with very little traffic, then as we entered the more populous highlands, potholes, obstructions and other drivers all combined to make the journey a little more torturous, but it was nothing compared to what was about to hit us as we entered Port Louis, the capital.
As we descended form the highlands down into Port Louis, the traffic became heavier and it seemed that road etiquette consisted of finding a route around (either side) or through (via a bib, honk, or hand gesture) our car by cars traveling faster or motorbikes weaving along the road with no real concept of safe driving.
Worse was to come!
After the motorway had given way to an A road, it split into two main roads at the Place de Armes, one toward the city centre and one to the North, we choose the city centre.
In the capital traffic mingles with people, trikes, bikes, mopeds, carts, lorries, street stalls, parked vehicles all honking to get their route through the melee sorted out, shouts, hand gestures indicators or no indicators they all seem to get through somehow, more luck than judgement in some cases.
The pollution is bad, really bad, the engines don't seem to have any emission tests and the exhaust ranges from dirty white smoke to black clouds of noxious fumes (most it must be said from the multitude of buses, I'll speak about the buses in a future blog post)
Eventually we crawled through the city centre and out into the suburbs. We turned off the main road into the Vallee De Prets and through the mainly Indian area, up into the hills.
Here, dogs with a disregard for the own lives lay in the middle of the road only moving after being alerted to the sound of a moving car or via a discrete honk.
We arrived at our destination and met with a rum punch, a welcome relief from the roads and the heat I spent a delightful afternoon with my host for the mission Joan.

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