Countries

West Side Story Pensioners

They can’t half kick their heels up these West Side Story Pensioners and yes, the New York gangs musical turns 65 today.

Of course the original cast has passed the baton on many a time to a new group of high kickers.

With each reaching higher and twirling further (you do worry for them) with Steven Spielberg’s jiggers applauded for their prowess in last year’s movie.

We all know Tony as a white-New Yorker, whatever that, is and Maria as a Puerto Rican.

A story as old as time

Dance away:West Side Story

But they had started out as Jewish and Irish and even Los Angelinos during talks in the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel.

While it was also mooted as East Side Story.

Of course, the original star-cross’d lovers hailed from Verona where handily there was a Juliet balcony to greet Romeo.

And where millions of sappy romantics have converged over the years to pay homage.

Playing to the balcony: Romeo et Juliet

Of course as Veronans, Romeo and Juliet would have had plenty of lovey-dovey day trips around, in Venice and Padova.

And the West Siders of New York too with horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park.

Or a night at a musical on Broadway just as the Jets and Sharks did for an intrigued audience back in 1957.

Some of whom maybe had heard on the grapevine that this was a toe-tapper from its earlier runs in Washington DC and Philadelphia.

Broadway on the road

Green with envy: Wicked

And that’s the way the best shows arrive on Broadway.

While if you’re lucky too you can enjoy Broadway on the road around the States or in London’s West End.

And the best New Yoikers travel with Carole King’s Beautiful as powerful in Denver as in London.

And Disney on Broadway as, well Wicked, in the Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin as it is Manhattan.

Yes, musicals will come and go on New York’s most famous musicals street.

But West Side Story Pensioners will be kicking up a storm long after the others have finished their runs.

 

 

Countries, Europe

Will Giorgia’s trains run on time?

As Italy votes for its most right-wing leader since Benito Mussolini we ask will Giorgia’s  trains run on time?

Il Duce had a far more grandiose vision for Italy but his lasting legacy to the world was that he got the trains to run on time.

Although revisionist historians now reckon Mussolini propagandised a dispatch from American journalist George Seldes.

On the right track

Well, my train is on time: Mussolini


All of which he was adept at, basking in the glory of the Firenze-Bologna works, ‘the world’s longest double-track tunnel.’

Even though it was a previous government’s brainchild while he made a horlicks of the trains over the course of the war.

Now notwithstanding that the macho Italians don’t even have a female form for Il Duce the Italians have big hopes for their Fit Controller Giorgia Meloni.

Fare play

Just the ticket: Meloni

Roman Giorgia has an advantage on me here (well many) in that she knows the timetables out of the capital.

And she’s not likely to get stuck in a one-horse town 20 miles from the destination in the dead of night.

And her Italian is considerably better than mine.

Local knowledge

Time is right: The Rome timetable

Italy, and particularly in the countryside, works on local knowledge.

And it was my good luck to find an ex-pat on the train who calmed my panic by telling me of a 3am onward bus.

All of which involves a leap of faith as you sit on your suitcase in the clammy Lazio night.

Road to salvation

Mussolini’s legacy: In Bergamo

This being a God-fearing country the first, and best, point of reference is a prayer upstairs.

And when a wave of immigrant passengers emerged from around the corner I gave thanks to Dio omniponte.

Hat’s the way: On the Via Francigena

And the bus driver who got me to Viterbo, albeit at 4am.

So I could make my 8am start for my 100km Via Francigena walk back into La Citta Eterna.

Now the best way to see will Giorgia’s trains run on time or not is by getting out to Il Bel Paese and doing that rail holiday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Countries, Europe

Scotland’s Secret Bunker

There are some secrets you want to share particularly as we might be needing them soon, so I was intrigued by the signpost to Scotland’s Secret Bunker.

The bunker, amusingly, is located near St Andrews, the Home of Golf but they’re more interested here in nukes than niblicks.

Scotland’s Secret Underground Nuclear Centre, to give it its Sunday name, wasn’t advertised, naturally, back in the day.

But thankfully with the end of the Cold War (no, really) it is a tourist site.

Down on the farm

Get your tin helmet on: In the Bunker

The bunker stands a hundred feet down with the entrance hidden in an unsuspecting farmhouse.

RAF Troywood, which was built in 1953, covers 24,000sqft of Command Centre.

It incorporates the radar technology of that era, dormitory, plotting room and mess.

The visitor attraction is open from February 1 to November 30.

It’s £13.95 for adults, £9.95 for children and £12.95 for concessions with a 2.2 family rate coming in at £37.95.

The bunker was primed for 50 years before it was put in mothballs but has thankfully been spruced up for our amusement.

Czech out the Bunker

Behind the Mask: The Communist Tour

Going underground gives a perspective into another world and you don’t have to be a military historian to enjoy it.

Of course, it stands to reason that while we were hunkering down in preparation for them attacking us.

The Warsaw Pact were doing the same over on their side.

Which I saw first hand in Prague in Czechia. On my Prague Communism Tour.

Where I was taken behind the thickest steel door imaginable on the side of a mound.

And taken down into the bowels of the Earth to see how the Czechs prepared to hide away from our bombs.

Needless to say the food was tinned meat an the likes although the Czechs would have stocked up on Urquell Pilsner.

They probably underestimated too how many loos they would have needed for full-blooded Pragueites.

Hitler’s hideaway

You’re Herr: The old site

Check out (sorry) too nuclear bunkers from Arizona to Asia for similar experiences.

While to experience what life must have been like in the most famous bunker of all head for Berlin.

Alas Hitler’s Reichstag in the German capital is no longer there but they have recreated it for you here… it’s the next best thing.

And, of course, we’ll be there just as soon as we can.

For now though we’re looking into Scotland’s Secret Bunker… just in case we need it soon.

 

 

Adventure, America, Countries

A woman on the Moon

Now we all know a woman who is out of this world (brownie points for me at home) but did you know that the Ancient Greeks put a woman on the Moon?

Well, there’s some artistic licence here as Artemis is their Moon Goddess.

And this, of course, you know from your Ancient Greek studies (private school education, doncha know?).

The smart people at NASA know that too.

And that Artemis is Apollo’s twin, and that’s behind their decision to namecheck her in their lunar return.

While they fully support a woman astronaut following in the legacy of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and the eight other white men who have walked on the Moon.

Lunar lady

Out of this world: Artemis

And with the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System set for lift off for the Artemis 1 mission on Tuesday.

Some words from one of the top women in the field.

Vanessa Wyche, the deputy director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas said: ‘As we increase the diversity of our astronaut corps in the Artemis Generation, we look forward to the first woman walking on the Moon.

‘And inspiring women and girls from around the globe.’

The return to the Moon is slated for 2024.

But before that, of course, visitors to the Kennedy Space Center can see any one of the 40 rocket launches that have taken place this year.

Gateway to space

Ride on: NASA

Visitors can experience the future of space travel for themselves.
Inside its new attraction Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex.
It features a showcase of NASA and commercial spacecraft hardware.
With immersive displays, a ‘journey’ through space, a unique launch viewing opportunity and more.
Visitors are surrounded by actual flight-flown artifacts and full-scale models.
And that is set around the floor and suspended from above to allow 360-degree viewing and interaction.

Heroes: And room for some heroines too

In addition to offering a ‘nose-to-nose’ view of the SpaceX Falcon 9 booster, Gateway’s second floor features a 30ft, floor-to-ceiling Robotic Space Explorers Interactive Wall.
With interactive, touchscreen displays, where guests can learn about 40 different satellites and probes in space.
Guests can also visit the HoloTube presentation station.
To learn about the high-powered James Webb Space Telescope by manipulating holographic imagery, video and animation through a touchscreen kiosk.
At Spaceport KSC, guests are transported to an airport of the future.
Hearing the atmospheric airport chatter and seeing distant views of active launches and landings through the galactic spaceport windows.
The main concourse showcases destination, departure and arrival information.
Guests then board “spaceships”, in the form of a two-story motion theatre, for one of four journeys: Cosmic Wonders, Daring Explorers, Red Planet or Uncharted Worlds.

Rocket man and woman

All you need is glove: Interactive

Guests to the visitor complex might be lucky enough to witness crewed and uncrewed rocket launches at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Base.
Companies like SpaceX, Boeing and United Launch Alliance (ULA) regularly have launches throughout the year.
And guests can catch one of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences during their trip to the visitor complex.
Some launches are included with admission or require the purchase of a Launch Viewing Package.

Astronuts

Mind the spaceman: On the right

Interact with astronauts is one of the many exciting experiences many guests have at Kennedy Space Center.
And having enjoyed that on Kennedy’s travels in Dublin.
In Florida, the Astronaut of the Day sits down in a casual, small group setting.
To answer the most pressing and curious questions.
With plenty of time for an engaging Q&A session, attendees leave feeling truly acquainted with a space pioneer and equipped with incredible stories to share for years to come.
This feature  is offered twice daily at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, at 10am and 2pm.
Now going full circle on this, I have a woman back here who would be right at home, a real space cadet.]
And she will be right at home up there as a woman on the moon.

That’s a deal

It’s out there: With my Americanophile Irish pals Dee and Tony

So for a single-day admission it’s $75 per adult, $65 per child.

The new, two-day ticket can be used for up to six months from purchase.

And it averages a cost of less than $45 per day, is now available for $89 per adult and $79 per child.

 

 

 

 

Countries, Deals, Sport

Rock up for Wrestlemania

He’s the lord of the ring, the hottest ticket in town, who you can see for yourself if you rock up for Wrestlemania.

And the best folk to tag along with to see The Rock come out of retirement at Wrestlemania 39 in Los Angeles next year are Cassidy Sports Travel.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson debuted at Wrestlemania 25 years ago and has competed at 11 events.

Counting such other luminaries as Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin and John Cena as his opponents.

My eye on you: The Rock

And dropping jumping clotheslines, Samoan drops and running shoulderbreakers along the way.

Wrestlemania has been right up there with the NBA as the world’s biggest indoor entertainment sport.

And yes debates will rage over how scripted it is.

But nobody can deny that is pure entertainment.

And the SOFI stadium in La-La Land is just the venue for the antics as it hosted the latest Super Bowl.

The Fighting Irish

Swagger: WWE star Conor McGregor

The hybrid of Mixed Martial Arts has proved to be a gateway into Wrestling for many.

And Conor McGregor‘s successes in Las Vegas have prompted an Irish following for WWE too.

Ireland boasts a rich seam of wrestlers who will be represented across in LA at Wrestlemania.

And wherever the Fighting Irish go then their fans go with them… so look out for Finn Balor and Sheamus & Becky Lynch when you get over there.

So here’s what Cassidy are billing…

Wrestlemania Goes Hollywood

 

Wrestlemania 39 Package with return flights will see you stay for five nights at a 3* hotel in LAX area, travelling on March 30 with prices from €1,830pp.

And you will get the goldens tickets for Wrestlemania Nights 1 & 2 (Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd April).

Making the grade

Sport mecca: The SOFI

Upgrades Available on Request for the Smackdown Event – 31st March – €550pp Supplement

Raw Event – 3rd April – €650pp Supplement

Wrestlemania will take place in SOFI Stadium – an incredible venue & host of the latest Super Bowl!

Drop into Cassidy Travel or contact them on 01 8779853.

 

 

Countries, Europe, Food

Pile in on World Paella Day

For the day that’s in it and because I fear The Scary One is leaving us with ‘heat-ups’ (her word for leftovers) tonight, let’s pile in on World Paella Day.

It’s a date on the calendar I should have marked in her diary alongside our anniversary which was three days ago but didn’t.

So it’s just as well that my old amigi Sara and Kathryn from the Spanish Tourist Board in Dublin flagged it up.

And a wee Rioja: With Sara

By inviting the cream of Irish Travel (I’m confined to barracks just now) out for a big paella.

Which is paella round-grain rice, bajoqueta and tavella (varieties of green beans), rabbit, chicken, sometimes duck, and the lima or butter bean garrofo, cooked in olive oil and chicken broth.

Mellow yellow

Man v Paella: And the paella always wins

With the yellow colour we know and love infused by saffron.

Paella, meaning frying pan in Spanish, has come to be the city and the country’s biggest food export.

But foodies will tell you that the dish derives from Valencia, while historians will point to the Moors from North Africa who introduced rice cultivation.

Paella is of course international now and the Valencians even host a World Paella Cup with the best chefs from around the world.

And thankfully without those ubiquitous ‘celebrity chefs’ we have all come to loathe.

Less Oliver: And more Paellaman

You know the ones who pimp their paellas like mock cockney Jamie Oliver who uses chorizo by Jamie Oliver or the rice, chicken, squid, chorizo ​​and clam version by chef Gordon Ramsay.

OK, I don’t have anything against you putting in whatever the heck you like into the pan to make your paella because after all anything with rice in a paella, or pan, is eh, a paella.

It’s just Oliver’s fake chumminess and Ramsay’s fake fecking puts me off my food.

Although writer Ana Vega ‘Biscayenne’, citing historical references, showed that traditional Valencian paella did indeed include chorizo.

And he exclaimed: ‘Ah Jamie, we’ll have to invite you to the Fallas.’

Paella on the pounds

No need for plates… just dig in

And what we all want to know in these straitened times is can it feed the masses?

Well Valencia restaurateur Juan Galbis claims to have made the world’s largest paella with help from a team of workers on 2 October 2001.

He claims to have fed about 110,000 people and this is even larger than his earlier world-record paella on 8 March 1992, which fed about 100,000 people.

Galbis’ record-breaking 1992 paella is listed in Guinness World Records.

So pile in on World Paella Day, there’s enough for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

Asia, Countries, Europe, Sport

Anyone for Raducanu and Maldives

So where has Britain’s sporting darling gone… well, anyone for Raducanu and Maldives?

Emma I think it would be right to say can do with some time out of the spotlight.

And that is what last year’s US Open tennis winner is getting with her engagement in the Indian Ocean atolls.

Emm-meet and greet

Oh OK then: Emma’s invitation

Emma will share her skills and pro tips with guests at Amilla Maldives Resort and Residences on Baa Atoll from 25 October -2 November.

Emma will give a 60-minute tennis clinic at the resort’s jungle-clad, US Open-standard tennis courts.

She will also attend a meet-and-greet and just like any other 19-year-old is excited about going out to the teardrop isles.

She said: ‘I’m delighted to discover the Maldives for the first time. I will have an amazing time there.’

Kings and queens of court

Off Pat: Rafter is a fan

Baa Atoll has become something of a magnet for the cream of tennis.

With former World No. 1s Angelique Kerber and Pat Rafter and Olympic gold medallist Sasha Zverev and Davis Cup winner Viktor Troicki all gracing its courts.

And those of us who have been out to the Maldives have always been mighty glad to have an alternative to water sports.

Because as enjoyable as they are, if like me you weren’t born with a snorkel in your mouth scuba diving doesn’t come naturally.

Howzat!

Lounging around: In Kuramathi

And you’ll be glad for a game of football or cricket with the staff as I did in Kuramathi.

And cool down later in your own infinity pool.

All of which should appeal to the jet set tennis player.

Something of which I got to know when we signed up for a Judy Murray masterclass in Quinta do Lago in Portugal.

Ace

Bandanaman is coming: Emma

And that’s the beauty of it for us and the scrutinised tennis star, here’s an escape from the humdrum of home.

Anyone for Raducanu and Maldives… I know I am.

 

America, Asia, Countries, Food & Wine

A cup of cha for the Queen

The Queen Mum liked her gin, Princess Margaret her Champagne, Prince Charles his Cherry Brandy but we suspect it was a cup of cha for the Queen.

The QM’s drinking holes counted racecourses up and down the country, Mags the Caribbean and especially Nylon Beach in Tobago and Chuck the Isle of Lewis.

For the Queen though it was her many palaces around Britain.

And especially those where she spent most time relaxing… Windsor, Balmoral and Sandringham.

So if you want to toast her memory this weekend raise a cup with that most British tipple, tea.

And add to the 100 million drunk by Britons every day, almost as many as are queueing to see the Queen’s coffin.

The Royal cuppa

Take a seat: The Willow Tearooms

Britain’s love affair with East Indian tea began in royal circles with a hangry 7th Duchess of Bedford.

Anna’s answer was to take tea served with light snacks which became the phenomenon of afternoon tea.

The fashion took hold throughout the land and onto our doorstep in Glasgow, the Second City of the Empire.

Queen tea: And is that a tea cosy?

With the Mackintosh Tea Rooms which celebrate the high-chaired furniture and interior decorations of the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

And that’s just the cup of tea for more modern home furnishing British institution Cath Kidston.

With Cath kindly giving us a tea-potted history of cha around the world.

Crowning glory: Cath Kidston in Southampton

Of course all the tea in China isn’t all the tea in the world but it was where we first got the taste.

When Emperor Shen Nung went for a seat under a Camellia sinensis tree in 2737 BC.

The story goes that a few leaves fell into his boiling drinking water to try the accidental infusion and tea was born.

There’s more to this tea

Tea in bed: OLCOTE in Sri Lanka

His tea rituals he mapped out in Ch’a Ching (Tea Classic), the first book about tea written during the 8th century.

Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian in its philosophy, Chinese tea ceremonies are centred around peace, mindfulness, and appreciation.

And as many as the tea leaves in a cup, their most famous ceremony is the kung fu tea ceremony, sometimes known as gong fu.

Of course the tea we all know and love in the UK is from the Jewel in the Crown.

No, not the curry house.

But where Our Little Corner of The Earth, or OLCOTE, the hotel retreat of my old Sri Lankan-Irish force of nature Tess De Kretser will pour.

Take the floor: Bewley’s in Dublin

But from Assam in India, and Ceylon, which we all know as Sri Lanka.

If the British love their tea then the Irish love their tay double.

Ya Corker: Lafayette’s in Cork

Only be sure to know which brand to order where…

So that’s Lyons in Dublin where it must be Bewley’s Oriental Cafe on Grafton Street and Barry’s in Lafayette’s in Cork.

Rockies tea

The benchmark: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Just like cats and dogs we’re told that you’re one or the other, tea or coffee.

Only we’re both, and even in the cwaffee-loving Oo Es of Eh, or especially, tea can be a delicacy.

As we found when we rocked up in the Rockies and discovered the links between Boulder, Colorado and Dushanbe, Tajikistan .

Another cuppa: Dushanbe

It’s 35 years since the Mid-West of America and the Mid-East of Asia hooked up.

And they built strong foundations from the off with architect Lado Shanidze leading more than 40 artisans in several cities of Tajikistan.

To create the decor for the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse.

Tea for me: In Boulder

Including its hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels.

Like the best artists our Tajik pals have carved their names into the teahouse’s history.

With Manon Khaidarov and Mirpulat Mirakhmatov, who helped reassemble the tea house, in signing their names in the ceiling.

A message carved in the ceiling reads “artisans of ancient Khojand whose works are magical”.

All of which you can dwell on when you’re sipping your Chai.

Colourful ceramic

Colour me good: Engraving

Eight colorful ceramic panels, created by Victor Zabolotnikov, grace the building’s exterior and display patterns of a “Tree of Life”.

And that’s enclosed by a mihrab motif (a niche in a mosque indicating the direction of Mecca.

Did we mention the Seven Beauties? Och, you’ll just have to get out there to find out for yourself.

We have to get back in the queue… we left it to get a cup of cha for the Queen.

 

Caribbean, Countries, Cruising, Europe

Where Princess rules the waves

It’s the only place on God’s earth where we’re happy to pay royal homage… where Princess rules the waves.

We’ve come to stand in awe port-side over the years at the majesty of the ships that transport us to the four corners of the globe.

And so we are instantly drawn to the new ship on their rank, the Sun Princess.

Their biggest ever, it houses 4,300 passengers.

It’s telling too that the name ‘Sun Princess’ is returning to operation because as we all know the sun is our guiding star.

The Sun King

No place like Dome: On the Sun Princess

Just as Louis XIV was to the French of the 17th and early 18th century who called him Le Roi Soleil ‘The Sun King’.

And whisper it in the 13-hour queues in London to catch a glimpse of the unopened coffin of the queen but…

French Louis is still the longest-serving monarch in history at 72 years and 110 days.

Sun Princess will have all the majesty we’ve come to expect for the livery.

Currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard it’s scheduled to debut in February 2024.

And if you’ve been paying attention, again the 175,500-tonne vessel is the largest Princess ship ever constructed.

A slice of Piazza

Glass act: And plenty of Vitamin C

It embraces Italian heritage by featuring the brand-iconic Piazza and new feature ‘The Dome’.

It’s a cutting-edge entertainment space inspired by the terraces of Santorini.

Sun Princess will also feature the exclusive Princess Medallion badge, worn by the best.

It, of course, extends Princess’s leadership position in delivering exceptional personalised experiences.

Sun Princess will sail an inaugural spring/summer season of Mediterranean cruises from February 2024.

And then Western and Eastern Caribbean voyages out of Port Everglades, Florida in autumn 2024.

So let’s take you inside the palatial ship.

Where the Piazza is the centre-point, spanning three storeys with oceanside views.

An LED screen is also showcased in the centre of the Piazza that can be moved and configured to deliver live entertainment programming.

Oh, did we say there are 29 (count them) bar and dining experiences?

Dome from home

Toast of the seas: Princess

The other stand-out structure onboard Sun Princess is The Dome which is inspired by the terraces of Santorini.

The first glass-enclosed Dome on a cruise ship, here’s a multi-level covered deck.

It features an indoor/outdoor pool, and a unique water feature in a comfortable and relaxed space.

At night, the pool becomes a stage, and The Dome transforms into an entertainment venue with a South Beach vibe.

Shweet suites

Lie back and think of… Princess Cruises

And more on the numbers… it has 2,157 total staterooms, including 50 suites and 100 connecting rooms.

The 21-deck Sun Princess features more outdoor balcony space and all balcony accommodations feature an in-room sofa.

Also launching exclusively on Sun Princess will be a new level of suite accommodations, the exclusive Signature Collection.

Club Class accommodations and all other ships, will now be called Reserve Collection, the best-located mini suite staterooms.

Within the Reserve Collection will be Reserve Collection Cabana rooms, resort-style staterooms that offer a balcony.

And private cabana, an extra-large outdoor lounge space.

These premium accommodations also include access to the Reserve Collection Restaurant.

Trips of a lifetime

Badge of honour: Medallion Man

The inaugural season begins in February 2024 with Mediterranean itineraries. The ship’s first three voyages went on sale at 00:01 on Friday, September 16.

Fares start from €2,075pp for a 10-night Grand Mediterranean voyage, departing 28 February 2024.

 

 

 

 

 

Asia, Countries

Mauritius Treasure Ombre Ombre

It’s what every family needs now to get through the winter, a cache of hidden goodies and here’s where to find it…Mauritius Treasure Ombre Ombre.

Probably not the clarion call used by the pirate La Buse whose horde you will be hunting, but go with us here.

To the Bon Ombre region in the south-west of Mauritius.

La Buse would know his way around the Bel Ombre region he once plundered.

And this Bandanaman who could be a member of his pirate crew.

Pirate games

Ahoy there: La Buse

La Buse (Buzzard) was thus named for his speed of thought.

The story goes that he hid one of the biggest treasures in pirate history 300 years ago, estimated at over £1 billion.

And left behind a cryptogram behind with clues to its whereabouts.

Ombre offer families the chance to unearth the treasure.

The adventure starts with a riddle left with his jailer: “My treasure goes to whoever can find it” and follows with some clues.

Hat’s the boy: Bandanaman

Participants follow in his footsteps and roam the four corners of the Bel Ombre region, by car and on foot, in search of his colossal fortune.

Players will have to be observant and inventive to be the first to find the sacred treasure.

And it is reasonably priced at Rs 2250 for adult and child.

A hole lot of fun

Water marvel: Mauritius

 

Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is a staple of the adventurous Irish traveller and fave American cousins.

And the Mauritians are the kind of family-friendly people who will make your clan feel right at home.

Now we’re always tempted to get sporty wherever we go, following the maxim, go where the locals play and pray.

In nearby islands, the Maldives that means football and cricket with the Sri Lankan staff.

While in Mauritius it’s golf but with a twist… Kazino Golf where there are prizes on every one of the nine holes of the course.

Food for thought: The restaurant

And where the holes are bigger so even duffers like me can sink some putts.

It’s worth taking this fun seriously, of course, as the prices include complimentary nights at Heritage Resorts’ hotels.

While there’s also lunch at Le Chateau de Bel Ombre, a cocktail at C Beach Club and complimentary green fees up for grabs.

Priced at adults Rs 2500, children Rs 1250

Meet the locals

Snap the pigeon: The Pink Pigeon

You want to get out and meet more of the locals… then they are aplenty.

The wild deer, pigs, monkeys, fruit bats and birds such as the rare echo parakeet and pink pigeon.

There is an opportunity too to swim in a tropical river basin.

And enjoy traditional Mauritian games and listen to the guide’s stories around a campfires.

And savour a picnic of typical Mauritian dishes. Price : Adult – Rs3200 Children (5-12 yrs.) – Rs 2000.

OK, so to stay, it’s all going to cost you about the price of heating your house for a weekend this winter.

It’s a deal

Hole lot of fun: Mauritius

Stay at Heritage Le Telfair: Prices start from £347.00 per night in a deluxe seaview suite including breakfast.

Based on two adults and two children under 12 sharing the suite in January 2023.

All of which you’ll be able to pay out from your scavenge with Mauritius Treasure Ombre Ombre.