My First Post and My First 16 km
The end of the year festivities are behind us now. Today we had an extra holiday. An ultimate rest for some, another day at the seaside for others. And yet another moment for quite a few to wrap up with what still remains in the bottle for a final booze.
I chose to start my routine hike with a 16-km-walk from Port Mathurin to Rivière Bananes through Anse aux Anglais, Grand Bay and Baladirou – much needed to stretch my legs for the trail expected to resume beginning February. I was pleased to see the path along Baladirou coast cleared of overgrowth and well demarcated by arrangement of pebbles. But beware when you are on the rocky and pebbly side of the beach. I noticed a couple of huge detached rocks, sign of a rockslide probably due to the abundant rainfall during Christmas. A herd of cattle enjoying the shade gives an idea of the extreme warmth at that hour of the day. It was 11.00 am and the sun was dazzling.
Covid-19 and activities at a halt
2021 was quite hectic with covid and its variants looming. Mauritius recorded an outstanding number of deaths linked to the virus. Result: an out-of-breath management system, interruption of educational activities, sanitary restrictions impacting on economic activity amid alleged procurement scheming.
Air link with Rodrigues is still suspended since March last year, except for some repatriation flights. A first resumption in July was postponed to October, then November. It is now scheduled for 8 January if we rely on the information on Air Mauritius website.
But 2021 also witnessed countless number of unprecedented demonstrations despite sanitary restrictions. Several thousands of people rallied to air their frustration and disagreement on certain government policies and decisions, laws with specific targets regarded as repressive and threatening the very basis of a democratic rule, and a permeating climate of uncertainty.
With the traditional good wishes at the close of the end of the year, although we may tend to be optimistic, we have every reason to stay on our guards with drifting purchasing power and an economic, political and social outlook that does not signal a clear sky. It may be wise to identify our priorities and schedule them in a manner that will potentially contribute in making all the difference between success and failure.
Let’s hope 2022 will bring a sensible decline in covid activity with the resumption of normal life.
Mauritian residing in Rodrigues, Amanoola Khayrattee (pen name Alfa King) is contributing writer and journalist to La Gazette Mag de l’océan indien and This Week News Mauritius.
Retired, former meteorological cadre, trade unionist and OSH consultant, Amanoola has written for in-house union and other journals, publications and magazines. He runs two blogs since 2007: “Alfa King Memories”, and “Le Journal d’Alfa King”. When he is not reading or writing, he is on a 10+ km daily hike in anticipation of his monthly trails.
Amanoola may be reached at [email protected].