Friday, 18 September 2009

Port Louis' famous Central Market

My blog is all over the place at the moment .... one minute about Mauritius, the next about monkeys on Batam.... and now?

Back to Mauritius again!

... and this is the day we visited the market..... Port Louis' rightly famous Central Market , the centre of the local economy since Victorian times, was cleaned up considerably in a 2004 renovation. Some people say that it's lost much of its dirty charm and atmosphere (you're far less likely to see rats, although it's still quite possible!), but it's still a good place to get a feel for the everyday life of many locals, watch the hawkers at work and buy some souvenirs. Most authentic are the wonderful fruit and vegetable sections (including herbal medicines and aphrodisiacs) and the meat, fish and seafood market.

and you'll never see so many tomatoes in the same place...

The diversity of the Mauritian population is never more obvious than during a visit to the lively, bustling and colourful Central Market, accessed from Farquhar Street, near the harbour in Port Louis.

When you enter take note of the ironwork on the gates, erected in 1844, dedicated to Queen Victoria. Inside the market is a whirl of Muslim traders, swarthy Indian touts, Chinese and Creoles, all demanding attention as they offer their wares. It is advisable to visit the market early, before the heat of the day descends (it opens at 6am every day including Sundays), and be prepared to have your senses assailed with a variety of odours from the fruit, herbs, spices, potions and lotions and various other goods offered for sale.

I found it fascinating, but John just wanted to be out in the fresh air well away from the market, the odours and the many crowds of people!

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