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Beyond the Pail

The story of a Bunning’s bucket and it’s epic adventure across the Indian Ocean from Perth to Mauritius.

Hi I’m Richard! Together with my partner Hyacinth I have been on an epic journey from Bunnings Mindarie to Grand Baie Mauritius. This is the story of our travels and our adventures along the way. Have a game of "Where's Richard" and see if you can spot me in all the photos!

We set off from Geraldton at 5:30am on 11 May 2023. Unfortunately, Hyacinth was lost overboard early on in the trip so I was double tied on as I was critical for the crew being their only toilet! Balancing on me in rough seas whilst wearing wet weather gear was precarious for the crew and they nicknamed me the "stunt bucket"! You can see me lashed to the back of the boat in these photos and I also appeared on the TV on interviews with 7 News, 9 News and Sky News.

When I arrived in Mauritius, I wanted to do a tour of the beautiful island and visit all the amazing places I had heard about. I drew up a list… a bucket list!

After 69 days at sea, the crew and I arrived safely in Mauritius. It was the fastest crossing from Geraldton to Grand Baie, but fell just short of the World Record, which is based on average speed. Here's the crew and I just after our arrival. I like it here. I think I will stay.

Dominique and Allan took me for a terrific plane ride over the island. Here we are flying over Grand Baie. The Yacht Club is leftmost in the photo.

Here is Cap Malhereux from the shore looking out towards Gunner’s Quoin. Much flatter today than when we came through the Witch’s Cauldron on Goldie. Funny story: Chris had called the Coastguard out so they could provide assistance promptly if the rudder were to break again. Given the very rough conditions this was a real possibility and with the strong currents losing steering would have put the crew in danger, especially given the reefs and rocks. The first view the coastguard had of us was when Goldie rose up on a big wave and Allan was sat on me – I’m surprised they stayed around!

Cap Malhereux is famous for the Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice Church also known as the red-roofed church. It was beautiful inside and the red roof matched my logo!

After the hustle and bustle of Grand Baie it was nice to get some peace and quiet exploring the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, or Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden. I had to see the giant water lilies which are more than 1m in diameter – I reckon they could take my weight!

Not far from the gardens was the L’Aventure du Sucre sugar museum which is in an old sugar mill. Some informative & interesting displays and the opportunity to do sugar and rum tasting. I could have spent much longer here!

My next day out was down south where I visited the Bois Cheri Tea Factory and Tea Museum. I liked the tea-bagging machine! Also got to try all the teas in a lovely restaurant overlooking part of the tea plantation and a lake.

There is only one word to describe the view from the Gorges Viewpoint in the Black River Gorges National Park; “gorgeous”! Luckily the clouds lifted just as we arrived, and we got to see the view down the valley. Has to be one of the best views on the island.

Next stop was Chamarel Waterfall the highest in Mauritius at approx. 100m high. More than 60,000 buckets/second flow over the falls at their peak!

Close by to the falls is the Seven Coloured Earths. The seven colours are red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. Brown is my favourite colour!

After all that exploring a trip to the Rhumerie de Chamarel rum distillery was in order. We were able to see the sugar cane being crushed and the still where the fermented juice was distilled. Also got to taste more than 10 rums! Needed to sober up after that so went for a delicious meal at the restaurant. The tour of the distillery is free if you eat there.

On my next day trip out I visited the capital, Port Louis. The fruit & veg markets had a huge array of fresh produce. Lots of root vegetables on this stall!

The modern waterfront shopping precinct was a complete contrast to the markets and had some great shops and restaurants.

Our final few days were spent at the Sands Resort in Flic en Flac. i t was paradise. The view of the bay from the sun loungers overlooking the infinity pool was stunning.

The view over Tamarin Bay from the beach at the Sands Bay Resort was beautiful.

The view from the top of Black Rock in Tamarin was amazing. It was a hard walk up and we were grateful for the ropes in some of the really steep sections, but the effort was worth it.

I didn’t think I would want to get on a boat again, but sailing on a catamaran around Tamarin Bay and out to the northern islands was a completely different experience with flat seas and passengers kept supplied with beer and a lovely BBQ. Some great snorkelling too!

My last night out was a beach BBQ with Louis’ the Grand Baie Yacht Club manager. It was amazing. He stir-fried fresh venison and served it in French bread – I’m told it was delicious!

So that’s the end of my travels around Mauritius and I can settle down in the beautiful Grand Baie where I hope to enjoy many more sunsets like this! I only wish Hyacinth was here to keep me company!

Postscript: We hope you found Richard's tour of Mauritius a fun way of seeing what a beautiful place the island is. The people were lovely and the food was amazing, especially the French bread and pastries.

We also send a postcard to the Bunning's Marketing Director, James Todd. The crew spent a lot of money at Bunnings Mindarie equipping and fitting out Goldie and after all the free publicity that Bunnings got on the news, etc courtesy of Richard we are hoping they will consider making a corporate donation.

Peter and Richard!

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