03.01.21 Hi everyone! This group gave me so much information and help that it deserved something in return, and this is my own hands-on experience about my quarantine, happening since yesterday at Sealife Resort, 3* hotel in Calodyne. Hope you like it!
After a strange New Year’s celebration in Madrid, I’m supposed to leave for Mauritius on the 1st of January 2021. It’s always difficult to leave the family, but especially in these complicated times, in a country like Spain, deeply hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The check-in process in Madrid goes smoothly: PCR results, check; hotel reservation, check, and off we go. Madrid Barajas airport reminds me of a ghost airport, something that might have seen in one of those apocalyptic movies where the entire world is about to disappear. Boarding is quick since less than one-third of the seats are occupied, and the flight goes like a breeze, enjoying typical outstanding service by the Emirates crew. After landing in Dubai, I have 8:55 hours to spend until the next flight to Mauritius, eating, sleeping and shopping, in that order. While queuing up before boarding, I notice the lack of social distancing, which will be the norm for the entire trip. The six-hours flight to Mauritius also goes smoothly, although the flight is a bit more packed than the first leg.
And then the party gets started. Cosmonauts or the Ghostbusters are awaiting us. Everyone at the airport is wearing full PPEs, it creates an eerie atmosphere. Immigration takes a bit longer than usual to check all documents: passport, occupation permit, forms, hotel reservation, etc. Then health check, quicker this time, and PCR test. Only one nasal swab, not particularly comfortable, but not more painful than the one I had in Spain prior to the trip. Once downstairs, luggage is already waiting to be picked up from the conveyor, and right afterwards people are outside pointing us to the right exit gate based on the chosen hotel. In my case, it’s the Sealife Resort in Calodyne.
What can I say that has not yet been expressed in this forum? Once we leave the terminal, we drop the luggage at the truck and head to the bus. Yes, as usual, we have to wait almost two hours in a packed bus with no air-con for all the passengers to be cleared. I guess that’s the new normal. Once all passengers are on board, we’re all set and escorted by the police. We depart for Calodyne. After a long drive, once we’re literally 200 meters away from the hotel, the bus stops. Apparently, we can’t get through because the road, or the parking, or God knows what is too small, or narrow, and we have to wait. A van arrives and they take the first batch of 10 passengers to the hotel. Ten minutes later, another van shows up and takes the rest of us.
Finally, we make it to the hotel. Luggage is dropped in front of the entrance and we have to identify our bags while queuing up for check-in. A bit unorganised, but it goes more smoothly than I thought. It’s 21:10 and I make it to the room. Not to forget that flight landed at 15:30.
Room is nothing luxurious (it’s a 3* hotel), but quite nice and very spacious. With a pleasant terrace and sea view, can’t complain. Ah yes, and we, or at least I am starving. Dinner is served, but a bit – or very – disappointing. Even for a 3* hotel, half takeaway of pasta with tomato sauce and one slice of olive is definitely sad, very sad. But I’m sure they can improve! That’s all for Days 0 and 1. Update coming shortly. Contributor Nacho Sandoval