At 500m, CUREPIPE is the island’s highest town and receives over 3m of rain per year – it was described as “the wettest and rainiest place in the world” to Mark Twain in the 1900s. Thankfully, most of the town’s attractions are indoors, but it’s wise to carry an umbrella. Attractive colonial buildings include the town hall, Curimjee arcade and St Thérèse church, and in the suburb of Forest Side, on the outskirts, the pretty turquoise-shuttered colonial mansion, Domaine des Aubineaux, the first stop on the Tea Route. The other main reasons to come here are to shop and take the view from the natural crater of Trou aux Cerfs.

The romantic story behind Curepipe’s name is that it derives from “pipe cleaner”; it is said that the town was the spot where soldiers travelling from Port Louis would refill their pipes. Another theory is that the name comes from an eighteenth-century landowner’s native village in southwest France. Whatever the truth, with 65,000 residents, it is now one of the largest towns on the island.

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