CHARLOTTE KEURIS

While some may struggle to ride a bicycle without training wheels, former Tuks student, Christo Coetzer, became the first person to circumnavigate Mauritius on a unicycle in January 2010.  The “magic man”, as he was referred to by the local children of Mauritius, started his journey on 19 December 2009 at the Le Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis.

His trip consisted of nine riding days in which he cycled approximately 35km daily. During the trip he had designated stops in various villages where reception parties were often held for him. After completing each day of cycling, Coetzer was treated to lunch, unique Mauritian activities and even spa treatments. Coetzer’s trip was referred to as the “Tour de Maurice le Monocycle” by the Mauritian people and was well supported by them.

On his trip he was accompanied by the former Miss Mauritius, Olivia Carrey, as well as many Mauritian cycling legends.While Coetzer met wonderful locals during his trip, he was also fortunate enough to meet prominent people from the sporting world. Coetzer met the coach of tennis stars Roger Federer and Marat Safin, Peter Lundgren. Coetzer also met Roger Chapman, who is currently ranked 12th on the European Order of Merit on the Senior PGA tour.

After Coetzer completed his trip he was appointed as an official ambassador for Mauritius and Mauritian cycling. Before returning to South Africa, Coetzer also visited most of the inland municipalities were he met the mayors of the respective villages. By becoming the first person to climb to the highest point on the island, Chamarel Mountain, Coetzer even became the father of the official Chamarel Challenge.

This was his eleventh trip to Mauritius and his journey gave him further opportunities to interact with the locals. His multiple trips have also given him a very good idea of the local Mauritian life and cuisine. Coetzer’s adventure was well documented and he will be releasing a book and DVD soon. This will allow readers and viewers to relive the journey and to see Mauritius through Coetzer’s eyes.

The Mauritian Tourism Promotion Authority sponsored Coetzer’s Mauritian Adventure as part of their 2009/2010 Cycle Tourism campaign.

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