Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Going South...

The Southern hemisphere is approaching "winter". Well, it can't be compared to real winter with snow and all that, but the days are cooler and shorter.
Coming from a country where winter means snow and below zero degrees, I can't help it but smile when Mauritians wear leather jackets when the temperature shows +20-25C (68-77F). Living here for 7 years now, I know how nasty and chilli rainy & humid days are during the Mauritian "winter"... I'll talk more about chilly days later on... Now over to what we did yesterday...
Cooler days mean I've started living again - not only excisting, which is how I feel it during the hot & humid summer. To start living again, mean walks! Not that we are crazy about walking, we just like to get away and out in the nature at times.
Yesterday was our first, long trip out - we took the bus to Le Morne and walked it up to Baie du Cap - the Southern part of the island - a distance of approx 12 km/8 miles.

Le Morne public beach - deserted on a Monday morning.

Le Morne Brabant - since 2008 on Unesco's World Heritage List.
The cliffs are said to be unscaleable, but, in the early 19th century, escaped slaves managed to hide out on top. The story says that the slaves, ignorant of the fact that slavery had been abolished, panicked when they saw a troop of soldiers making their way up the cliff one day. Believing they were to be recaptured, the slaves flung themselves from the cliff tops. Thus the name; Le Morne - the 'mournful' one...

When I first visited in 1998, there were not more than a few hotels at Le Morne peninsula. During the last few years, 'star' hotels have popped up along the beautiful beaches. Some years ago there were possible to walk along the coastline (beaches) from the public beach to the main road near Le Morne village. Sadly - those days are gone! I say 'sadly', because even if I know tourism is needed for the country, the very sad part of it is that the island is shrinking for the locals - due to tourism/hotels that take up beautiful, earlier untouched nature!
Since we know this area by taking walks here several times (not since 3 years ago), we were a bit worried we were not allowed to cross over to the village. We asked some locals, who explained the road we had to take - but not along the beach - not allowed! :(
The above photo shows plants outside one of the 'star' hotels.

Erosion - a problem here...
'Fortunate' - to our joy, part of the peninsula's coast line is still untouched. From where the last hotel is built, we took the path going to the village. The old forest - lots of old trees - on both side of the path, but erosion has taken over here too.

Le Morne Brabant seen from the fishing village Le Morne.

Small 'tabagie' at Le Morne village, selling fried bread, fried aubergines, sweet pancakes, gateau banan etc.

La Prairie - resting under a huge tree. Difficult to realize there's nothing - except the sea - between here and the Antartic!
The white 'foam' in the distance, is waves hitting the reef. You can hear the rumble from the reefs, where we sat.

La Prairie.

Amazing colors; the sea, sand and sky.... and the reef.

I didn't get the chance to take any photos from Baie du Cap - my camera died - batteries. The batteries are old and don't last long nowdays.
Baie du Cap is another small fishing village. (I googled for some photos, but didn't find any...) We were quite exhausted when we reached the bus stand in Baie du Cap, so it was good having a seat in the bus - if the seats had been more comfortable! We ended up in the school rush over, the bus was packed and the trip took 2 hours! In spite of that, we got some rest before another 1 km walk to reach home.

It was a great walk, even if we feel the 'aftermath' today - lol!


Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Hello Astrid...loved this post...especially when the locals put on their coats at 25c LOL!!!

karenfae said...

it sure sounds like you had a wonderful day!! I love the temperatures when it is 68 to 72 - humidity tires me out though. Loved your photo's

Notjustnat said...

Hi Astrid, what great photos you put on for us, thank you! I hate humid weather so I can understand how you feel. I love it here at the moment. Cool morning with blue sky when it's not raining. Love your beaches and hills - thanks for sharing - Hugg Nat

Dirt Lover said...

Oh, Astrid! What a beautiful place you live in. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Sharon said...

Hi Astrid, love your photos! I pretty much did the same trip as you 2 weekends ago...except I didn't have your courage to walk lol. I was shocked to see how small the public areas became in the southern/south western region too. For the sake of tourism alas:(