Monday, October 4, 2010

Strenuous hike in Black River Gorges

Black River Gorges National Park  covers an area of 6,574 ha and protects a phenomenal concentration of gravely endangered flora and fauna. This area is a must for nature enthusiasts. There are several trails covering some 50 km (31 miles).
For more information, click here.

Some months ago we agreed with Elzaan to do a hike in the Gorges, but due to business  and other appointments we finally decided to do the hike Saturday.
We did the Petrin - Grand Riviere Noire trail.
Meteo predicted rain on the plateau during the weekend, and even if it was raining at Petrin in the morning, we set out for the hike. We had in mind if it didn't become better, there's no defeat to return home - which had been a pity though.

The road from Petrin to the picnic kiosk.

Gorgeous ferns growing on the roadside.

Part of the Gorges.

We started out from Petrin, and after 4 km/2.5 miles we reached the picnic kiosk and viewpoint. Thanks to the weather Gods - not meteo! - the sky cleared up and we had such nice weather the rest of the hike.We had lunch at the picnic kiosk before we continued.

Stunning view to the west coast; Grande Riviere Noire, Tamarin and Tourelle du Tamarin
(548m/1797 feet).

This point is about 600-650 meters / approx 2000 feet above sea level.

This part of the trail has lots of roots which were very slippery after some days of rain, almost dangerous to walk it downhill, but we did manage by holding trees and branches on the sides of the trail - just like a bunch of monkeys - lol! 

Finally on safer ground - the 4WD track, with the stunning view to the west.

Riviere Noire (Black River), at the base of the Gorges.

We could have crossed the river here, continued to an information center and further on to the coastal road and Grande Riviere Noire, but we didn't. We had a rest here before we had to return another 6 km/3.7 miles to Petrin - were we had parked the car.
It is said to be hard walking downhill, but doing first downhill and then uphill; it kills!!!
I won't say it was an easy walk uphill. GOSH I was out of breath (not fully recovered from the cold) and my thighs were already shaky and hardly moved even before we reached the steepest part - lol.

I compare climbing this part of the trail to climbing a ladder! That is how steep it actually is! I don't know if this photo gives a good impression of how steep it is... Hubby was so kind and thoughtful to cut walking sticks for us, which was needed for this steep and slippery climb.

The last meters before the picnic kiosk and the end of the climbing. My legs hardly moved the last meters - lol! :)) From here we still had 4 km/2.5 miles to starting point; Petrin.

Gorgeous flowers in the Gorges.

On our hike, we saw some birds; the Mauritius kestrel, some Parakeets and the more common ones; Red Whiskered Bulbul - called "conde" by Mauritians, Grey White Eye, and the majestic glider Paille-en-queue.
I think, the "highlight" of what some of us spotted, were two baby wild boars! They had hidden under a pile of dry branches and escaped when we came too near. They were so cute, these small babies! (Too small for BBQ though!! lol) Perhaps it was good we didn't meet their mom; they can be quite aggressive - I've heard....

We all were very quiet the last kilometers/miles to the car; sign of exhaustion! Hubby and I have done this hike from Petrin to Grande Riviere Noire, as well as the reverse hike 2-3 times, but never from Petrin and then returned to Petrin. It is a very strenuous hike (allow 6-7 hours return) - I don't think I overdo by saying; the "worst" hike on the island! :)) But it is worth the numbed legs, sweat, exhaustion, the day after muscle pain etc. I'll refer to Elzaan; "wonderful tiredness"... It's so true! Our muscles are darn sore today, it's hard to walk the stair etc.
After a couple of days the soreness and tiredness are gone, and we are left with the wonderful memories of the hike; away from pollution and noise, the stunning nature, lush vegetation, tranquility and solitude, fresh air, and not the least; hiking together with Elzaan and Allan!
Thanks to both of you for joining us on this strenuous and devilishly slippery (part of it), but wonderful hike!
A wonderful day in the Gorges!


Huisvlyt said...

One of the memorable events that I will always remember about Mauritius - hiking with my friends.
It was a wonderful day - thanks for inviting us.
Hope your muscles will ease out during the day.

Sharon said...

Oh my gosh, you did it in reverse too! ooohh the aftermath pains. I like how you call it wonderful tiredness:)

Astrid, I know this post isn't about fabrics and quilting, but I meant to ask, could you please share some links of where you buy your fabulous fabrics online? thanks

Notjustnat said...

You did well. I was thinking reading at the beginning that you are so energetic and strong to make the hike. The view look gorgeous. Thanks for sharing with us. I enjoy reading it - Hugs Nat

Anonymous said...

Fantastisk aa reise paa tur med deg! Flott natur og flotte bilder. Hilsen Otlo

karenfae said...

that looks like a wonderful trail to take. I don't think I can do such a long one anymore although with the high altitudes that we hike at when we are in the Rocky Mts. of the US west it probably seems like the same. Your photos are so pretty.

PJs Lapperier. said...

Tack för denna härliga vandring!

Kjerstis løse tråder said...

Så vakkert det er hos deg:)

Michelle said...

Such beautiful scenery!

Fleurette said...

Lovely photos, I love the giant fern!

Joanne said...

Absolutely beautiful scenery! It looks like a very strenuous and invigorating hike!! How wonderful that you can all 3 share it together. A blessing.... Joanne