December 16, 2016

Hiking from Ganga Talao to Baie du Cap (Bel Ombre Trail) - Part 3

Bel Ombre trailhead at Plaine Champagne
Starts at 716 meters / 2350 feet above sea level. Ends at sea level.

The Bel Ombre trailhead is on the left side shortly after Plaine Champagne Police Post (going from Petrin to Chamarel

After a couple of bends the landscape opens up and this is WOW! 
View to the South coast.

Cocotte mountain  (771 metres / 2529.5 feet)

Scenery along the trail

6 km (3.7 miles) done, 8 km (4.9 miles to go)! 
Still a long way to go....

The trail is mainly a 4WD track, easy walking.

Savanne mountain range

View towards Bel Ombre and the South coast

The first gate that has to be open and closed
Entrance to Black River Gorges National Park (from Bel Ombre).

We had a rest next to the gate and discovered some stags grazing (one of them next to the tree)

Just after the second gate (gate was open) there's a stone on the right side that points to Bon Courage

Being on totally unknown territory, it was on a Sunday and no one to ask for direction, we were not sure either to walk towards Bon Courage or follow our intuition; straight ahead towards the sea. 

View towards Black River Gorges National Park

We decided to head towards the sea. 
Roads inside sugarcane fields go in all direction and it is easy to get lost if one doesn't have a sense of direction. Luckily the sugarcane were harvested! Great views in all directions. 

Pineapple field along the trail

After 45 min walk (from second gate) on sugarcane field trails, we have reached civilisation; Bel Ombre coastal road! 

Bel Ombre public beach

Kids playing at the beach in late afternoon sun

Dogs having fun at the beach too! 

Cutest, and one of the smallest post offices on the island; Baie du Cap Post Office

Baie du Cap 

Baie du Cap
Waiting for the BDCap - QB bus

A great hike on unknown (to us) trails. 
Starting point: Ganga Talao @08:40
Baie du Cap @16:30

December 14, 2016

Hiking from Ganga Talao to Baie du Cap (Bel Ombre Trail) - Part 2

...continues from part 1...

We had a short stop at Petrin / Visitor Centre
At this point we had not yet decided to do the Bel Ombre trail and wanted to confirm from the Visitor Centre IF permission from Bel Ombre Sugar Estate is required. The last part of the trail goes through their property (sugarcane fields). We were informed no permission is required, but there is one gate that has to be opened and closed.

While hubby inquired about the permission, I took a stroll behind the Visitor Centre to have a closer look at the endangered Pink Pigeon 

Beautiful, isn't it?!

Some meters after Petrin Visitor Centre is the trail sign to 'Les Mares Roundabout'

It was here we decided to skip the 'usual' Mare Longue hike for the more adventurous new (to us) trail. 

This trail does not have any signs. There are a couple of left forks on the way, that we believe ends up near Alexandra Falls/main road. We met 3 guys who told us the trail ends up at the main road, but didn't tell us where on the main road.

We kept to the right and after 1 hour's walk, we reached the top of a waterfall. No idea which waterfall this is...?

After walking on this trail for some time, we were sure it ends up at the main road near Plaine Champagne Police Post and landmark; the masts.

The trail narrowed, and we continued...

Lush vegetation, but dry....


Crossing an almost dry river

After about 2 hours hike (from Petrin) in the wilderness, we ended up at the main road near Plaine Champagne Police Post 

Cocotte mountain (771 metres / 2529.5 feet) in the distance.
We are close to Plaine Champagne Police Post 

....continues part 3....

December 13, 2016

Hiking from Ganga Talao to Baie du Cap (Bel Ombre Trail) - Part 1

A couple of weeks ago the idea was to hike from Ganga Talao (Grand Bassin) to Henrietta via Mare Longue. This is a hike we have done many times and even if we both love that area, it is always nice to explore unknown (to us) trails in the Black River Gorges National Park.
For years we have wanted to do the Bel Ombre trail and now we finally made it!
Our starting point is Ganga Talao (bus from Curepipe) via Les Mares and Plaine Champagne to the Bel Ombre trail head.

Our starting point; 
Ganga Talao

Ganga Talao, also known as Grand Bassin (550 moh / 1800 feet above sea level), is considered the most sacred place among Hindus in Mauritius. It is situated in the mountains at the district of Savanne

Early morning prayers and offerings

One of the temples at Ganga Talao

Devotee in front of Lord Ganesha

Statue of Lord Shiva (32.9 m / 108 feet)

Statue of Goddess Durga under construction

Lots of small and big fishes in the lake. Didn't see the big eel this time.... 

We spent some time at Ganga Talao before we started on the endless stretch of the 2.4 km / 1.5 miles road up to Petrin / Black River Gorges