July 7, 2011

Hiking from Ferney to Devil's Point - Part 2

Mauritius has an amazing beauty; it can't be explained - it has to be experienced.
We experienced it - again - during this hike. (You can read part 1 here.)
After a break at 'Pavillon du Grand Port', we continued walking northeastwards, following the coastal road. And indeed, this is a real 'coastal road', because you are very next to the sea!

The first coastal village after Vieux Grand Port, is idyllic Bois des Amourettes, which means 'Young Lover's Forest'. Legends says that French soldiers used to duel over the girls they met here - it can easily be imagined! :) Swords have been found in the vicinity of the cave and rock known as Salle d'Armes down on the sea's edge.

Bois des Amourettes, tucked between the sea and Lion Mountain, which is part of the Montagne Bambous (Bambous Mountain Range) / Grand Port Range.

The approx 190 meters / 623 feet (?) jetty links the village even more to the sea. The jetty was built during the Dutch period. 

From the jetty, you can spot the islands; Ile aux Fouquets ** (Shear water Island) is today home to many sea birds, but from 1694-1696 the first French colonists were imprisoned here by the Dutch. It has an inactive lighthouse, built in 1865. Other islands are Ile de la Passe with its ruined fortifications, Ile Vacoas.
**Click on the link and scroll down to the last photo.
By clicking on the photo below, you can spot the islands and the lighthouse.

What to do in a sleeping fishing village....
than to fish....

...and more fishing...

I have heard about some fuel tanks, and I believe this is one of them... (it is said to be 7 - or is it 9? We didn't go off the road to have a better look, we saw only these) in the tiny village Providence. It was the largest fuel depot  in the Indian Ocean, used to refuel the British Naval ships operating thereabouts during WW2.

Here's another one...

A tiny Hindu temple in Providence. It shows the Hindu God Kali. Do you spot the 'white' in the distance? That's the coral reef...

In Bambous Virieux we saw this 'dead' pirogue.

Some villages on the southeastern coast are known for growing onions. Onions as long as you can see.... well, not in the distance, that's sugar canes..

The sugarcane harvest has started. I'm not sure if you can spot them, there are a couple of workers cutting the canes. Not all sugarcane growers can afford expensive machines for the harvesting, instead they hire many workers who usually work half day, from early morning... It's not an easy job, and during the harvesting I believe many workers work more than half the day...

You may wonder what the heck is 'Devil's Point' or 'Pointe du Diable'?! It is not much to write home about these day - I think... It has a roadside parking where you can breathe some fresh air from the sea and view the sea and a few small islands... We reached Devil's Point in the early afternoon and by then there were some drunk guys there... Has this historical place turned out to be 'drinkers paradise.?!

It has its history. It is a National Monument. There are ruins of French batteries and the two cannons date back to 1750-80. The cannons were used to guard the two wide gaps in the reef; the North- and Danish Passages.
You may also wonder where's the devil in the history?! It is said the devil was responsible for upsetting the magnetic compasses of ships passing the headland...
And do you know.... the nearest neighbor to the East - is Australia, near the '8 Mile Beach', North of Perth!

We reached 'Devil's Point' at around 15:30 pm and caught a bus back to Mahebourg. There we had to change bus... We had to wait approx 20 min for the bus and that was a 'snail-bus'! It stopped on all bus stops and even in between, went an extra trip to the airport and in to another tiny village - phew! After a tiresome bus ride, we finally put the key in our door at around 18:00, after another 30 minutes walk.
We were dead tired, but what to expect after approx 14 km / 22.5 miles walk?! It was a wonderful hike and there are so much to see, observe and view, places we never get to see when we're going by car or by bus. On shank's mare - is that how you say it in the US? - is the best way to see places!
I fell deeply in love with the charming 'Bois des Amourettes'! Such an idyllic coastal village!
As you can see of the photos, we had such a wonderful weather; blue sky and approx +27C / 80F - just so perfect! It couldn't have been more perfect!
We plan to continue our hike from Devil's Point further northeastwards. There are still some coastal villages to explore...
I'll keep you posted! :)


karenfae said...

wow you take such long hikes! I wish I could still do that - now I am lucky to do 3 miles before my knees and hips protest.

Elzaan said...

Lovely photos and good job on the research and history. Maybe you should start writing a book about all your hikes and infor you gather.

solveig said...

Interessant å lese frå ein del av verda eg må innrømme eg veit lite om, sjølv om bror min og svigerinna mi reiste dit og gifta seg! Lurte på kva temperaturen er sånn på det jamne? (Hm... typisk norsk?)