Hiking North East Mauritius – Roches Noires Caves, Bras d’eau forest till Poste Lafayette beach – Pat Loisirs
June 24, 2014
Level 1 hike. Not tough, easy go for amateurs.
Track we did was around 10Km.
We started at the village of Rivière du Rempart — Old Railway Track — Caves of Roches Noires — Mauritius Radio Telescope — Mango Orchard — Bras D’eau Visitor’s Centre — Bras D’eau Trail — and ended at Poste La Fayette beach.
Climbing through the caves of Mauritius left by volcanic activity is like witnessing the foundation and construction of Mauritius. It does look a bit like concrete bays without the proper lighting.
We start the day from Grand Baie and meet up with the hikers group of the club Pat Loisirs in the centre of Riviere du Rempart. On a Sunday morning it is quite busy there. If you are looking for a parking, town centre might not be ideal – you might also consider parking a bit more before at the town entrance if coming from Roches Noires. Our meeting point is set at the Shell filling station. The road that will be our starting point also goes past by that filling station. We parked the car a bit more further away just before that narrow bridge which you can cross and that leads directly to the caves. The people there are friendly and we asked them if we can park close to their property which they approved.
We wait for a few minutes at the agreed meeting spot and here we see the huge group of +100 hikers arrive. Here we go now to see the CAVES!
Everyone is motivated and with great momentum the big group moves on rapidly. We pass the narrow bridge which starts right away with a stunning view over the river and a trail begins. The trail of good health. See my video which I have embedded in this blog post.
We all stop for a briefing. There are several options. To either see 6 caves, 2 caves or none. I go for the 6 caves. It was made clear in advance that if you are claustrophobic to avoid going in there. Most caves however were spacious and a few were indeed narrow and since our group was big at some spots we had to wait for a while until we can all pass. This was absolutely fine but if you are claustrophobic this would not be your cup of tea. Also in the beginning the first 2 caves are not so huge that we did so that you quickly saw daylight again which is reassuring.
You shouldn’t attempt hiking those caves on your own without a guide. When I think back of the moment when I was in the caves it’s really a great memory to have. Those caves are really amazing! Am sure there aren’t many Mauritians that know about the beauty of these caves. I really hope that these will still be around for long and not be destroyed by concrete developments. It was also sad to see that close to some caves there was a lot of rubbish!
For this hike it was the caves that was the highlight. Afterwards we walked through the village into Bras d’eau. The village was very Mauritian like and with lots of tropical vegetation and laid back. I liked it there. The walk through the forest was also very pleasant. It was mainly flat. We also made a stop at the Bras d’Eau visitors centre and then finished the hike at Poste Lafayette.
Hiking with Pat Loisirs is always fun. There were many new faces and some that I had met and spoken to in a previous hike from Benares till Gris Gris. It was great chatting with them and also getting to know new people. The group is mixed with people of all ages. Hikes mentioned by Pat Loisirs to be of level 1 and 1+ are ok for people that do not regularly practice a lot of sport but still I would like encourage and urge everybody to do sports on a regular basis. It’s good for your health, well being, keeps you fit, resistant and allows you to enjoy long hikes fully without having much muscle aches the next day!
Enjoy the video and please share in comments of nice places you have hiked in Mauritius or that you can recommend.
Hiking North East Mauritius - Roches Noires Caves, Bras d'eau forest till Poste Lafayette beach - Pat Loisirs by Dietmar Reigber