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Sunday, 27 November 2011 12:01

Discover Mauritius – Green and fitness tourism

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The west and emerging south west offers opportunities for a wide variety of activities that are thrilling, tantalising and muscle building. These activities prerequisite a good physique and a lot of daring because they are full of risks. A slight error may cost life or the loss of limbs that may jeopardise one’s future. However the future lies with such people who are prepared for all kinds of risks.
The region from the Black River gorges to the top of the peak involves a lot of dangerous uphills and descents. They tax the energy of the most resourceful. A lot of preparation is needed, including the service of an experienced guide well aware of all the whims and caprices of the terrain. There are many who for sheer love of adventure volunteer to help. 

The participants assure that it is a very rich and rewarding experience. This region offers plenty of fun and frolic to young with adventurous turn of mind. There is a vertical trail starting from the parking lot at the Gorges in Black River. It is an itinerary full of ‘potes trailers’, the track is demanding, strap hinged in its own way, with a few paths squarely vertical. The participants declare that they appreciate this type of track and they feel most at ease. At first the tempo is quite fast. They run at 15 kms per hour. Then they borrow the Brise-Fer path, and then they proceed at a smooth rhythm.

Many follow cautiously or even play safe as they are new to the topology. The slightest error may land them in trouble. They keep focusing their leader all the way up. After a good half hour the peak of Brise –Fer is attained, 622 metres above sea level. The ascent is very tough at places and necessitates the use of a rope and a chain for climbing the wall that rises in front of them.  Part of the path is grassy, in a raw state uneven though bumpless. It leads to the high plateaux of the gorges with creepers and ferns, roots, tree trunks and streams of course. The participants soon reach a piece of land where they can rest, refresh and quench their thirst.

Then they undertake a one –hour trip filled with excellent sensations raising even the adrenalines. The Mare aux Jonches path appears. Its tackling needs a certain technique. It is a long, steep downhill trip leading to the place called ‘Fenetre’. It is really a window that opens up on one of the most beautiful views of the Gorges, enhanced by a rivulet toppling down it, and taking the shape of a magnificent cascade.The view and the roaring sound of the wind and the water are stunning. They can admire the lush green vegetation, the green scenery and the few animals and birds that cross their way. After enjoying a short rest and refreshing themselves they set out to tackle the ascent that links the other part of the slope. Progress is easier and faster sometimes ‘mode marche’ for the slope is still hard.

The path opens up on a track, a down hill landing that takes them to the viewpoint of Machabe some 800 metres away.. From the landing they could get a superb and splendid view of the magnificent panorama of the scenery blending the horizon, the blue and emerald sea and the vast forest that stretches as far as the eye can see. Riviere Noire and Tamarin look like colourful paintings hanging in the distance. The countryside all around looks bathed in a grey or greyish white mist. Again a short rest and they resume descent.

A perpendicularly steep descent presents a new challenge, the descent of ‘zepol’ that too need be tackled technically. The leader or the guide is sufficiently experienced and can handle all the ups and downs that the track involves. They descend quickly. At the bottom they come across a way 500 metres long followed by another very steep descent the leader is equally familiar with. It is the Pil 500 metres below and it is healthy to come across level ground. Again a stop follows for refreshing and leg stretching to be amply armed for the next leg, perhaps the toughest that lies ahead. It is the famous ascent of Piton de la Riviere Noire that will take to the highest peak in the island, Piton Parassol, 828 metres above sea level.

The long awaited moment arrives. The climbers rush like conquerors towards this mythical summit. The operation is gradual and takes them through a forest of tecomas losing their leaves and depriving the climbers of support. A few minutes later they tackle the peak. They have to move across incrusted stones and rocky path that though painful yet enjoyable being imbued with the hope of reaching the top of the world. It is hot and the slope is tough. Progress is slow.

They have to move carefully, at times a short rest and again pulling ahead until they reach the top. A real bliss is felt first for achieving their end and then enjoying the great beauty they are entitled to. The whole island lies before them naked in all its dimensions. The top reveals a breathtaking view. The whole island looks like a damsel draped in her most beautiful garb. A sensational joy! A daunting spirit, an iron determination and willingness complete the job however difficult it may sound...
Jwala Kallee

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