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Friday, 28 December 2012 11:09

Bois d’Oiseaux – A piece of nature

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Bois d’Oiseaux, an exotic landscape promising fun and cultural activities in plenty. It is a small village of hardly one thousand inhabitants representing a Mauritius in miniature.
It is ensconced between Grande Retraite and Petite Retraite completing the trilogy that was lacking for it forms part of a group of small villages that seem to look for others for a complete self. It is a tiny hamlet that can be reached after passing through rolling hillocks and green fields.There is something romantic as well with the sunset and the looking up at the starlit sky.

The drive traverses cane fields, vegetables an d tall trees crowned with green tufts or yellowing ones displaying a rare and sun kissed sight on splendid sunny days. At sunset the scene grows more grandiose and spectacular. There are two very risky and abrupt accident prone bends unless precautions are taken. For this reason drivers are strongly advised to exercise much care while driving and more especially at night for the headlights of oncoming traffic dazzle the eyes forcing mismanouevres resulting in accidents.

Bois d’Oiseaux is a bird sanctuary and hence its appellation that is amply justified. According to my late parents who used to relate anecdotes and short stories regarding the village and the vicinity and other elderly living in the village, the name Bois d’Oiseaux has been conferred upon the village by a very rich white landowner living in Argy a small village near Flacq. The gentleman travelled twice or thrice a week to and fro for visiting his estate and overseeing cane plantation and progress on his estate. He used to break journey under a particular shady tree for breakfast. He was very benevolent and just and shared fruits and other eatables that he brought along with him with his workers or other who carted loads of sugar cane to Constance or Fuel.

The trees in the surrounding had become a sort of habitat to the birds in the area. They rendered it gay and joyful and full of music through chirping and warbling. It is so till now. It is like a park giving asylum to all types of colourful and different sized birds. They made his short break there so pleasant and entertaining that he brought along with him a piece of rectangular plank with nicely carved words Bois d’Oiseaux and got it fixed on the very tree under which he enjoyed so many happy moments. This is how the village got the name of Bois d’Oiseaux.

Many visitors claim a marvellous transit because of the kaleidoscopic and cheerful sound and music that fill the air. Many find it hard to resist the temptation to halt and rest for a few moments and bask in the exotic and glorious and ecstatic natural moments revealed to those who could listen and appreciate. It is a real divine blessing to those passing by and experiencing the natural delights perceptible to very few.

The drive leads to a rise that confers upon it the advantage of commanding a panoramic view of the eastern part of Flacq district with its conglomeration of small villages and the azure blue sea and undulating white foam created by the coral reef acting as a breaker. It ensures the visitor a splendid and glorious view of the littoral dotted with brand new bungalows and apartments and other gamuts of new constructions and facilities giving to the area a certain letter of noblesse. Looking westward unrolls green fields, forests, and virgin countryside, unspoilt and unexplored that is feared to soon fall into the hands of unscrupulous and careless promoters depriving the villages of some of their pristine beauty.

On landing in the village, one sights a primary school named Rampersad Government school that stands opposite to the village community centre, a multipurpose complex catering to the needs of the whole population social and recreational purposes with sports facilities, leisure activities meant mainly for youngsters. There is a plot of land accommodating a football ground for the youth of the village for training and playing football against neighbouring teams. On Sundays the village assumes a lively and cheerful atmosphere with plenty of activities not only sports but also cultural and spiritual.

A chapel and a church dispense divine services, mass and sermons and a motley of services on other festive days .They post scenes of celebrations, greetings, and choirs that the faithful dressed in their best apparel from other villages drive to in their clean spotless cars to attend. Priests or other church people call from time to time to deliver sermons that are open to the public. The villagers have always displayed good will friendship and a sense of brotherhood. They always put a smiling face conquering at once tourists and locals alike.

The villagers, most of them are self made through dint of hard work. Many are bricklayers. They extract coloured stones from the quarry nearby and expose them for sale in front of their doors. Many have made fortune and become prosperous, evident in the beautiful two-storey houses in the village. There are also planters cultivating sugarcane, vegetables of all sorts and flowers. Almost every house has a flower garden in front. Some owners do it on commercial basis, others for embellishing their surroundings. This constitutes another highlight of the village.

The village also delves in providing some very delicious food and delights. The smells of baking farata, Indian delights such as chilly cakes and squid curry and other niceties. A visit to the village is worth while because of the diversity inherent in it. Fruits, flowers and private orchards help supplement the economically poor.




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