Thursday, 10 September 2015

Rodrigues Day 8

Hi everyone,
Over the last few days we've been getting out and exploring the island.  It has been great fun.  The island has a lot to see and do.

On Sunday we walked the sea-side trail from Graviers to St Francoise with the folks from sv Silver Girl.  We took the bus from Port Mathurin to Graviers.  The bus cost 30Rp (about $1) and was good fun with happy people and reggae music.

Pt Mathurin bus station
The marked trail goes past a series of beaches separated by rocky headlands.  The shallows offshore are broken by channels in from the ocean in a few places.

One of the many beaches
We stopped at one of the smaller beaches for a swim.  The water is about 25 degrees.  Refreshing.
Swimming Beach
There are a lot of goats on Rodrigues, many of which appear to be wild.  There were certainly plenty along the walk.
Wild Goats
Walking the track
On Monday the ladies from Silver Girl, Vulcan Spirit and Zen Again went on a Creole Cooking Course at a guest hose near Gravier.  They prepared and ate lunch on the beach.

Ready to eat!
On Wednesday we hired a scooter and went for a drive around the island.  Unfortunately it was very windy and quite cloudy on the day.  We had a great time nonetheless.  First we drove west along the north coast from Port Mathurin, then inland southwards to the Francois Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve.  Scenic.

The reserve houses over 3000 tortoises of two species - Giant Aldabra and Radiated.  Neither were endemic to the island - the endemic species are extinct - but the giant tortoises are very similar to the originals.  Some of the Giant Aldabras in the reserve are over 100 years old.  The adult tortoises live in a small canyon which is very scenic and helps to keep them contained.

Tortoise Reserve
Radiated Tortoise
Stroking a Giant Aldabra
There are several caves in the reserve and we went on a tour of the largest.  The cave is quite large and the guide made the tour both interesting and amusing.  We were lucky to be in a small group for the tour of the turtle area and the cave.

Grande Caverne entrance
After the tours we had a very nice lunch at the reserve's cafe.  From there we scootered along the south coast of the island to Port Sud Est.  The wind was howling at this stage and it was quite cloudy so no photos.  The landscape looks wind-blown - it is the windward side for most of the year.  From Port Sud Est we drove north to Mont Lubin, sheltering at a little store as a shower went through.  From Mont Lubin we returned to Port Mathurin.

Last night we had dinner with about 25 of the yachties at the Blue Marlin restaurant.  Very good food and it was great to see everyone together.

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