Climbing Le Morne was a must-do while staying on Mauritius. I do not remember if I wrote about this place here before. It is a peninsula on the south-western edge of the island. If you look on the map it looks like a small tail on the corner. Filled with luxury hotels, it hosts one of the most beautiful beaches, surrounded by a beautiful lagoon and because of its history it also has a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The tale tells the that slaves who were escaping from sugar cane plantations were hiding there. In 1835 few of them saw military troops in the area and thought the army is after them. Having no way to escape they jumped off the cliff into the sea and died. The army was not after them. They were there to spread news that the abolishment of slavery on Mauritius. It is a sad story and now Abolition of Slavery celebrated on February 1st is a public holiday here.
Until this year, in order to climb the summit you would have to rent a guide. This was because the trail goes through private property and only few guides (certified by the landlord) were allowed to “trespass”. Since June everyone can go. The peak is at 556 meters above sea level and the road is approx. 3,5 kilometers long. Two-thirds of the way are super easy – it is a broad trail or even a road with moderate elevation. The last kilometer is also not difficult even though there is a scary label saying that kids are not allowed to continue further and you need to have special shoes and clothes. It is a bit more steep, there is some rock-climbing, ropes and the trail is very narrow.
We decided to go on Saturday morning and it was a mistake. A gazillion of other people just had the same idea. The last bit took us 3 times longer than it should because you basically wait in a line (think crowded shop with just one poor guy at the cashier desk). The trail is so narrow that you have to wait most of the time so that people going down can pass you by. My thoughts immediately went towards an equally popular trail to Giewont (Zakopane, Poland). Similar to Giewont here you can also meet ladies in flip-flops or high-heels who just left their TVs for a while to go for a walk. They were blocking the way, moving very slowly, not used to muddy or rocky ground. Just before the top I gave up. It just did not make any sense to keep being stuck in a traffic jam. Nevertheless the view was spectacular and the trip is a must have if you visit Mauritius.