02 Dec Hiking Le Morne
The best way to explore one of the most famous mountains of Mauritius, Le Morne, is on a guided hike with Yanature. This organisation has an exclusive access to this place. The climbing can be divided into 2 distinctive parts, which are both unique in their own way.
Le Morne has a very interesting history. In the early 19th century, slaves who managed to escape used it as a shelter. After the abolition of slavery in Mauritius (1835), policemen climbed up the mountain to inform the slaves of their freedom. Many of them jumped to their deaths, because they misunderstood the intent. From that moment on, Le Morne became the symbol of slaves’ fight for freedom. At our final destination, on the top of the mountain, there is an iron cross to represent this strong symbol. For me, climbing this mountain and being in touch with it, gives you a glance of its past.
Because of its history, since 2008 Le Morne is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
After a little introduction of everyone, we started the hike at 06:00 (yes, that’s early!). I’m not really a morning person, but when you see nature waking up and you’re part of it, it’s really not a problem. The sun rising and lightening up the mountain is one of the most spectacular things to see.
The path was not too hard and was just going up and down. I was glad we started so early and avoided the heat.
When I was told it was a 3 hours hike, I was a bit surprised. This could not be true to me as the mountain looked so high and I felt so tiny standing in front of it. Eventually we reached the first 200 meters after only 30 minutes, which I found super fast. When I looked behind I was bewildered that we already did such a distance.
Every now and then we stopped to enjoy the view and embrace the moment. Our guides, Yan and Nicolas, indicated several times at what height we were and which places we could see. The fact is, you can look around and enjoy the view, but understanding what you see is really living the moment.
Slowly but surely we made our way to the top as we started the second part of the hiking tour. It started with a small path where we could walk but quickly changed to only rocks which we had to climb. I was really excited, because I like adventure and especially climbing. Using my hands and being in touch with the mountain gave me a feeling of joy. Our tempo slowed down, as we were getting higher and higher until eventually we made it to the top!
There it was, the iron cross at our final destination but also the view… what a view… what a breath-taking view! There’s no word to describe how incredible it was!
We stayed there for about 20 minutes enjoy the moment and to get some rest before making our way back down. Yan also shared his experiences of Le Morne, and told us some more stories about the history of this mountain.
While we were descending it got hotter and hotter. The sun already stood high in the sky and was burning on our skin. Fortunately, I had a big bottle of water so I didn’t get dehydrated, which is something you really must pay attention to while climbing the mountain. Although the way down may seem harder, it has its advantages like the fact that we could enjoy the view while hiking as we were not facing the mountain anymore.
It was now about 09:30 and we were back down, where we started. I was standing proudly at the foot of the mountain when I took a quick glance at the trail we hiked. Yes, we did it! It took us eventually 3 hours and a half to go up and down. This is an activity I highly recommend. Up the mountain I had the best view I ever witnessed since I am in Mauritius. Also, Yan is a man with lots of experience. He is already organising these hikes for more than 10 years now. Being in his company gives you a feeling of trust. With his tips and tricks you experience the best hike ever!