Dream Beaches of the Island Ile aux Cerfs
The already small island Mauritius is surrounded by other small islands. The most famous of all these small islands in the proximity of the main island is Ile aux Cerfs (in English: deer island); While the numerous other islands are mostly unter natural protection and inhabitated, in the island Ile aux Cerfs there is a little zivilization in form of some small restaurants, a golf court and lots of offers for doing water sports.
The reason why the Ile aux Cerfs is so famous and attractive to the visitors is that it offers some dream sand beaches and because the water is blue and crystal clear as it is in no other place of the island. Thus, the Ile aux Cerfs is an ideal place to have a full day bathing excursion. Most of the hotels offer such excursions including the bus transfer and the boat transfer. Those who are on the way by taxi or a rented car can be straight transfered from the island Pointe Maurice that is located at the front each half an hour (in case of increased rush more often) to the Ile aux Cerfs.
Right after arriving at the Ile aux Cerfs one is first impressed by a lagoonish dune that one has already seen in numerous brochures of Mauritius. Here, the sea is very shallow, one wades on wet sand and partly on the water for good hundred metres out to the sea by only getting wet up to the shanks. From here, one enjoys a view to the marina and the restaurant beside it, and of course to the shallow sea water.
Right at the footbridges where the small ships stop, there is everything what the tourist needs in the course of the day: two restauants invite to Creole food and/or fish and seafood - treats. There are public toilets and even showers. Moreover, numerous mobile merchants sell all kinds of utensils, from the necklace to headscarves up to postcards and small snacks; And those who think there is too much going on at the marina, will guaranteed get the same stuff offered at the beach by at least 10 merchants. One is also appealed by boat drivers who try to persuade one to do some water sports. Due to the winds the parasailing is alsohighly demanded: a boat takes one in a float outside to the sea; from there, one starts to the air and is pulled by a boat alongside the island.
But we actually came to the Ile aux Cerfs in order to enjoy the beach. Therefore, we walk a piece alongside the eastern coast where we find some gorgeous white sand beaches. And specially, we find enough space, thus, here one does not lie towel to towel with the neighbour. The water is crystal clear and infused by small sea plants. But it is not deep at all, so that one has to get out very far in order to be covered by the water up to the belly. Thus, the beach area is ideal for water hikers, but swimmers and snorkeling people won't come to their costs at all.
On the beach, there is a permanent breeze from the south-east (south-east trade wind), so that one does not notice at all when the sun strongly burns on one. Thus, there is to apply thoroughly some sun lotion, even if one's skin does not feel hot. And those who want to have some shade can set his quarter right behind the beach under the shade providing Filao trees. Here, numerous Hindoos spend their stay on the island.
It is of course a big challenge to circle the island on foot. It is also well possible to start at the proximity of the marina and the sand beaches behind it. But at the backgroung area of the island there is nearly no possibility to get through, as there the forest gets increasingly thicker and at those spots where the mangrove trees expand, there is no way to get through any more.
Ile aux Cerfs with Waterfalls and Lunch
As described above, one can spend a wonderful beach day on the Ile aux Cerfs by getting transfered from Pointe Maurice by boat to the island. We choosed a slightly different variant that had an interesting outline program, so that instead of a pure beach visit it rather became a small adventure-spectacle.
Our tour to the Ile aux Cerfs starts at the place Trou d'Eau Douce (in english: sweet water hole), that is located at approximately one kilometre to the north of the Ile aux Cerfs. There, at a small beach, highly visible right at the street, some small companies settled that offer some full day excursions to the island. We buy there our tickets and around 10 .m. in the morning, we go to this island. A very old fishing boat takes us and approximately ten other participants over to the bathing paradise. We pass the luxury hotel Touessrok Sun and look respectfully at the posh complex. Those who sit on the edge of the fishing boat are already now soaking, as the sea waves that despite of the reefs are higher at the eastern coast, repeatedely splash some water into the boat. But it doesn't matter, as we are anyway going to the island for bathing.
The half-an-hour-trip to the island is already a small adventure, not because of the water splashes but because we navigate through very shallow waters and repeatedely put on a seizing . The boat driver tries hard to navigate his boat through the shoals. We finally arrive at the dream island and enjoy two fantastic hours on the white sand beach before we get to the next highlight. We walk back to the marina and navigate to the waterfalls of the Grande Rivière Sud-Est.
The Grande Rivière Sud-Est (big south-east river) is the biggest river of Mauritius, flows in the mountains at the centre of the island and disembogues in the bay Anse Cunat as a wide river at a green valley into the sea. But how do we get from the Ile aux Cerfs to this river valley? Finally, there are still some kilometres to get there! The solution is very easy: on the small island, we step into a small speedboat. It first chugs leisurely alongside the island, we enjoy the gorgeos views to the mangrove groves and shoot a lot of pictures. The other 10 passengers of our boat enjoy meanwhile the sun and have a sun bath.
After some minutes in this idyllic area, all of a sudden the coxswain accelerates to approximately 60-80 km/h. All this happens so fast and abruptly that some passengers really wince. I can barely handle to safe my camera and then we enjoy the adventure trip. The captain takes us with such a speed over the sea that we feel like in a roller coaster. We get through such narow curves that some passengers at the inner side nearly sit on the water, while the passengers in front of them sit up above in the air. When we get through some highes waves, the boat hits on the water as if one would drive with the car into a chuckhole. This boat trip is a real adventure and I have never been in a faster boat before.
After approximately a quarter of an hour we arrrive at the river valley of the Grande Rivière Sud-Est. Are we now in the Amazonas valley? No, as everytghing is a little smaller, but we enjoy to anvigate slowly up the river and to look at the right and at the left side into the forested mountainsides. At the end of the valley we arrive at a waterfall where we geet a little wet by the splashes of the bis water masses, but this refreshment is very good doing to us. And the same game on the way back: first slowly upwards the valley, with highspeed over the open sea and then again with lowspeed alongside the Ile aux Cerfs.
Now the boat coxswain takes us to a small and outlying place of the island where we debark. There, some tables are ready for us and in an open barbecue, some tuna, chicken and sausages are made. We get a refreshing and chilled beer, garlic bread and salad and enjoy our lunch under the tent roofs at the edge of the bay where a small sega-group entertains us with music and dancing. This is paradise on earth! Another fishing boat takes us back to the landing place of the Ile aux Cerfs where one can still enjoy a little the beach before another fishing boat takes one back to Trou d'Eau Douce where we have parked our car.
By the way, in the excursion we were the only Germans on board, our co-passangers were all French speaking persons. We really enjoyed this day on the Ile aux Cerfs, together with the outline program it was very entertaining and also a little adventurous.
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Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz