Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Well I managed to get up on the board when Barry was in the vicinity so we have proof positive that I actually can do it.  The day was really blustery and I had a few very good face plants after being pulled half out of the water.  Some days I think I have more guts than brains. On this day the owner said we will try it out but if I felt it is too much for me we would cut the session short. The guy in the boat called it off after only a half an hour on the water.  Both of the other people that I started learning with gave up. The fellow in his late forties gave up before he even got up on the board, he was taking on too much water, the girl in her early thirties, gave up after being dragged around under water for awhile, what can I say, they are wimps. I may give it one more try before we leave, I know I am almost of the verge of really getting it and going for long runs.  
We are hoping to leave this weekend for Mauritius, there is a good weather window and who knows when the next one will be. It really blows here and it is supposed to calm t 15 knots for a few days.  It is only a 3 day sail to Mauritius so the window does not need to be very big. 

 We have finished all 8 named hikes on the island.  We had wonderful time doing them and I figure with all that upping and downing I am in better shape than I have been for quite a long time.  This picture shows the area for kite surfing, the breaking waves are on the reef, so the whole inside of the area is free of waves and perfect for kite surfing.  

This is one of the lovely small coves that we came across on our walk that went along the sea shore. The sand is fine and soft, the water warm and protected in the cove and you can watch the surf endlessly.  This is the closest the reef gets to the shore along here and those waves were 2 1/2 to 3 meters, the power in them was absolutely awesome. 
One of the only staircases we have encountered on our walks, it is down to a very popular beach.         

We rented a motorbike for a day and tootled around most of the roads on the island we had not been on before. At one point we came to the end of the pavement and a very bumpy, dirt track lead down the mountain. Barry had great fun negotiating down the hill and commented that this was the way to get down a mountain, never mind all that hiking nonsense.  

A new church on the west end of the island, close to the water.

A cathedral built in 1939, the largest in the Indian Ocean. 
This is the view we had on our second last hike.  We threaded around the left side of the hill and then picked our way through a rocky path to the water side.  We have been treated to spectacular views like this on most of our hikes. There is very little industry on Rodrigues. There are lots of small farm plots where market gardening takes place, they plant lots of green beans, onions and corn. The other main thing that seems to employ people are cottage crafts.  There are all sorts of jams, pickles, and chutneys available in the main market in Port Mathurin and there are road side stalls everywhere you look. There are also a great deal of woven baskets, hats and containers that is another main craft. The other areas of employment are bus driver or conducter, school teacher and street or sidewalk sweeper.  This is the cleanest country we have been to since leaving Australia.  The other main occupation is fishing, but they catch more octopus and calamari on the reef than actual fish. 
Octopus or ourite (in French) drying on the beach
This is one of my favourite houses on the island. I am not sure why but if the houses are painted and not left in their original cement block colour they are bright and beautiful.  The combination of lilac, bright canary yellow and peach is not something you would typically see in North America. WHY NOT?  These are such happy startling colours, if I ever own another home I am going to paint it like this.