Near the end of our stay in Rodrigues, we rented a scooter for a couple of days and travelled pretty much every road in the island. It was a fun and easy way to get out and see the sights, including the Francois Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve, the east coast beaches, and some excellent view points.
Trip highlights from September 19th and 20th follow. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps
We picked up some fresh produce at the Saturday market this morning. We were surprised to find apples were plentiful, but fruits such as lemons and pineapple were not. Here Jennifer is giving everything a bath in bleach mixed with water to kill any insects before we bring the food inside. After the bath comes a freshwater rinse and a spin-dry in the salad spinner. We haven’t done this since the South Pacific.
We rented a scooter from Rotourco for a couple of days to tour the island. We’d initially considered riding our bicycles, but the island is quite hilly and would have been challenging for bicycles. That explains why we saw so few around. We could have rented a car, but the scooter was economical at 650 rupees per day (about 18.50 USD), and an easy and fun way to travel.
Giant tortoises once numbered in the hundreds of thousands on Rodrigues and in the late 1600s were so plentiful that you apparently could walk 100 steps across turtle shells without touching the ground. Crew of arriving sailing ships took the tortoises for their meat, oil and shells, and the Rodrigues variety of giant tortoise soon became extinct. The Francois Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve has been breeding Giant Aldabra and Radiata tortoises from Madagascar and now has several hundred on site.
We returned to Port Mathurin along the main road that crosses the mountainous spine of the island. Several good lookouts were along the way, including this one looking south from Quatre Vents to Ile Gombrani and Ile aux Chats
We followed the road we’d returned on yesterday to tour the eastern part of the island. This is the view to Port Mathurin from a short distance up the road. Steps lead down from the point, likely leading to town.
Several sets of wind turbines are on the eastern side of the island. These are two-blade rotors produced by Vergnet Eolien, the only French manufacturer of wind turbines. According to the manufacturer, “a 2-blade rotor is lighter, easier to install and easier to tilt down for maintenance or for hurricane protection”.
We stopped for a picnic lunch at Montagne Malgache with a sweeping view to the sea. The reef break of La Grande Passe is at the center of the photo, with Ile Hermitage to the right and Ile aux Chats ands Ile Plate beyond it in distance.
We followed an incredibly steep and rutted dirt track down from Montagne Malgache to Anse Mourouk. The scooter did surprisingly well, but we likely wouldn’t be able to get it back up the same road. We knew there was a paved road we could return on though, so weren’t too worried.
The last job for our scooter before we returned it was a beer run for a couple of flats of the local brew, Phoenix.
Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.
On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps.