Corps de Garde Mountain stands majestically and graciously between Plaine Wilhems and Black River diagonally opposite to Les Trois Mamelles. Its western slope overlooks fertile plains cowered mostly with green sugarcane plantation that seems to extend as far as the sea.
Its eastern side faces the interior that is a motley of fields, forests and towns. Aline of violet mountains adorns the horizon. On every side an immense panorama opens up. It dwarfs Quatre- Bornes and declines gradually and softly to create an adorable site called La Chaumière. From there the eye catches sight at the end of a steep path cut through the rocks of oxen grazing peacefully in the pastures, enjoying the tender grass, a farm and finally the sea in the misty distance. The horizon, picturesque landscapes and the eternally blue line give the region its letter of noblesse. The Mountain is perfect for Hiking and Trekking.
Almost every afternoon at dusk a long procession of men, women and children dressed diversely are seen climbing the hills and making their way to Stanley to buy fresh vegetables. Stanley, too, has known moments of glory as the vestiges of an old sugar factory standing melancholically witnesses.
The Corps de Garde like all mountains has its own characteristics. Its ridge or crest outlines the part dominating Rose Hill. It gives a silhouette of a sleeping man whose profile is mounted with a forelock, which many believe looks like Louis Philippe. However it has a story sad, tragic and poignant depicting the daily struggle of maroons who ran away from their cruel masters and sought refuge in the Rocky Mountains and the forests nearby. These maroons sometimes massacred and looted the farmers and farms with incredible savagery and burnt the fields and hamlets to ashes. They even killed the colonisers they happened to come across. The Government took action by erecting a military post in that part. A man hunt was organised from there and hence the name Corps de Garde was given to the mountain.
At the top, you have an amazing view of the best beaches in Mauritius.
There are several anecdotes and stories in connection with the area. Many maroons-turned-bandits roamed the hamlets of the vicinity. They lived a miserable life, hiding during daylight and moving in groups, coming out at night in search of food, thereby attacking even innocent people. It is told that they usually called on a village nearby and ate their fill prepared especially for them The villagers grew tired as fire corvèe began to tell upon their purse so one day they laid a trap. Food was served to them as usual. But well-built and strong muscled police officers were also invited leading to the arrest of the whole lot The maroons’ lives sometimes inspired pity as they lived in perpetual fear of the military tnat might arrest and punish them according to Code Noir, a law passed by Colbert in 1685 to protect the slaves.
Corps de Garde with its altitude and capriciously scalloped ridge, the slopes and sides covered with lush green vegetation offering splendid mountain scenery and infinitely varied hues all through the day, is a real feast for the eyes. It is rich in the interplay of light and shade. Throughout the day the atmosphere keeps changing. In the morning the thick fog still hovers over the mountainside. Its opalescence displays a pearl grey dotted with green, dew covered creepers reveal an icy slope. When foe sun rises, foe reliefs and crevices become conspicuous. The windings of the rocks are still dark like a thousand craters and the mountain takes a violet bluish colour that intensifies with foe sunlight. The scene is worth contemplating over. Tire (light of foe Pailles en Queue birds, white against the violet mountain, dissolves gradually into a uniform mass as night falls. The western flank takes on a pinkish shade that resembles a fiery light that goes off gradually whereas the opposite flanks separated by sharp peaks are draped in a profound obscuritv.
Magic at night
On a starry’ night, the mountain assumes a mysterious and frightful aspect just like monsters in children’s tales -a sphinx, dragons etc.. .depending on one’s imagination. Its stony silhouette seems to challenge the sky. On a moonlit night a silvers scintillating thread spreads from the top and descends in snowy stream lets down the slope, reflecting on the aloe trees illuminating every object. The mountain needs to be viewed at night The mystery of foe darkness gives it an additional dimension, magnificent, a rustic attraction of the invisible associated with legendary, terrible and charming persons.
The mountain may be considered as a rustic temple bathed with the silence of the nights and serves as a reminder of its eternity that nothing except nature may harm