It is also a spot of predilection for nature and sports lovers. Albion is such a spot that blends a whole gamut of scenery resplendent with, sand, sun, sea and craggy coast lines couched on the west coast between Pointe aux Sables and Flic en Flac. It can easily be readied from Port Louis by passing through Petite Riviere. Another route is the main road to Bambous and then turning right after Canot and driving straight to it. Those from Plaine Wilhems can borrow the same itinerary that passes through variegated landscapes with aloe trees, acacias, cordia macrastatia on one side and plantations either of sugar cane or tomatoes on the other side. The lack of water in this part is made good by overhead irrigation and the drive leads through different vistas that townees or tourists starve to behold.
Albion, as the name suggests, has been taken from the blonde Albion because of the disrupted relief that is reminiscent of the cliffs of Dover in England. There was a time when Albion was associated with weird happenings. It has recently come into the limelight because of cases of rape and murder. However its population keeps on increasing. It has reached almost 5000 and land for building houses is still in great demand as it is a haven of peace. It is the best place to relax after a hard day’s work. A shower freshens the body and mind and nothing disturbs the soothing atmosphere that reigns.
Motorcycles’ earsplitting noise or the whizzing sound of passing cars at night it, or the unnecessary barking of dogs or hoodlums strolling in the streets till late. This is perhaps the reason why many middle class people are leaving the hurly burly of the towns and the incessant noise of vehicles that add to the already stressed and strained mind. They hope that these serene and soothing moments continue. Retailers of alcohol are-rare and alcoholics hardly vitiate the peace and harmony of the region. It can be said that it has a sleepy charisma.
In addition to this very inspiring and harmonious atmosphere, Albion has a lot of attractions to offer to the visitors in that there is scope for research. An old sugar estate covering 500 arpents of land fringed on a roaring and rocky sea Cotton, too, was cultivated in that area by an officer of The French East India Company, Sir Pierre Guillaume de Seligny. He had set up a water mill to treat the cotton.
Albion had its share of distress. The malaria epidemic from 1866 to 1944 had completely depleted the village of its inhabitants. The eradication of malaria infused new life into the area. The sea, fishing, sugar boom of the early 70s gave a new lease of life and since then mere is no looking back Albion is becoming a sort of hub along the western coast.
A mythical Lighthouse
The lighthouse at Pointe aux Caves known as Albion lighthouse had boon for quite long the principal attraction. The road to the lighthouses lined with sugar carte fields that at tire approach of harvest look like a wheat field. Sometimes it reminds us of the undulating movements of tire daffodils. One side of tire path is bordered with huge trees and on the other side there are cliffs with caves; the air is fresh and humid, the sound of tire waves breaking gently against tire rucks and tire whisper of tire breeze quietly lulls the visitors to sleep. Tire chirping of different kinds of birds like the redbird, tourterelles and many others fill the heart with joy. Students, tourists and visitors never miss the opportunity to visit it. The lighthouse still operates and guides ships that enter the harbour. It’s rough gem worth a visit. There is also the opportunity to step up the lighthouse.
The sea as usual offers swimming, fishing facilities coupled with a lot of fun and frolic Boating, collection of corals and other fauna thrill the lovers of such games.
Another highlight is the spectacle the sea gives at low tide. Vast expanse of the sea becomes a sort of hunting ground. Old, young, women and children are seen wading as for as the reef to collect fish, crabs, sea fruits and whatever interesting things they can lay hands on. Most of them are sure to get something for supper. It’s a spectacle not to be missed People from far turn up to admire that magnificent view rendered doubly eye catching by the setting sun.
There are many things like villas and bungalows that have enhanced the value of the village close to the emerald sea. lt is as if a village has emerged by magic. Restaurants, pharmacies, bungalows have cropped up and cater for the needs of the inhabitants. Ah Coy’s fish or chicken balls or cakes are highly appreciated. Recently a church has been built satisfying a badly felt need. The advent of the Club Med is like icing on the cake It has conferred a new dimension on the village, a sort of world class resort.
The village has been graced with the building of a Shiv Kali mandir found near the Albion experimentation station at the “Petite Rivière Albion” station. This lends a divine and propitious atmosphere to the place .
Albion has a few research centres, namely the Formosan government experienced growing of rice that proved conclusive, Fisheries and Aquaculture research centre Japan sponsored. The streets have been named alter great naval battles namely Cutty sark grounded at Greenwich in South London, Aquanaut, and Endeavour Albion has moved a long way from the deserted, impoverished diseased region it was some 50 Year back.