Tourists and even Mauritians will find something useful and beneficial if they decide to visit Montagne Ory, in the district of Moka, not far from Port Louis.
This small village at the foot of Montagne Ory mountain from which it derives its name, is hardly 15 minutes drive by bus or half an hour walk.
According to some the fact that rice grew along the banks of the river flowing through it conferred the name upon it It has a small population of around 1500 engaged mostly in the cultivation of vegetables, pineapples and bananas. Rearing cows was for some time a very lucrative occupation for there was no dearth of fodder .The surrounding environment abounded with it and still abounds.Ihe point is that most of today’s youth look for white collar jobs. However, the village, though transformed by foe construction of the new road has grown in importance as traffic ply incessantly up and down.
In the early days Montagne Ory enjoyed a privilege of a different kind. The governors used to travel in post chaise along Montagne Ory Road to attend official functions in Port Louis or sometimes parades held at the Champ de Mars. It gave the then inhabitants the opportunity to admire the carriage and the horses and sometimes the whole village was found lining the roadside according to a writer.
Montagne Ory, by its very location promises a lot of excitement and thrills due to its steep and abrupt paths that are blurred at places and the inadvertent trekker may stumble in a crevice and can only reach the surface with a lot of difficulties .this too gives immense pleasure as the victim tries his best to get out of the hole.
The mountain side is riddled with a maze of paths that run into one another Most of them are covered with bushes and boulders that collect rain water that looks very clean and on a hot day the trekkers or mountaineers do slake their thirst by drinking that water. Reaching the peak of Montagne Ory or even climbing Le Pouce in the same range pushes even the dullard to flex their muscles to attain the summit whence they can catch a wonderful view of the city on the northern side and the river and part of Beau Bassin standing on the bank of Grand River North West when looking west-ward. The cars, lorries, buses and other vehicles appear as colourful toys moving up and down the trunk road. Facing the harbour and watching the various activities in progress is a fare not to be missed. Climbing clown provides sensations of a different kind: running, shouting gliding plucking flowers, hiding behind trees and shouting stop thief or hide and seek. It sometimes happens that while coming dowry the wrong direction is taken and the destination is totally missed. The trekkers find themselves either at Bois Chen Road or elsewhere .There lies the whole fun Sometimes a whole day is spent in recuperating the right track. No wonder one may come across monkeys, other tiny animals, or wild boars that are dangerous. Monkeys are funny. They try to scare you, make faces at you and feel very happy when offered bread or bananas. They also throw wild fruits, guavas .mangoes or prunes at the visitors. Children can spend hours in this wild environment Once while walking indolently group of adolescents came across a boundary stone marked with a fleur de lys reminiscent of French colonial days when the slaves were branded with fleur de lys. The mountain has a lot to tell to the climbers regarding the different boulders, the basins formed, the formidable scree and all the caprices of the weather it endures.
The rain has carved and hewed on the steepest flank water basins, scattered crater caldeira. Other phenomena appear and offer materials for study to geologists There are many weird and frightful stories connected with the village. An elderly person called Ramlall has a store of inexhaustible anecdotes that hold his audience spellbound for hours and hours.The mountain makes a terrifying noise during a heavy rainfall especially at dusk when the sun has slipped down the horizon.The rumbling of thunder in the dark sends a chill down the spine and nobody dares venture outside
Ramlall also lustily recounts tragedies and painful stories connected with the river and the mountain. Once a furious white horse ran out of control and fell down in the precipice with the carriage and all on board. Since then the river banks have become haunted and nobody however intrepid shivers to stroll by the banks at nightfall. It is supposed to be the time for the dead to come out of their watery um in quest of a fixed tomb. Mothers exploit these to make their children obey. Cake vendors take advantage of Ramlall’s audience and do good business selling their foods and mango drips sprinkled with red chili sauce.
The village has a lot more to offer in terms of rustic pleasures. The river running through the village still retains (the magic of yesteryear. It still attracts washer-men or washerwomen in large numbers. They turn up from Moka, Rose Hill to do their washing, conveying a picture of a colourful and lively row moving simultaneously. The shouts of the children accompanying their mothers echo on the banks, and they climb smilingly the steps lined with almond trees with branches bending over the water or at places forming an arch or a dome. The children take full advantage of the opportunity especially during the holidays. They fish and with luck get a good catch, including a black shining eel that they show with pride. They also catch tiny and tasty shrimps, lobsters and prawns which are their most cherished trophy.They have to be careful as poachers can snatch their booty and scurry away with it. The river on the other hand, surprises visitors by its tantrums for upstream it gathers momentum and speeds up to join the wonderful Reduit Cascade.
The village has been rebuilt due to the trunk road displacing many villagers from their houses and enabling them to occupy the upper land bordering the road. But it has still a few landmarks that make it go down in history. The late Seewoosagar Jhugaroo also known as Sookhoo Sirdar had donated a plot of land for the construction of a temple. The two stone stars standing on the pillars at the gate of the temple constitute a marvellous piece of craftsmanship. The beauty or it lies in that the pillar is mounted with a star and a ball inside the star is hewed in one piece. This wonderful piece of work has been crafted by Pondicherians.
Sir ColevilleDeverell Bridge is another attraction In 1962 when it was completed, people from far flocked to enjoy a view of it Standing on any side exposes the eyes to landscapes rich in natural scenery with mountain backgrounds or the new MBC premises. It is difficult to rob from it what nature has so bountifully bestowed on it.
Recently the setting up of Le Bocage International and the Clavis primary school has acted as a cherry on the cake. The fairy setting the surrounding villages cultivating a wide variety of fruits and flowers have made the village a unique one.The tourism authority may with some thought turn this place info a teal hub for eco and green tourism.