The south continues, to tantalise visitors, tourists and locals alike by the many gifts Dame Nature has so profusely bestowed upon her. It does not cease to astound us as the beauty spots are as picturesque as they are beautiful.
They seem to be freshly moulded and exposed to the eyes. Keats’ line comes rushing to the mind: ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever.’
A trip to the south and through its diverse and natural setting and mountain and sea backdrop is the experience of a lifetime, resembling a stroll in a sort of wonderland.
Leaving the extreme south, with its high cliffs battered by waves presenting a craggy and bleak look and at times awe-inspiring, a certain respite is needed and something more artistic and soul soothing is looked for.
Driving along the south eastern coast, the journey is broken at Beau Vallon in the district of Grand Port It is a sort of territory embedded by the limits of Mahebourg, Blue Bay and Plaisance.
The drone of flights taking off and landing at short intervals has made the village a special one. The very name conjures hie picture of a splendid panorama mingled with the ever increasing air movements in the vicinity. The heavy traffic to and fro the airport has helped make life more lively and colourful. It is fast developing into a nerve centre with tourists and businessmen in the area. Scope for hotels, commerce, fishing and other important developments exists. It is also envisaged to create a model village reflecting its past This evolution should not blind the present generation to its past.
One of the oldest tamil temples, Shri Vinayagar Seedalamen Kovil, founded on October 25,1856, still exists off the main road leading to Mahebourg. It draws its name from and old sugar estate that belonged to the Rochecouste family. The family occupied a pride of place in the Mauritian bourgeoisie, owning pharmacies, a racing stable, and other flourishing businesses and a certain Mrs Rochcousle was elected to parliament in 1948, the first lady MP.
Beau Vallon is on the path of progress. An attraction of the name, lire Garden of Beau Vallon, has taken birth. It offers mirth, joy and pleasure in an exotic and fairy atmosphere. A family dinner or lunch can be enjoyed in an orchard of Itlehis, mango trees, and oil ter varieties of tropical plants and scented flowers In terms of food a Its al speciality is uttered to be selected In an a recipe card nicely presented in a rafia cover and all the spices of the food itself as a rememberance of a memorable moment. Some time may be devoted to relaxing during the trip to the south. Afew nights may also be spent in a romantic pavilion in a colonial residence with terrace found in the wonderful enchanting tropical garden. Other facilities are catered for and all efforts are made to delight the visitor.
Ile aux Aigrettes
There is another highlight of the south that keeps on mesmerising tourists as well as local visitors and has helped the area to evolve as a must destination. A visit helps to discover the unique Mauritian fauna and flora. It is the Ile aux Aigrettes that lies off the coast of Mahebourg. lt can be reached by a short boat trip on turquoise waters in the fairy setting of Mahebourg Bay. It is rich with 400 years of history It is a nature reserve island, a nature conservation site. Great effort has been mane by the authorities and nature lovers to preserve the endangered endemic species thus restoring the island to its original state. Wildlife foundation hopes to raise conservation awareness and sensitise the public and tourists as well to the need © preserve our fauna and flora. These are treasures unique to Mauritius and it behoves everyone to conserve them and impress upon others the need to do so.
On this island, there are Pink Pigeons, distant cousins of the Dodo gazing down from above, ornate day Geckos basking in the sun and the Grant Aldabra Tortoise that live freely perhaps the very rare tody flying from branch to branch of the native Bois de Boeufi Bois Chandelle, or Pipe wood.
Telfair Skink has recently been introduced. It was extinct. It could only be found on Round Island. This lizard can now be seen on the islet. A rare orchid may be encountered with a bit of luck. It may also be discovered discovered how a world famous conservation programme is ensuring the survival of those species for our children and grandchildren.
The island also contains the list remnant of lowland coastal forest of Mauritius. The mainland has long been depleted of it and once home to the famous Dodo. There is also a gift shop that sells souvenirs among which may be found bones to bronze collections.
The trip has a charm and thrill of its own and provides a lot of fun to the visitors especially children always to be watched.