I woke up at dawn. Sunday’s a good day to explore the villages of the South-West peninsula. Beyond Black River, the mountains stretch their legs towards the sea. This is dry thornbush under electric sky, a piece of Africa’s savanna. I love the rugged landscape, a mix of acacias, aloes, and even the odd baobab. On my right, the mangrove shoreline reveals an ecosystem of extraordinary biodiversity. These plants’ roots and trunks sustain hundreds of algae, molluscs, crustaceans and fish; everything co-exists in divine harmony.
Case Noyale is one of the ramshackle villages down this coast, where upturned pirogues hanker for a fishing trip while their owners chat under the Banyan tree near the post office. It’s a peaceful haven in the morning, a photographer’s delight at sunset. From 15h00, the landing station spits up the day’s catch. I recommend a stopover if you want fresh fish for supper.
While young boys hunted crab for lunch, I sensed old slavery ghosts and sighed. The Peninsula is a soulful place; it weeps and haunts, bearing the indelible cross of a miserable past. I will tell that story another day.
Get up early in the morning, camera in hand. Stop at unusual fishing villages and look at life.