Monday, October 17, 2011

15/10/11 The Curiousness of Curieuse

Our eyes open to the dawn call of the rooster followed by the soft sound of the silky sea climbing up the white sandy beach. The early mornings on Curieuse are a beautiful time; before the sun has climbed over the hill to brighten the place there lies a peaceful calm and quietness, when a cup of tea is added it makes for the perfect start to the day. A camp sweeping, scrubbing and raking of leaves makes our home all bright and welcoming and is followed by a breakfast of homemade bread or porridge with fresh mangoes from the tree. At eight o’clock we set out along the beach to look for any turtle tracks and gaze out across the water hoping to see something breach, if we are lucky an Eagle Ray or a shoal of chased fish oblige us. Our walk takes us through the thick green vegetation, up and over the ridge and then down, down towards the muddy mangroves. Our pathway is blocked by a city of big land crabs all busy making holes, fighting or mating, however they soon scuttle away as we approach. As we get to the lookout point we open our arms and embrace the cool breeze which flows around us, the view is spectacular and each time differs depending on the weather.

Today the sun is shining and we can make out the reefs beyond the lagoon, occasionally we spy movement and perhaps the sleek graceful motion of juvenile lemon sharks. After a few slugs of water we descend into the mangroves, walking through the knobbly, gnarled old trees with their strange root systems. As always we are welcomed by an old wizened tortoise and as we look around we also start to notice the sand seemingly moving; on closer inspection it is an army of tiny tide-caller crabs, white as the sand with one claw much bigger than the other they are waving at us. Once again we start to climb a weather beaten path, up out of the mangrove basin towards the land of Coco de Mer palms! The feeling of achievement and success is upon us as we have fought our way through the dense coco plum shrubs and now stand at the base on an ancient female palm that bears two of the largest nuts in the world. When we finish recording the data we have time to look about us and can once again take in the natural beauty and peaceful serenity of our surroundings, gazing across to Praslin and La Digue we count ourselves very lucky creatures!