A port town on the wind swept North west coast, set up for sea trade. Populated with a tapestry of different looking folk who through the ages made it here by sea. There are signs of beautiful architecture every where, quaint buildings, winding streets, a real feel of energy. Like every city on this island, time has taken its toll, and the lack of basic maintenance has left the town with a distinct feeling of decay. Every where there are tempory structures that have be come a permanent part of the landscape, life just goes on at a manic pace but nothing seems to evolve with it. Things look chaotic to an outsider, but living here and understanding the system, things actually happen.
It was late afternoon and I left the town through the back door and out towards the final destination, Cap d’Ambre, the end of the island. Winding roads lined with shacks for about 2km led me to the outskirts and into the open spaces, only to be hit with a shock and stench that was nauseating. Entering a beautiful river valley, there was a few kilometres of an open dump site, where the town’s trash was strewn everywhere, an uncontrolled festering time bomb, feeding the river into the ocean.
I finally got 10km out of town and sanity returned as I entered the natural beauty of forested hills. I could now feel the end was drawing near as I looked to the east I could see the island cutting in with bays, dotted with little island. The further I went the more beautiful it became. Massive mangrove swamps, little neat villages and fishing boats bobbed in the ocean. Some bays were lined with small strips of white sandy beaches, fresh cleat streams gurgled their way to the sea.
Of the whole journey, this peninsula holds some of the most stunning terrain of the entire run. Jungle baobabs, massive granite cliffs, draped in forest. Mountain ravine after mountain ravine running into pristine little bays each with its own island. The ocean calm and just heaving up and down as if it was drawing a breath.