So a friend who regularly does hikes and challenges with the Seychelles National Sports Council informed me of an impending hike up to Morne Blanc. This was a hike that I have always wanted to do, however I always put it off saying I was not fit enough to do it. I asked around about the trail, the ones that had been on it informed me it was an uphill climb and that it was a pretty tough one and they estimated I would require an hour each way. A 2 hour walk? Pretty daunting to me, but then I decided I would try it and if I could not go on, I always had the choice of walking back down or waiting it out.
Morne Blanc is a 667 metres mountain peak in the Morne Seychellois National Park range in the Seychelles. I think it might be the 2nd highest mountain in the Seychelles based on height, not necessarily the toughest though.
A week before I went on the trail I had joined gym and worked hard on cardio and did some odd weights here and there, as a preparation for the upcoming hike organized by the National Sports Council of the Seychelles. As always, a culmination of a task needs preparation. Morne Blanc is a continuous uphill climb, from an already high altitude.
So early Sunday morning I made my way to Stad Popiler (a Stadium in the heart of Victoria town) and we waited for our bus and paid the necessary fees. The bus trip to and forth cost SCR 25 and was worth it, as there was no designated parking where the trail started.
We took the bus up the winding roads of Sans Souci to the beginning of the trail. Off we went up. The fastest walkers/ runners zoomed up the trail and the slower ones (including me) took the trail at a more human pace, chit chatting and making introductions on the way up.
As I had not done a hike recently (well to be honest in about two weeks), I was having an issue with regulating my breathing and walking. Soon this was rectified with the help of Rihanna and her little group of helpers. They showed me how to take my time and walk and breathe at the same time.
There were steps made out of tree trunks and branches found on the route in the initial uphill climb. Then it was walking over slabs of smoothened rocks or jumping them or passing through them. The path is clear and wide.
Up and up we went. This trail is such a nice peaceful one, with nothing much to see except for trees and moss and more trees and the occasional view of the cliff on the opposite side. I was hoping to catch sight of birds or even a hedgehog, however none were seen or heard.
The path passed a cave made entirely of roots, it was something totally different to what I had seen before. Clearly these are what fables are made of?
We went uphill slower than intended. On this hike the youngest member was a ten year old girl, and throughout the walk up we were stopping to wait for her. She was a determined little fellow and it was a proud moment when she made it to the top.
After about 40 minutes of walk, I started to feel that we were near the edge. I found a spot through a small opening in the trees on our right hand side, which showed the sheer drop and cliffs on the opposite site of the mountain we were on. I think it might have been the Morne Seychellois. There was a deep gorge between us and the Morne Seychellois. Was warned by a friend’s mom not to go too close to the edge incase slipped and fell over.
A few more minutes’ walk further up, we came across a wooden bridge. A further few minutes of jumping over rocks and one comes across a gaping hole deep into the left, which was barred off in case someone fell down the shaft.
Then another couple of rocks to get over and there is another wooden bridge.
Then there were stairs (probably made of rocks or cement, hard to tell with so much moss) which led up to the man-made wooden platform; the place for scenic views of Mahe.
I am glad to say this is not a tough hike as the word going round. A slow walker such as me (pretty unfit as well) can do both ways in just above an hour. So folks, if this is something you would like to do, then go ahead!