HERITAGE-STORIES-ISSUE-1-2017 - Magazine - Page 47
Rivière des galets
10:45 AM. I START TO MAKE MY WAY
DOWN TOWARDS THE VILLAGE AT LE
In the distance, the lagoon’s many shades of green
gleam in between the casuarina trees. The lagoon is
surrounded by a coral reef, upon which breaks the
rough swell of the South. The sea here is wilder, and
the tradewinds buffet the land.
With my camera equipment on the passenger seat and
the windows open wide, I enter a new territory. This
is the Gateway to the Deep South, where authenticity
takes on its true meaning.
The wild coast reveals itself.
At this late hour, the inhabitants of the villages
strung along the coast, with charming names such as
l’Embrasure (the doorway), Choisit (chosen place),
Beaux Champs (beautiful fields), Pomponette, and Bel
Ombre (beautiful shade), are already well into their
The fishermen in their “pirogues” berth their boats
along the shore; the “piqueurs d’ourite” (octopus
hunters) lean against coconut trees to empty the salt
water from their rubber boots; and a few students
playing hooky from school enjoy their second swim of
The smell of savoury faratas, gâteaux-piments
(chickpea chilli bites) and other halim snacks being
cooked blends with the briny fragrance of the sea air.
It will soon be time to break for lunch.
The postman on his bike removes his cap and a group
of road-menders temporarily abandon their worksite to
enjoy the cool shade of a banyan tree. Te better digest
their meal, they begin a game of dominos on a piece of
cardboard. In this area, where the mountains meet the
sea, time takes on a different meaning.
Here, people take their time.
On this route, you’ll come across stone chimneys – the
relics of old sugar mills – and pristine isolated coves
alike. It’s enough to make your lose your bearings
All of the South’s inhabitants have one thing in
common. Their gazes are turned towards the sea,
towards the horizon…
How better to do justice to this sense of timelessness
than in black and white?