On this Sunday in June, Laurent, the children and I decided to go for a family sport. This mountain bike ride is ideal for exploring and riding on the way to Yemen in the middle of the sugar cane fields. No, not the country of Yemen but a place in the middle of nature located in the west a few kilometers from Tamarin in Mauritius. The road leads us to the Yemen Reserve (a hunting area).
I cheat a little, I take an electric bike and Laurent his Fat Bike. This asphalt road is not a bike path, it is a bit dented. That’s why it’s so useful to have a mountain bike. Athletes love it because it is very little frequented and safe and allows to ride with the children in complete peace of mind.
Departure by mountain bike from Kalimaye
Today the weather is gray and there is wind. It is the beginning of the Austral winter in Mauritius. Therefore we are doing our family ride today ?. We park our 4×4 near a Kalimaye (a place of Hindu prayer in the middle of nature where statues and offerings are part of the scenery), not far from the roundabout that indicates the direction of Yemen/Magenta.
We take advantage of this stop to have our breakfast quietly before starting our family bike ride.
Mauritius, multi-culturel country
It is important to realise that in Mauritius, it is not uncommon to discover at a bend of a road a sacred place for the Hindu, and, a little further away to find as well, a sacred place for Catholics, without forgetting the places of worship for Muslims or the Chinese. Mauritius is such a cultural mix, with its different communities and beliefs that places dedicated to each god are frequent. In spite of everything, we manage to live in harmony and tolerance.
Laurent checks the bikes (tire, derailleur, fork, pedal, brakes, frame). Everything works, here we go for this bike ride. The children put on their helmets and gloves. Our Victor is not in a good mood that day and he is struggling on his little bike.
Observations and experiences of our family bike ride
We start slowly our journey by bike. The road is ours, there is no one on the horizon. For fun, we do a race with the kids, we have to pedal to reach maximum speed, all press on our handlebars! Laurent wins! On our left, the alignment of the Trois Mamelles mountains and the Rempart mountain is majestic. It is a landscape photographed by many tourists on holiday in Mauritius while doing sports. They are so beautiful! At the foot of these mountains, sugar cane fields extend as far as the eye can see. It is the flowering period of the canes and they take out their arrows (feathers). I must say that the Mauritian nature spoils us.
Along the bike route, on the other side of the road, the nursery of the Medine group grows exotic trees on a huge plot of land and vegetables on the other. In the distance, we observe a herd of monkeys coming to eat sugar cane. By the time the kids stop and put their child mountain bike on their crutches, they have already fled to the surrounding nature to hide. We arrive on a small bridge in a bend that overhangs a river. We stop for a moment and put the bikes down, and observe at the “serins du Cap”, the yellow birds, making round nests at the end of the branches of certain trees. They are very agile.
Just after the bridge, we discover a small cave with the Virgin Mary, a bouquet and lighted candles.
We go back on our mountain bikes and our fat bike and continue the road that goes up and that requires some effort, it is the time to change speed so as not to put a foot on the ground! It’s a sport!
Then we reach a flat plateau where the sugarcane fields are parts and others of the way. Here, the road is in the ground, a red ground like at Roland Garros!!!!! ?
Oh my God! The trees of Acacias!
We’ve been driving for half an hour and we’re thirsty, we stop near an Acacia, an African tree with big spikes. If one of these spikes gets stuck in your wheel, it’s the guaranteed puncture! Raphaël is happy to explain it to you in the video.
A playful, educational and fun experience for him.
Then we continue our circuit, rehydrated and arrive at the top of the reserve near a small pond. Laurent finds sugar canes and gives us a demonstration to explain how to eat them.
Tasting of sugar cane
He takes out a Swiss knife out of his pocket and cuts the cane in four so we can taste it. He removes the green bark on one end. Then, just chew the fiber to extract the sugar. This trip is an unprecedented experience to do absolutely in Mauritius. In conclusion, we start again full of energy on our mountain bikes to turn back and return to our starting point with some mud on our legs but, what a nice ride!
Yemen Experiences and Explore Nou Zil
At the end of this road dedicated to cycling tourism, the Yemen Reserve is a nature reserve that offers a landscape that resembles the African savannah with its yellow tall grasses and Acacias. From the top of its mountains, you can take various walks and climb its paths either by electric bike with Explore Nou Zil, by 4X4 or on foot, the panoramic views are breathtaking. You can observe the sea on the horizon and the vast green expanses of the surrounding fields. From June to September, deer hunting is in full swing and is very popular with Mauritians. But the Medine Group, which manages the domain reserves days arranged exclusively for hunters. You will be able to walk in peace to discover another facet of Mauritius!
Yemen experiences open to the public recently offers family eco-tourism activities and different tours for Mauritians and tourists on holiday.