Matoopa Magic - climbing the mountain before the sun!
Three month volunteer Marine tells us about the magic of hiking Matoopa to catch breath-taking views of the sunrise over Mahe.
One Saturday morning, Jesse, Andy and myself decided to climb up Matoopa to watch the sunrise over the bay. Cap Matoopa is the top of the mountain close to our base and it’s composed of massive granitic rocks overlooking the Cap Ternay Bay, as well as the Port Launay Bay, making this spot one of the most spectacular views in the area.
So here we are, waking up at 4 o’clock in the morning, eating leftover cookies for breakfast and starting our walk to the beach in the pitch of night. Although the staff had warned us that the army was training on base that weekend, we still jumped in surprise when a dozen of militaries suddenly appeared in the middle of the field. Behind every tree was standing a soldier and yes they did freak us out a bunch of times!
As we got to the beach, we walked to the start point of the trail and started our ascent to Matoopa. Jesse was our guide, as he was the only one who had ever been up there. It was still pitch black by then and all one could see was our 3 headlights in the dark. The path was extremely overgrown and we had to fight through bushes and branches to reach the top (yes we did get lost 3 or 4 times and thought we would never make it up there). Once out of the forest, we had to climb massive rocks and slowly made our way to the very top, where we would be able to see both sides of the valley. It was about 5 o’clock and as we waited for the sun to start rising, Andy suddenly whispered to me “They are right behind us!” so I slowly turned around and there was, a dozen militaries in camouflage positions, starring at us! Not only the situation was hilarious, but also a little intimidating as one of them came to ask us how long we’d be there for, since they would start exercising at 9.
The sun started rising soon after that and the militaries actually came to sit next to us to watch it: the scene was absolutely breath-taking. The sun rose above the mountains, covering the ocean with a symphony of orange and pink tones: such a peaceful way to start the day. The entire valley was quiet and it felt very special to be able to overlook it from the ‘top of the world’.
Later on, we climbed on the twin rocks that overlook the Bay Ternay (our bay) and the view from there, on the turquoise water, was absolutely incredible… and thinking that that’s where we dive everyday is pretty amazing!
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