Hiking Lion Mountain
The forecast was perfect for a hike – a clear and sunny winter morning – according to the not-so-reliable Mauritian weather forecast. So we arrived early to Mahebourg, determined to conquer the iconic mountain that villagers of the first port of Mauritius are used to see across the bay, the Lion Mountain.
Although I must honestly say, it hasn’t ever looked like a lion to me.
In real life, weather was a disaster. Drenching rain and grey clouds covered the lagoon and the eastern winds where bringing them all ashore. Couldn’t expect less from the east. But we had long-planned this day and the weather was not going to stop us, so we started ascending across sugar-cane fields.
Lesson no. 1:
When the landscape is not welcoming, better wait for a better time.
Too soon we were wet, cold and muddy, and the hike was just about to start. I there realized that if the journey / fight / adventure is already going to be tough, well, there’s no need to over complicate our lives.
Gratefully the rain stopped, and by the time we got dry we were on what felt like one of the most entertaining hikes we’ve done in Mauritius. Holding from roots, rocks, (reggae) we were conquering the inclined paths that characterize this technical hike. We got rewarded by striking view points of the southeast, showing off a clear blue lagoon contrasting with the green vegetation that had just been washed. As if out of a paradise island cliché, tropical sea birds paille en queue were playing joyfully around us, enjoying the wind currents and boastfully displaying their white and black feathers to us.
One and a half hours later we were riding the ridge of the Lion towards the summit, an area quite demanding for those troubled by heights or used to flatter, signalized trails. The adrenaline you feel when looking down, combined with the excitement of realizing that not so many reach where you are, can make the best equipped hiker stumble.
Lesson no. 2:
When you feel like falling down… LOOK UP.
Literally. Hold from a liana. Shout to your peers. Drag yourself up. Keeping your eyes focused on your vision is the only way to fight mental and physical conversations. Falling down is not an option. Is it?
That’s how we got to the top, to the mane of the Lion, with views to the beautiful lagoon on the east and of green valleys and plantations on the west, crowned by far-away mountains we recognized as the Moka range.
Lesson no. 3:
The view from the middle is rewarding. But from the top it’s mesmerizing!
Which reminds me to keep fighting, keep growing and keep moving. No matter how good the first achievements are, the best is yet to come.
For more ideas and inspiration on hikes visit Mountain Trails.
For more detailed information on the Lion Mountain, go to ExploreMauritius.org