Tag Archives: Hike

The one with Les 7 Cascades

One of the highlights of our Mauritian adventure was definitely the “Les 7 Cascades” hike (“The 7 Waterfalls”). We met an uber fun Irish couple at the hotel who had completed the hike a few days prior and they raved about it; they also recommended using the guide that was praised on TripAdvisor – he wasn’t part of a large company or anything, but rather just had his cell phone number up on TripAdvisor for people to independently book him as a guide for the day.

The reviews for Jay and the hike speak for themselves!

The reviews on TripAdvisor for Jay and the hike speak for themselves!

And let me tell you: Jay was worth the hype (the hike in it of itself was, too!) Les 7 Cascades was exactly that: 7 waterfalls essentially stacked one after the next, all in the middle of a fairly untouched forest in the middle of the island of Mauritius.

Jay, a 4th generation Mauritian with his family originally emigrating from Mumbai, told us he liked to start the hike from a vantage point across the valley from the waterfalls and hike so you could see all the waterfalls at once and get an idea of what you would be trekking.

They're a bit far off, but you can kind of see a few of the "cascades"

They’re a bit far off, but you can kind of see a few of the “cascades”

Another element of the hike with Jay that we really enjoyed was the fact that he took you from the bottom of  les 7 cascades and then you worked your way up to see them from the bottom up, whereas all of the other tour guides/hikers worked from the top down. Jay said that was a fine way to go, but if you started from the bottom (insert Drake song here) and hiked upwards, you could actually see the waterfalls as you went.

The start of the hike was pretty steep and it was drizzling, so when I slipped onto my bum about 15 minutes in, I was a bit worried, but thankfully that was the only “slip up” (and I had a muddy bum to prove it!)

The first of the 7

The first of the 7 cascades

The waterfalls and forest was of course gorgeous, but there were little (but DEEP) pools of fresh water that we could jump in and swim around – the water was chilly, but totally worth it!

A little paddle-around

A little paddle-around

A little climb up into the rocks so we could frolic in the waterfall

A little climb up into the rocks so we could frolic in the waterfall

And all the way through the hike, Jay provided a plethora of information about Mauritius: the Mauritian people, the flora/fauna, how things have changed over the years, and the culture around the island – he was full of fun facts! And of course a great photographer (plus his wife makes you lunch and a snack – amazing authentic Indian food!!)

It was a breathtaking hike with a top notch local guide. We had a great day! Until next time…

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The one about the adventures in the Swan Valley

Happy Monday, party people! I hope yall had great summer weekends (well, autumn in our case) – we went on a little adventure to the Swan Valley, just east of Perth. Here’s a map for a little perspective:

A quick day trip from Perth

A speedy 30 minutes outside of the city center one can find a beautiful little hamlet (actually it’s referred to as a shire) called the Swan Valley, full of gorgeous views and vineyards.

The shire of the Swan Valley

The shire of Swan

 

While not quite at the same magnitude as Western Australia’s wine country, Margaret River, the Swan Valley offers a number of small/intimate wineries, a smattering of microbreweries, and an abundance of local produce stalls.

Houghton Estate

Houghton Estate

So come Sunday, Barr and I decided to drive (in our electric blue Toyota Corolla, I might add) east for a bit of hiking and wine tasting (it’s not quite like Napa insofar that reservations for tastings arent really necessary – we stopped at the “most commercialized” winery, and it felt quite the opposite when you compare it to the Napa Valley). Anyway, I googled around and found a cute little hike called Bell’s Rapids trail – it was an easy 5.5k loop around the Swan River, offering some nice views of the river’s rapids along the way. It was 75 and sunny – doesnt get much better!

The Bell's Rapids of the Swan River

The Bell’s Rapids of the Swan River

Picture perfect day

Picture perfect day

Barr trailblazing!

Barr trailblazing!

A little fairyland

A little fairyland

Fairyland take 2

Fairyland take 2

We didnt see any sheep on the hike, but there were plenty of horses in the area!

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And we werent the only folks making the most of the gorgeous weather and hike – there were a number of people picnicking and playing in the shallows of the river. Love this mild winter/autumn – hopefully it sticks around for a bit longer 🙂

My little adventurer

My little adventurer

photo 22So after our little hike, we stopped at a winery with a large cafe attached – we didnt do much research ahead of time, but figured we couldnt go wrong with the place with the largest sign. Houghton Wines was tucked back from the main drag, but had a huge open space/park where another slew of people (with tons of kids, too!) were enjoying lunch/wine on the lawn, listening to a little 3 person band.

Houghton Wines & Cafe

Houghton Wines & Cafe

The menu had a section for gluten free pizzas, so as soon as I saw that, I was sold 🙂 Wish I had snapped some more shots of the yummy food, but we had worked up an appetite:

The remnants of my prawn and bell pepper pizza

The remnants of my prawn and bell pepper pizza

Houghton Cafe menu offered a great selection of high quality nibbles

Houghton Cafe menu offered a great selection of high quality nibbles

And if you wanted to have some wine with your meal, you could walk up to the little cellar door bar, have some tastes, and order by the bottle or glass – cheers!

Great autumn day

Great autumn day

It was a nice little day trip outside the city – I would definitely recommend the hike, and while I really enjoyed the ambience and food of Houghton, we have since heard that the wineries “off the beaten path” also have cafes and a more extensive selection of wines – a challenge for next time!

And finally, happy (belated) Father’s Day(s) to all you dads out there, and extra special wishes to my dad, father in law, and two wonderful grandfathers – I miss yall more than words in a blog can describe, and am forever blessed to have you in my life!!

Until next time…

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