Places | Rodrigues
Mathurin, Rodrigues anchorage:
We arrived in Rodrigues an hour before sunset. This was fortunate because we wouldn't want to arrive here in the dark. To get to the inner harbour there is a narrow entrance channel and at night the lights are very confusing, especially since not all of them work. The best place to anchor is in the far corner as far as possible away from the quayside. This is because 3 times a month the supply ship from Mauritius comes in at 6 am and needs room to turn around. Any ship in the way will be asked to upanchor and move out of its path. This happened to us the first night!
Rodrigues is surrounded by a very extensive shallow reef. In a few places around the island there is a pass through the reef but without local knowledge not really accessible. The inner harbour at Port Mathurin is the only good anchorage. The town is bustling with a lot of people and little shops. The bakery sells French bread for only 20 cents a baguette! French cheese on the other hand is expensive and is only available for a few days after the supply ship comes in.
Most of the island is quite dry. October is just before the dry season and the hills were still green. But we heard that at the end of the dry season the island sometimes runs out of fresh water and people have to fill buckets for their daily use from big water containers. A specialty on Rodrigues is dried octopus. The reef is so shallow that it can easily be walked on. Every day many fishermen go out which is damaging the reef and the catch has been declining. Shoals Rodrigues, a marine conservation and education organisation is working hard to improve the situation by introducing non-invasive octopus traps and educating the fishermen. We've got a page on Shoals Rodrigues where you can read more about them. The kids had a good time in Rodrigues and did a project on the Meteorological Station and Jefferson, a kid they befriended.
We rented a couple of motorbikes one weekend and toured around the island. The roads are quiet and most of the time there are wonderful views of the sea. What struck us is how cheerful and colourful the cemetaries were. Below are a few images of Rodrigues.
© JIOQ 2004, 2005