We have all day free today to tour the beautiful little island of La Digue.
The best way to see the island is via bike (the island is 3 miles long and 2 miles across) and bikes have been arranged for our use. Unfortunately, there are no women’s bikes in the stash when we get there. We look around for the smallest bike we can find, but even that is difficult for me to get on and off. I’m hesitant and want to look for another bike, but Lane convinces me I’ll be fine and so we take off.
I love the feeling of being on a bike as we peddle through town. It’s a wonderful way to sight-see.
Soon we are at the city cemetery at the edge town. It’s a bit of a challenge to actually get off the bike, but I figure it out and soon I am wandering through the flower-bedecked grounds.
I climb back on my bike and we head up the hill toward the shore, but as I look back I realize there is a good shot before me, so I stop, swing up my leg – which catches it on the bike’s seat or basket, and land on the roadside in a tangled pile. My camera flew into the ditch, but both of us seem to have survived the experience.
Back on the road again, we come to a beautiful little beach. I stop to photograph it, careful this time to come to a full stop and carefully consider my options for actually getting off the bike. But now I have begun to stiffen up from my tumble and can’t actually lift my leg over the bar of the bike. It takes a while to get Lane’s attention (he has continued cruising down the road), but eventually he returns and, with his help, I am able to actually get off of my bike and take my picture.
I can’t get back on the bike. Although Lane insists I should be able to ride this bike, clearly this is not working. Eventually I convince Lane to bike ahead to locate a girl’s bike for me while I follow behind on foot. My walk back into town is rewarded with two deep blisters and a Barbie-pink girl’s bike.
And so we begin again – back through town, past the cemetery and the little beach, and then on along the narrow road that hugs the coast to the north end of the island. I stop regularly along the way, gleefully hopping on and off my bike to take pictures whenever and wherever I want. I love my new bike.
Once the road makes the turn at the end of the island we turn and retrace our path, gliding back into town. Along the way we stop for lunch at funky little Clair de Lune where I have both an amazingly fresh-from-the-sea seafood salad and a killer view of the beach beyond the parking lot.
(Yes, this is the parking lot.)
Then we are on to the other side of town, taking a brief break in the Catholic church before gliding into Union Estate Park with it’s wonderful old (still in use, but unrestored) family cemetery.
There are a number of interesting things in the park, but we are here specifically to see the famously photogenic beach Anse Source d’Argent so we move along without lingering. (I hope there will be time after our visit to the beach.) We drop our bikes in the crowded parking area and start down the sandy walking path that winds along behind the beach.
It’s an amazing walk, with the ocean on one side and the granite hills crowding the path on the other.
Then, of course, there is the beach itself, with perfect fine sand and pale waves that curl around giant boulders.
There are other gorgeous beaches here too. I’d like to cross the island to visit the beaches on the other side, but it is very hot and there is a big hill between here and there. And then there are those blisters from this morning, which have become deeper and more painful as they have been alternately rinsed in sea water and filled with fine sand all afternoon. I’m afraid it is time to head back to the boat.
How I wish we had another day to explore here!