Le Pouce Mountain might sound like a piece of cake, but people like me who have put a long pause with hiking should not go underestimating this one, especially when it comes to its summit. I’ll admit the day before the hike I was super excited but also super nervous at the same time. Nervous, because I was actually going out of my comfort zone. The fact that I always hiked in a group, including with my sister, but this time it was different.
I hiked with a very good friend of mine, who happened to be like me-adventurous but still, there’s this ‘fear’ that lingers at the back of our mind. Can we girls do it alone till the summit? Thankfully, our yearning to hike and go in the wild nature was in sync. We didn’t give up on the fact that no one was going to accompany us. So we made up our mind this time-there are no excuses.
I woke up super early and slept only three hours, which I won’t really recommend but I guess that was the chemical of excitement and nervousness that flooded in my brain. I pack up everything and set off on my way, like ‘Dora-the explorer’.
I arrived at Port Louis and joined my friend at the bus terminal (La Gare Victoria). We asked for the bus going to Petit Verger, and thankfully the bus conductor and driver, both were very friendly and helpful. It took us around 25 minutes to reach Petit-Verger, where we stopped at a signpost which reads ‘Le Pouce 0.5 km’.
The obvious thing was to follow the signs along the way. We took the road leading to the foot of the mountain. We walked for about half a kilometer enjoying the calm setting grace with small plots of agricultural lands. As we came closer to the foot we noticed some cars which were parked, suggesting that there were already some fellow hikers on the spot. So we were kind of relieved knowing that we were not alone. And our adrenaline started to kick in, and we were thrilled to get to the top of the mountain, which was actually our goal, though we didn’t want to pressurize ourselves. The point was to enjoy the moment.
The beginning of the trail was pretty easy and smooth to some extent. The path was flanked by sugarcane fields, and gradually leading to a slightly elevated terrain shaded by lush green trees. As we were treading slowly and enjoying the surrounding views, we were greeted by hikers making their way up to the winding path. We were following the blue and white markings and making sure to fill our lungs with some fresh air.
We straggled up to a rock face, where there was a tiny alcove shrine which was partly destroyed. At that point of the trail, the path gets narrower and gains altitude, which meant things were getting pretty real. Of course, I was gasping for air, but small pauses came in handy.
We ground on the rugged path until we reached a small flat terrain offering some staggering mountain views. We were patting ourselves on the back for making it here so far. The views were our rewards. And then we hiked straight leading to a zig-zagging, narrow path studded with gorgeous bushes till we reached a flat grassy ‘platform’ located at the right side of the summit.
We took a long break waiting for some hikers to get down from the summit. We were preparing mentally and physically as well. We took some sip of water, ate an apple, and were getting ready for our ninja hike, where the intimidating mountain peak was waiting for us.
As we got closer to the daunting mountain peak, we knew we had to be positive and get to our goal. I was crawling up the switchbacks with my bag on the back focusing on reaching the summit, but at the same time, I was thinking about how I was going to make it back down the mountain.
Thankfully I dumped that thought instantly because the focus at that point was to get to the top. And I feel we can actually apply that mindset to our daily life challenges. It’s not about overthinking or self-doubting ourselves. It’s about focusing on the actual situation. Step-by-step as my younger brother would have told me in that situation.
So I kept my focus on and eventually got to the peak of the mountain. I was 812 m (2,664 ft) above sea level. Though, it might not really sound like a big achievement considering its height in the ‘world of hiking’, but at that moment it was really an achievement for both of us. We made it to the top as two girls deciding to get out of our comfort zone. We screamed at the top of our lungs and the moment was blissful. We were in awe when we saw the 360-degree breathtaking view. We saw the second highest mountain of Mauritius-Pieter Both (820 meters) standing majestically. There was also the sprawling urban side of Plaine Wilhems and the awe-inspiring sea horizon.
Facts – Le Pouce Mountain
Name: Le Pouce literally means ‘The Thumb’. The mountain got its name thanks to its ‘thumb-like’ shape.
Location: Central area of Mauritius at Petit-Verger (close St Pierre)
Distance from: Port- Louis 25 minutes-drive; Mahebourg 50 minutes
Quick Info about Le Pouce Mountain – Hiking Trail
Hiking distance: 4.3km (2.6 miles)
Elevation: 812m (2,664ft); touted as the third largest mountain in Mauritius after Pieter Both
Level of difficulty: Easy to medium
Duration: 3 Hours (round trip)
How to get to Le Pouce Mountain trail
From Port Louis: Take any bus (from La Gare Victoria), that will get you to Petit Verger ( Bus Nouvelle Decouverte, Sebastopol, Camp Thorel). You can always ask for guidance from the locals. Though, it’s pretty easy. If we could make it, you can make it.
Tips: It’s easy to figure out the hiking trail. Though whenever you meet crossroads, always make sure to take the path to your right keeping the summit to your left.
Note: Special thanks to those who guided us, and encouraged us 🙂