Those mischievous days of my childhood are still engraved in my memory. The most thrilling part of it was going to the seaside of Grand-Gaube since it was not the tablet or mobile era like nowadays. It was an inexpensive and adventurous activity. Accompanied by my cousins, we used to ride along the suburbs of Roche-Terre village along the lanes surrounded by sugar cane and vegetables fields to reach the seaside. Packed with our fishing gear, the bicycle ride took us about 30 minutes. At that time, the lanes were meant for bullock-carts but we usually managed to overcome the numerous sharp turns with our bicycles which finally join the coastal road of Grand-Gaube. The coastal beach road forked to either a well-known hotel or the beach. Upon arrival, we would wave our hands to the security guards and keep our priceless bicycles under the ‘Filao’ trees.
Describing the white sandy beach of about 1 km which overlooks the hotel is like describing white Christmas to someone who has not seen snow during his lifetime. The main beach which overlooks the hotel is a real splendour. We call it the ‘bay of beauty’. The sea does not even need a re-lifting since it is one of those exotic beaches that few Mauritians are aware of. The luxurious speedboats of the hotel were frequently seen anchored in the turquoise water. Swimming across the bay was really fun and we often indulged in competitions.
A wooden jetty was constructed on the second part of the beach where we often had some dives. We enjoyed looking at the water sports activities practiced by the tourists which were inaccessible to us. Still we would gaze at them with linger thinking that maybe we would try it one day hopefully. It was rocky alongside the jetty and you need to be very prudent while walking down there. The crabs were abundant and of different species. You merely need to master the skills of catching them hiding under the rocks or under the algae at low water level. Of course we were well equipped with our hand-made tools.
Lastly is the third part of the beach which now holds an exotic restaurant of the hotel. Believe me: the sea down there is enriched with marine plants and fish. The fishermen would keep their boats in the water between the second and third section of the beach. You would often see freshly caught fish or octopus when they would return back after a good catch.
The public had full access to these parts of this lengthy beach that I have described. The day which I would never forget in my lifetime, was when I heard that the road leading to the beach had been closed. I tried to access the ‘bay of beauty’ once under the gaze of the security guards by walking along the coastal region alongside the barbed wire of the hotel premises but believe me – it is same as climbing the mountain of ‘Le Pouce’.
Today I make a solemn appeal to the concerned Department Ministry and Authority of Mauritius to make this beach accessible to us ‘locals’. Today my bicycle has given way to a car but what is the use when the beach is not accessible easily. I am sure that the people who know this beach well can tell you how, at Grand-Gaube, we have a heaven naturally built by Mother Earth herself but which seems exclusively accessible to the hotel clients only. Today I am willing to forfeit anything to enjoy this piece of Paradise at Grand-Gaube.