Meeting with M. Collet, beekeeper
Mamy Chérie, our italian mama welcomes us in her home.
Rest and end of the story :
Suite et fin de :
Rodrigues Partie 1
Rodrigues Partie 2
M. Collet, a driven beekeeper, has kindly granted us hospitality in his home lost in the wilderness.
In his yard, corncobs are drying in the sun, providing the seeds needed for next year’s harvest.
Bees are happily buzzing around a mere 30 beehives. This small and lovely estate cares little for mass production and yields.
The surprised look M. Collet gave us when we mentionned "bee sickness" is, sadly, a rare sight these days.
We get ready for a small immersive trip and don the famous veiled beekeeper hat.
M. Collet smokes the bees out, avoiding unnecessary stress. The drowsing bees are then less aggressive, although these seem fairly used to human presence anyway.
M. Collet shows us fairly "standard" Langstroth hive, a very convenient and practical way of sorting the beehive frames.
Although, hidden amidst the beehives, stands a wonder. Left alone, Nature’s little artists have erected a wild, gorgeous hive.
We delicately help ourselves to the sough out dish that is their work: beeswax, bursting open with honey. Feeling very much like Hansel and Gretel, we learn that those are called "honey buns" and boy, those are a treat!!!
After spending the afternoon havesting honey and eating a few more honey buns, we enjoy a well deserved rest on the roof, watching the sunset.
Feeling content, we head to the guesthouse Mamy Chérie, run by Raphaella who is italian. Eight years ago, after stumbling upon a picture of Rodrigues in a magazine,
Raphy sold her business in Italy and left her old life behind. It was the right bet, as she now lives like a true Rodrigues local :)
We feast both our eyes and bellies in this quiet and heartwarming place. This feels more family than holidays.
The following morning greets us with freshly cut flowers and a fulfilling breakfast.
Later, Raphy suggest we tag along with her partner, Roland, who as any self respecting Rodrigues local would do, uses traps to catch fishes. He checks the traps once or twice a week.
The vegetarians that we are face a small dilemma there. In the end we accept, curious to discover the wonts and habits of the place.
Hoping in a sailing boat, we depart! :)
Sailing on this resplendent sea feels amazing!
A typical Rodrigues pirogue consists of a small boat with a removable mast and a yard, and also a single loosely tensionned sail.
The vivacious sailboat proudly braves the wind!
After sailing two (nautical) miles in the lagoon, we stop to hoist the first trap aboard.
As soon as the trap is emerged, we hear the distinct sound of jumping fish. It is pretty impressive. The agitated fishes calm down fairly quickly.
They are spilled right at our feet, where I watch them wriggle feebly and die in silence.
Weirdly enough, their scales seem more beautiful and colorful in death, hovering between a shinny grey hue and glints of blue, green and pink.
This reminds us of a pesco vegetarian Hindu we met in Mauritius, telling us the story of " the Divines who created the fishes mute, so Man would be able to eat without
the guilt of identifying himself with the fishes." One could add "They also made them more beautiful in death".
Further on, we collect 2 more traps. The fishing trip is a success: 2 out of 3 traps are full, totalizing a grand 10 kg of fish.
This might not inspire us to eat fish, but it’s kind of heartwarming to note the gratitude our friends feel toward their lagoon and its dwellers.
Back to Mamy Chérie I enjoy a fresh lemon juice made by Rafy , and, more importantly maybe, the cuddles of their two dogs.
A precious moment for me.
The last day breezes on and we get ready to leave.
One last colorfull bus,
and one last cow later,
we reach the runway,
our faithfull "fan-plane" waiting for us
An hour later, we close on Mauritius island...
To be continued !