Strap on your sensible walking shoes. Grab your cap. A bottle of water. Sun spray. Mosquito repellent and as much food as you would like because we are going on a trail! Oh and guess what? You’re coming along with me! Nature lovers will always be nature lovers right? You’re in Seychelles and you want to go on a hike because the only place you feel at peace is on a trail surrounded by a variety of green pastures. You want to leave the sound of the wave behind, or your parents made you tag along because they are nature lovers. Or maybe you simply want to see the island.
Mare Au Cochons trail is one of the most well-known trails in the Seychelles. The trail starts at Le Niole or Bel Ombre, depending on your location and it leads through the forest of the North. Along the way there are points where you can stop and admire the timeless beauty that is the coast of Bel Ombre opposite the Silhouette Island. The view is vast and beyond words to describe its beauty. The white foam of waves caresses the white sandy coast and the green pastures highlight its splendour. It is truly a picture perfect frame with a 360 degrees panorama of the mountains up above and the ocean and islands completing the masterpiece.
While walking to Mare Au Cochons there are streams of fresh water flowing either along the walls of the path you’re walking next to or on the granite rocks, flowing to complete the water cycle. The smell of nature is more than just refreshing when you’re surrounded by the sound of dripping natural mineral water. There are multitudes of river coming from the mountains and you will see them along the way but if you don’t, you’ll certainly hear it.
There are tiny wooden kiosks that you can sit at and have some refreshments and a chat; however this is not the end of the trail. You will meet a large patch of extremely green grass coating the mountains, and these grasses are picture perfect and soft to lie down on and take the most scenic pictures you can imagine as it’s dotted with palm trees.
The trail doesn’t end there with more than a few back stories of how they used to produce cinnamon in bulk. There are evidence of the ruins along the way and a large variety of introduced crops such as Banana and sugar cane planted in neat rows, will show such a settlement.
You’ve seen all that can possibly be seen; now you’re on your way to the Mare au Cochons itself. The name is in French and translated to the ‘marsh of pigs’, however this must either be a legend or it has been said that the marsh was full of pigs at one point. Whichever story is true, nowadays there are no pigs in the marshy area of the Mare Au Cochon Trail. Once you’ve reach the marsh there will be a bridge to walk across and a small shack like kiosk to sit at and have your lunch or maybe your snack, depending on how fast you walk.
One known secret is that you can continue into the deep unraveling trail that is Mare Au Cochons, however you need to be with someone who knows the way because I am a hundred percent sure you do not want to be stuck in the dark mist of Mare au Cochons. Moreover if you don’t have a guide that can lead you down the steep mountain to the Grand Anse side of the trail then you can turn back and start walking home.
The Mare au Cochons connects to other trails such as Copolia. Spending a day in Nature will never be the same after the trail!