Saturday, 10 January 2015

Seychelles, La Digue, Anse Source d'Argent Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 6.9 km (4.3 miles), terrain: flat

Please forgive the bad pictures, screenshots of videos and pictures of pictures!

For more running routes, see Route List.

Our next run in paradise (La Digue Island in the Seychelles) heads to perhaps the most beautiful beach in the world, Anse Source d'Argent. If the scenery looks a bit familiar, it might be that you have seen pictures from a few of the many photo-shoots done at this spot, with its beautifully sculpted gray granite boulders strewn along the beach.
Anse Source d'Argent on La Digue
When I first came to La Digue (20 years ago), you could go right to the beach with no hassles. But nowadays, there is a gate where you have to pay admission (100 rupees) for the l'Union Plantation and the famous beach south of it. I don't normally write up routes where you have to pay, but because this is such a unique spot, I have gone against my normal instincts here. So bring some cash with you this run.

The start of the run is at the wharf, the same starting-place as on the Grand Anse run. Why not? It's the heart of island life, and the place where everyone first sets foot on La Digue.

So point yourself south again, and head past La Passe village, running along Anse la Réunion beach for a kilometer until the road ends. Here, where the other route turns left towards Grand Anse beach, we'll turn right this time, and continue southwards along the west coast to Anse Source d'Argent, passing an ancient cemetery.
The old graveyard could use some weeding
You'll soon come to the admission booth for l'Union plantation, with its old vanilla-processing barns and the pleasant old house. You can watch as the vanilla beans are dried in the sun and then processed on site. The paved road ends here, and you will now follow the dirt paths through the plantation and beyond.
Smoke coming out of the plantation's vanilla-processing sheds
Just past the plantation house, there is a low wall surrounding a compound for land tortoises, with sheer and beautiful granite cliffs rising up behind them.
Cliffs behind the tortoises on the plantation
Continue heading south, near the water, until you come to the highlight of this run, this island and the whole Seychelles: Anse Source d'Argent beach. You'll now follow the path through the jungly nature, right along the water, running and jumping among the towering, gently undulating granite boulders among the waves. You can also see the main island of Mahé lining the horizon in the distance, to the west.
Looking south along Anse Source d'Argent. So nice!
And while you're here, it's time to jump into the water to cool off! OK, the water isn't very deep, so swimming here isn't really very interesting, but you're in paradise, and you have to see it from the water side!

As soon as you can tear yourself away from this corner of pure paradise (my advice is to turn this run into two little runs, with a big beach-break in between), then head back the same way you came, to the wharf.

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