Sunday, 18 January 2015

Seychelles, La Digue, North Coast Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 9 km (5.6 miles), terrain: many small hills, gain of 160m

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

For more running routes, see Route List.

Maybe this route should be sub-titled "The Road to Nowhere." This run up around the north cape of La Digue Island in the Seychelles follows a cement road built a few decades ago by the European Union, that just ends in nothing. The road sits atop the boulders along the northeast coast, with the ocean waves pounding against it, which will gradually pull it into the sea.
Along the beautiful Road to Nowhere
I've seen better-spent international development money. But the road is still standing, and it makes a good route for a quiet run. Thanks fellow EU taxpayers!

Like the other two La Digue runs, we'll start at the jetty in the main village of La Passe, but this time following the road north.
The jetty at La Digue: the only way on or off the island
You'll soon come to the best snorkeling spot on the island at Anse Severe, protected at its south end by the natural wall of rocks pointing out to sea at Cap Barbi. The one-lane road goes right along the beach here. You'll see the neighboring island of Praslin off to the west, across the water, a great spot to watch the sun go down.
Sunset at Anse Severe
After the 1-km mark, the road turns to the right as it goes past the northern point of the island. It heads uphill past two little hotels at narrow Anse Patates.

NOTE: More snorkeling is available here, with sea turtles commonly seen, but watch out for the fairly strong currents further out from the shore!
Anse Patates and the Patatran Village Hotel
The road here is wedged between the narrow beach and the Patatran Village Hotel, perched on the hillside. There are few further signs of civilization after this point, except for a few little houses and the exceptionally tall palm tree on top of the hill to the right, which is really a mobile phone tower. We'll just keep running southeast until the road ends inexplicably at Anse Fourmis.

This north coast (or should I call this the east coast?) is pretty rocky, and the road follows the waterline for much of the time. There is just jungle heading up the hillside that lines the shore to the right side.
Jungle all around
There is also a view out over the water of a few little islands to the north: Félicité, Grand Soeur and Marianne.
Anse Fourmis
When the road stops out on the rocks at Anse Fourmis after 4.5 kilometers, just turn around and head home again, enjoying the sights from the other direction!
This is the end of the line on the Road to Nowhere

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