When staying in Mauritius, it is common to hear that 3 or 4 days are enough to visit Rodrigues. The "Cinderella" of the Mascarene Islands, both wild and welcoming, is often treated as a poor relation by Mauritius. Tourism policy tends to make the small island a mere extension of the big one, and Mauritians themselves often show disdain for this part of their country which they consider retrograde.
However, Rodrigues has a strong personality that sets it apart from the rest and makes it a tourist destination in its own right. Much more secluded and secretive, more authentic and steeper, it does not offer the same attractions as the mother island: you don't go there to bask in the sun, to seek the luxury of top-of-the-range hotel services or to indulge in the frenetic practice of made-to-measure tourist activities.
No, Rodrigues is an island that deserves itself and only allows itself to be approached over time, just like its inhabitants, who are quite reserved at first sight... But beyond this slight distance, one discovers endearing and sincere landscapes, like a population whose generous and deep kindness engraves hearts for a very long time!
When landing on the island, one is immediately struck by its gentle and languorous beauty, where the immensity of the turquoise lagoon contrasts with the few green valleys and areas of yellowed grass, victims of the drought. The cows come to graze at the foot of the vacoas that border the ocean, the goats crawl in the steep hills, the sea, dotted with fishermen's canoes, shines with a thousand reflections.
From the heights of the interior of Rodrigues, you can see the coastal views at a glance: the bluish green monochrome of the sea, the irregular lace of the coral reef, the winding passes facing the open sea, sandbanks and a procession of islets... Everything is admirable and surprising by its contradictory idyllic and very rough aspect: a fierce beauty, in a way, that one guesses exclusive and difficult to fully possess.
In this island still preserved from a too fast and badly adapted development, the tourist projects do not go, for the moment, in the direction of a tentacular establishment, but are carried out with precaution and the permanent concern of the respect of the environment, the inhabitants and the local culture. Existing infrastructures and the lack of water are not compatible with a too dense tourist influx. Preference is given to green tourism or ecotourism. You can discover the secrets of the island on foot or by bicycle, explore the lagoon in fishing dugout canoes, sleep in local homes or in hotels that have remained human and intimate.
And always, we let ourselves be amused and surprised by the little bits of local life that give the island its charm: the poetic or conqueror names of certain buses (Multi Bonheur, Aigle de la route, Super Copter...), the football stadium covered with water at low tide, the cows that nonchalantly languish on dream beaches...
So goes Rodrigues, spontaneous, endearing and natural!