Planted facing Islet Gabriel with which it forms a common lagoon, halfway between the Coin de Mire and the islands of Serpents and Round, the Plate Island is as hilly as Islet Gabriel is flat! It is also less popular and not as easily accessible - the big catamarans, for example, are not allowed to "dump" their Friday's flocks in it. More varied, larger, more rugged, it is also characterized by its 109-metre semaphore planted at the top of a hill. A 2.5 km trail leads to the old building dating back to 1851 and offers, from its promontory, a superb view of the northern islets and the coastline in the distance. As a historical step, the Plate Island was used as a quarantine area to protect Mauritius against epidemics of plague, smallpox and cholera brought by ships - an episode recounted by the writer J.-M. G. Le Clézio in his novel La Quarantaine. It preserves the ruins of other old buildings, such as the Governor's House, which has been converted into a "beach" restaurant.
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