We set off again along the coast – the sea continued to be lively; waves striking every stack, rock and cliff it could find. We reached Pont Naturel , or the natural bridge; a solid granite slab over open water, enclosing a roughly rectangular pool where waves boiled. We decided to have our lunch here but we were not alone. After the solitude of the previous day, it felt quite an affront to have company. The weather was sultry now; dark grey clouds and occasional mizzle mixed with spray from the sea. As we sat there more and more people seemed to turn up. At first we thought it was some sort of sightseeing trip, but why would a troop of Mauritians be visiting Pont Naturel in the middle of the week, and what is more many had arrived on pushbike, and there were also a couple of tourists. Some peered out to see quite intently, others gathered in a group. A police car turned up and the officers started talking to people there, and there was a lot of standing around and pointing. It became apparent that someone was lost here and this was the search party.
We could not, or really wanted to, wait for the outcome of the search. Beyond the natural arch, the path dropped to sea level almost immediately and curiously, at a long stone wall, the entire landscape changed. It was hard to believe that we were leaving this active dangerous coastline behind. Ahead of us a few sand dunes protected the most benign lagoon, shallow and muddy, the only change a slight swell rippled across every time a breaker smashed against the reef at its entrance. A flock of waders searched for food on the flats. As we searched for a route through the lagoon, we heard a helicopter fly over head and aim for the Pont Naturel.