In the centre of the lagoon was an island, on the seaward side a large pan of seagrass, on the interior thick mud fringed by mangroves. I was able to stand in amongst the seagrass, over 50 metres from the water’s edge, and be barely up to my knees in water. We followed the strand line and paddled across to the little island. This revealed itself as yet another rich man’s retreat, a set of bungalows in carefully manicured lawns under shady trees. We kept to the beach and skirted round the island, hoping to wade across the other side. But this proved impossible, the water had a deep channel in the centre and was full of soft mud. It was frustrating to see our final destination across the way but still not able to reach it. We ended up almost doubling back on ourselves to reach a short causeway to cross back to the mainland. Our frustrations were not at an end. There were no hard surfaces to speak of, just a fringe of mangrove trees and fine mud making a hazy coastline so we abandoned our quest and walked along the track to the main road, only to find that the entrance gate was firmly locked, and being over three metres high of metal railings, unclimbable.
Our hearts sank – the route back would wind us all round the island again and back past the stone wall before being able to circumnavigate the plot’s fence from the other side. We decided to work along the fence till we could find a point we could climb. Being wire it was not easy to get a good foothold and we were grateful we did not break our ankles at this late stage.
Relieved to be out on the open road again we trudged the last half kilometre to the Public Beach at La Bouchon. The village strewed northwards into the cane fields rather than be close to the lagoon, so there was barely a house on this beautiful little park. Little grassy knolls, occasionally topped by shelters, dropped down to a placid beach with the shallow lagoon beyond.