The Zigzag Route
|Little used and for good reason.
Time: 2 hours. Difficulty: 5, and possibly dangerous. The trail is not marked; carry water. Trailhead: Depart from the Carbet Waterfall picnic area. Arrive at Savane a Mulets, altitude 1,142m. To avoid the most difficult parts, climb the Karukera Trail to take up this route.
An attempt was once made to connect the trail leading
to la Citerne to the one ending at the Carbet Falls picnic area. The
aborted project did create some switchbacks in the flank of l'Echelle
which provide a pretty hike.
The trail climbs through the dense forest, made more difficult by the
tall razor grass. Avoid touching the grass, so sharp it can cut you
deeply, even slice through your clothing. Looking at it this way: the
narrow trail permits closer contact with nature.
This opening permits you to reach the streambed and to climb up about 50 meters beyond. There, on the left, you'll find the point where the digging for the Zigzag trail was abandoned.
The regular trail continues straight ahead and your path continues climbing through the forest. It comes out in the
middle of a thicket of tall grasses to join the Zigzag trail, about a 100 meters below a hairpin curve (a difficult and relatively dangerous section).
It should take you about an hour to reach this point. At this stage, you may have had enough and want to retrace your way back to the Carbet Falls picnic area. Or, you can also continue to climb the trail up the eastern flank of l'Echelle with its views of the Windward Coast .
Walk ahead, and 200-300 meters before another hairpin curve, you'll find a concrete road that, after a kilometer on the flank of l'Echelle, rejoins the la Citerne route.
From there, la Savane a Mulets is a 20-minute walk by following the route on the right.