La Traversée is a mountainous road in the middle of Basse Terre, going westbound (and back!) through the island. It climbs to the Col des Mamelles at over 600m above sea level, through a very dense rainforest, the most part remaining untouched as several centuries ago. This is a travel in the thankfully maintained tropical environment.
His main interest is to allow the crossing of the mountains of Basse Terre without being obliged to go around by the North (Sainte Rose) or South (Basse Terre). It starts in the east at a place called "Versailles", north side of Petit Bourg and it comes to the West in the area of Mahaut south of Pointe Noire.
The road is very beautiful, quite curvy and perhaps tricky in bad weather. It has in fact occasionally been interrupted by landslides due to strong tropical waves.
However the only true danger comes from some drivers who believe they are on a race track. Some occasionally decorate the deep ditches.
CAUTION : in the morning at dawn you can run through thick fogs that really impede visibility.
By crossing from west to east the road offers some lovely panoramas on the southern coast of the Grande Terre.
Several traces allow to hike nearby.
This road is not merely a "crossing" as it is lined with several places worth a stop, even a stay for the day!
From east to west, the Cascade aux Ecrevisses, Corossol, Maison de la Foret and Bras David and then on arriving to Mahaut, the Mamelles zoo park.
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The waterfall aux Ecrevisses is one of the most frequented places in the Basse Terre. Situated on the river Corossol it falls in a very nice pool, very pleasant for swimming.
The access is very easy ... before 9am!
Then, The parking lot is usually full and the location too till the night.
When coming from Petit Bourg, a little after the start of the road and its first turns, at the bottom of a downhill, a small bridge across the river and a car park on the left. Everything is indicated simply follow the wooden deck for 5 minutes.
After the waterfall aux Ecrevisses, by continuing to the Col des Mamelles the road runs through the forest. A little further on, between 1 and 2 km, a road to the left leads to Corossol. There is an indicator sign. The road winds through the woods in the middle of the vegetation to reach a arranged parking.
Accesses lead to the river Corossol, locations for the picnic and swimming possibilities.
Be careful in the event of heavy rainfall, avoid the river approaches.
Forget it on weekends, it's full of neighbors who come and reserve their location early in the morning. But during the week, it's quieter!
Continuing our route, going up to the pass, we see in a straight line, on our left, the Maison de la Foret. 50 meters ahead an open space serves as car park for a few vehicles. A well laid out trail leads to barbecues, benches, carbets on the banks of River. Beneath the trees, relaxation and very pleasant swimming.
But place to be avoided in case of rain ... and during the weekend!
The road, shortly before the arrival on the west coast brings us to the zoological park des Mamelles, a must stop!