The old village of Prony: a trip down memory lane

monument - exploration
The old village of Prony: a trip down memory lane

At the southern tip of Grande Terre, nature is reclaiming the former village of Prony, which remains a snapshot of the past.

A former logging site inhabited by convicts, the village faded into obscurity when the practice of slave convoys stopped. It got a short-lived new lease of life when miners' families moved into the camp, before being abandoned for good in 1968. Although some constructions are still visible, like the powder store, the other remnants are slowly disappearing under a mass of vegetation. Giant Banyan trees cover much of the site, which was added to the French supplementary list of historic monuments in 2008. A circular walk around the vestiges of the penitentiary and through the rainforest and mining scrubland starts at Somme Bay, where you'll find out more about the prison's history. There are also breath-taking views across the bay, and a sledge that was once used to transport the felled logs. Fancy a swim? There's a hot spring not far from the village at the mouth of the Kaoris River, with facilities added long ago by the convicts. Although basic, you'll still be able to enjoy a swim in the warm water, which is known for its therapeutic properties.

Old village of Prony (Camp Sebert)
Somme Bay