Hijacking WiFi in Beau Vallon
If you ever find yourself in Beau Vallon and in desperate need of updating your Instagram feed, head to the far end of the beach and turn up the dark path leading towards Bel Ombre Road.
Halfway along, where the trees are at their thickest and the perimeter fence of Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove resort closest, you’ll spot groups of migrant workers leaning against railings or sitting on gnarled tree roots, staring intently at their phones.
The workers come mainly from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and congregate here on their day off.
The latest password to Le Méridien’s WiFi network is handed around and soon they are happily Skyping loved ones back home, checking cricket scores and streaming pirate versions of Bollywood movies.
The password is shared by one of the migrant workers employed at Le Méridien.
It’s kind of a reciprocal agreement.
Randil, a Sri Lankan chap who worked at another resort, told me that when they got chased off by the security guards from Le Méridien, they simply gathered outside another resort.
A password gets handed out by a worker who is employed there and they pick up where they left off.
Everyone always returned to Le Méridien though, Randil said. Their signal was the strongest and their connection the fastest.
And the trees that formed a canopy over the path provided the best protection from the heat of the sun and the worst of the rain.