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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: -20.1605, 57.4977
We arrived in port early and after breakfast we caught the shuttle bus to St Gilles-Les-Baines. This was a thirty minute trip from the port and is a seaside resort with the only white beach on the island. Reunion is a volcanic island and other beaches tend to have black sand. From where the bus dropped us off it was a short walk into the small town. We found a bank and withdrew some euros. It did not take long to walk up and down the main street. It was a Sunday so not many shops were open. It was also very hot so we sought shelter at a café, O Ti Marche where they had fans and we tried the local Dodo beer.
Their WIFi was excellent so spent some time catching up. Then we decided to stay for lunch. Fletcher had a Filet Mignon with rice and truffle oil while I settled for the Canard de Confit. The restaurant soon filled up with families and couples, no doubt celebrating Valentine's Day. The food was excellent and we washed it all down with a Provence rose. This is really a small piece of France plonked down in the
middle of the Indian Ocean.
After lunch we walked back to the beach. This was approached along a causeway which ran beside the river. It was still very hot and I needed to cool off. Fletcher declined a swim so I found a toilet in which to change while he found a café at which to sit. Once changed I walked into the clear water and joined many locals. The beach sloped quite steeply and it got deep almost straight away. The pull of the waves was also quite strong. I stayed in long enough to cool down and then joined Fletcher.
It started to rain but we were sitting under umbrellas outside, anyway I was already wet. Another couple of glasses of rose kept us going while we did some people watching. Amazing how quickly the time goes.About 3-15 we headed back to the bus as the last shuttle was due at 4pm. We caught the 3-30pm and enjoyed the ride back, past lush green hills dotted with white houses. The roads are broad and there seems to be little rubbish around. A well kept pretty place. Back at the port we were dropped off at the gate where there
were some stalls. I bought a pretty floral dress for only 15 euro. Then it was through the gates, onto another shuttle and back to the ship.
We watched the sail away from the balcony and as we went to dinner we could see the island lit up like a fairyland as we sailed along the length before heading to our last port, Mauritius..
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