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Published: July 12th 2017
July 12, 2017 - Today is my birthday, and I decided to try to sleep in and be lazy. I woke up at 4:45am when I heard Delphine, my host, go to the bathroom. I got up to do the same, and it seemed she was already up for the day. No way, Jose. I went back to sleep, but found myself checking my watch every half an hour or so. I stayed in bed until almost 8:30, then decided it was time to get up. I leisurely checked facebook and then Delphine offered me some tea and a chocolate bread thing she got me for breakfast. Very nice.
I stayed in, hanging up my clothes to dry and playing with the internet, until 11am or so, and then walked around the town. It's not large, per se, but it's much bigger than Hell Bourg, and more touristy, by the looks of it. I got some info on hikes, and then came back to the apartment to change. I wore a t shirt and shorts today, as most of my clothes are still drying, but it was a bit cold. I changed into Delphine's pants and my hiking boots and
grabbed another baguette sandwich for lunch. This one was like the Americana of the other day, without the fries. Still weird. From there I started a hike towards Bras Rouge, and this one took me downhill towards the river. The problem with down is that you'll have to come back up again. It went to the river, and I thought towards a waterfall, but that was not really the case. There was a decent amount of flat portion on this hike as well, a welcome change. When I got to the river, it was unimpressive enough that I thought I was not quite done. I crossed over, spending about ten minutes trying to find the best, least slippery footing across the water. It was not so wide, but I could just see sliding in.
On the other side, the path started uphill again. I realized there was no real destination in mind at this point, and started to wonder why I was walking uphill on the wrong side of the river when I would just have to come back and do it again on the right side. I was glad for having done it though, as I quite quickly
spotted a little mammal that would just fit in two hands. It has a pointy nose and was foraging around in the brush. I realized later it was a tenrec, not native to Reunion, but it was fun to watch. It "hid" when I first passed by, but I watched it for a few minutes when I passed back that way. I can't believe I forgot my camera. I guess that's a sign of getting older today. I could have had quite a good shot as this little guy barely noticed I was there. I also saw what looked like a tiny mouse, but if so, it also wouldn't be native here. The only native mammals left are bats and whales. I walked about 20 minutes up on the other side of the river and had some good views, including the top of the church in Cilaos. Then I realized I needed to go back down and then walk all the way back up to the church. It felt quite far and by this time I had worked up quite a sweat.
Back in town, I had another quick look around and checked out the grocery store. Not much
there, so I started to walk home. I saw Delphine, who was having a snack it a friend. Back at the flat I showered and then realized I didn't have any dry pants to put back on, so I had to wear the sweaty hiking pants again. From there, I walked back into town with Delphine to get some veggies to make a soup, as she was having a friend over for dinner and asked me if I'd like to join. I also bought a slice of chocolate torte to have for dessert.
Before dinner, I spent time reading all the kind birthday wishes from my friends, and skyping with my mom. Dinner was the veggie soup with quinoa. I added just a tiny amount of spicy sauce and I could feel it in my throat with every sip. For dessert I had the chocolate torte, and it was delicious.
All in all, a good day.
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