Blogs from Reunion, Africa


Africa » Reunion August 2nd 2017

Okay, so when we realized our bikes would be arriving late, if ever, we decided to buy a plane ticket to a beach for the last week of our trip. The original plan was to bike to Tamatave (Madagascar) and then go a little further north to get a ferry to Ile aux Nattes. But, given the delay that would not be possible. So we looked for plane tickets and the 30 minute domestic flight was over $500 round trip - holy cow! So we looked at other nearby destinations, Reunion and Mauritius. The cheapest flights were to Reunion and the dates and times worked out. So, click, the decision was made. We've spent just over a week here and this is what we've done: -sat on beaches -read -consumed tap water! -consumed champagne at sunset ... read more
Boucan Canot beach

Africa » Reunion » Saint Denis July 15th 2017

July 15, 2017 - I was up by 7am today and went out for a chocolate bready thing for breakfast. I had planned to bring it home to eat it, but found it has disappeared by the time I got back. Delphine got home at 8am - exactly 24 hours after leaving. She went to visit a friend yesterday and decided to stay over night. We chatted a bit and she when she got online she told me that the volcano I visited the other day erupted yesterday. I wish I could have see that! Then somehow it was already 9:15 and time to go, as I had decided to take the 9:30am bus to get to St. Louis, and from there the 11:56 to St. Denis, the capital of the island (Paris is still the ... read more
New ocean highway
View from the St. Denis bus station
St. Denis by bus

Africa » Reunion » Cirque Du Cilaos July 14th 2017

July 14, 2017 - I woke up with a sore throat again. I guess the cold I had a couple days ago is still lingering. It made me feel quite tired, and I got up around 8am. Before that I could hear Delphine in the kitchen, but it sounded like she left just before I got up. I took it slow and left around 9:30am. I went to the bakery and got a chocolate bready thing for breakfast, and then walked over to the start of another hike. What else is there to do? This one took me to the Roche Merveilleuse, a lookout over the whole town. It took me about 40 minutes to get there, and the other people there seemed mostly to have driven, as there is also a parking lot there, and ... read more
Cilaos, from the viewpoint
A wall I passed today

Africa » Reunion » Cirque Du Mafate July 13th 2017

July 13, 2017 - I decided today to try to get to the third and final cirque, Mafate. From Cilaos, it's a 20 minute bus ride to the start of the hike, and then a six hour round trip walk. I got to the bus station at 7:25am, for the 7:30am #62 bus. It was already waiting, as were a couple other buses. There were many people waiting, so I thought they were waiting to get on, but then I realized the bus was nearly full. It is a small bus, almost a large van. I got on, paid and thought I had to stand, but there was one seat left. A lot of people on the bus were climbers, and had all their gear with them. I thought they might be going to the same ... read more
A view from the early hike
Tea house on the trail

Africa » Reunion » Cirque Du Cilaos 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, ... read more
The view from my bedroom

Africa » Reunion July 11th 2017

July 11, 2017 - I woke up a lot last night, knowing I would have to get up early today. At 4am I set my alarm for 6am, just in case I was actually asleep. I was not. I got up at 5:45am and began the final packing process. Everything fits in my bag just so, and I can only pack it once I have put everything away - pjs, toothbrush, etc. I did a little adjusting and then had some breakfast. Honestly, I ate too much yesterday and am also probably eating too many baguettes. For breakfast I had half a baguette and a yogurt. I finished getting ready and was out in front of the guesthouse at 6:55. There was another car waiting there, right in front of the guesthouse, and it made it ... read more
The view to the sea as we climbed towards the wolcano
Karine and Kira

Africa » Reunion » Cirque Du Salazie July 10th 2017

July 10, 2017 - I woke up a little later today, at 7am. I had breakfast, checked the internet, and had a leisurely start to the day. I left for my hike around 9am. I chose this one based on the time - it was the next shortest, at 4hrs return. The sky was a little overcast when I left, and it made me wonder about rain. Needless to say, the hike started out steeply uphill. It seems there is nowhere else much to go but up. Eventually it did lead me into a forest and that became somewhat flat for a bit, and when it ascended, it was not so steep. That said, the walk was quite difficult because everything in the forest was damp, so I was constantly slipping and sliding as I skittered ... read more
View of Salazie Cirque when I started the hike
View of Salazie Cirque when I started the hike
Made it in the forest

Africa » Reunion » Cirque Du Salazie July 9th 2017

July 9, 2017 - Today was quite the day. Most of the time when I travel, I've done a lot of planning and know what I will do most days. There is some flexibility, but not as much as you might think. Yesterday, when I arrived in Reunion, I thought today I would do a long hike and tomorrow I would do another long hike, to Cirque de Mafate. This is another collapsed volcano, and you can only get there by walking. There are villages there, and there are 100km of walking trails, but no roads and no cars. Supplies are brought in by helicopter, but there are people who live there who have never seen a car. From Hell Bourg, I could walk there and back in about five hours. But after talking to the ... read more
Early morning in the cirque
Chicken on a roof

Africa » Reunion » Cirque Du Salazie July 8th 2017

July 8, 2017 - Today I left Mauritius and flew less than an hour to reach Reunion Island. In that time, they still managed to serve a drink and a small snack, which I did not expect. I'd just had a chicken sandwich, as I did not have enough money to exhange my Mauritian rupees for euros, so bought a snack. I was just a few rotis-worth off. Ah well, the roti was good last night. Reunion is a part of France, so it's not its own country. Everyone here speaks French, and most people speak Creole at home and in informal settings. Not many people speak English, so it will be a challenge, language-wise. Reunion is known for it's mountains and three cirques, collapsed volcanoes. It is not a beach destination, but has one of ... read more
My propeller plane
These propellers were spinning too fats to see, but the camera showed them like this. even before I snapped the shot

Africa » Reunion » Saint Denis May 4th 2016

REUNION - 15th April The volcanic island of Reunion is about 115 miles southwest of Mauritius, it is an overseas department of France and most people live in the capital St Denis. Reunion has been A French department since 1946, the island is not without it's problems - very high unemployment rate, the occasional volcanic eruption and severe batterings from passing cyclones. Tourism is growing in importance although most visitors are from France. The cruise terminal is fairly new and St Denis is about 9'miles from Le Port where the ship berthed. They are building a new motorway and bridges from the port to St Denis - in the sea because of the falling cliffs. This is being financed by the EU and ultimately by us (at present). St Denis is the largest of the French ... read more

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