About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

04 January 2017

Le Volcan

The volcano was really what swayed the decision to come to Reunion. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't great - so no commanding views of the island from the top, and not even a clear picture of the summit. On the plus side, it did make the hiking easier.

The route is very well signposted and with a trail of people, it's not difficult to travel. There are two ways to access the site - from a car park that deposits you about 5mins out, or from the gîte that's about 15-20 mins hike away. 

We started at the gîte, so it's a small uphill first followed by a very steep downhill. The hike up the volcano is itself not that steep; but the terrain is very difficult. The main volcano crater is somewhat hidden from the highest point in the outer crater which was interesting, although without any clear views, this was not immediately noticeable. 

We started early - we left the gîte around 06:40, and yet by the time we got to the entrance people were already finished!

The gate at the start gives an ominous notice.

It's a very steep path down, and a very annoying climb up. The guard rails are a bit weak - a few more tugs and pulls may lead to some dangerous results. the landscape is very alien while the flora is very similar to fynbos. The fynbos like flora makes sense - this is a landscape with very little water. 

Probably my clearest picture of the volcano summit and the path there. The part in the foreground is Formica Leo - not sure what it is other than a ochre coloured heap of interesting rocks of gravel like consistency. It's fun to see - unfortunately the colors didn't come out as well as I would have liked.

There are many nooks and cracks and other strange rock formations. At the base of the outer crater climb is Chapelle de Rosemont, which from the distance does look like a chapel, and could be a handy shelter in the rain.

This is an active volcano, and there are numerous observance zones and measuring devices (I assume) around the place. The place is mostly barren past Formica Leo, but sometimes there are a few plants trying to take over!

As you go further up the crater, there are far more interesting rock formations. Some are very colourful, and surprisingly light.

Despite the bad weather, the crater was fully visible and well worth the hike. The colours of the rock were amazing, and you can even see the evidence of the most recent eruption from this crater at least. There was however, no visible lava flows.

This was one of my most interesting hiking experiences, and is certainly a highlight of Reunion.

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