Cirque de Mafate, Reunion

Superted V Blog & Photos October 2015

1 - 8 October - Continued to explore Rodrigues. Caught the local buses to do some hiking inland and along the coast. Hired a scooter for a day with friends Caroline and Bill from Juffa. Had a great day out visiting the giant tortoise sanctuary and caves. The tortoises were really fun - they loved being tickled and would lift themselves up and stretch out their necks for a tickle - one almost capsized he was so eager!

9 - 11 October - Passage to Reunion - see flotsam

12 - 20th October - Reunion. A beautiful, stunning island - very french (so lots of delicious goodies to fatten us up!) The interior is rugged and mountainous with a few small villages scattered throughout and hundreds of hiking and walking opportunities. The interior is made up of the 3 cirques (old volcanoes) - Cirques de Mafate, Cirque de Cilaos and Cirque de Salazie. There's still an active volcano (Piton de la Fournaisse) which is on the eastern end of the island and we were fortunate enough to be there whilst one of the vents was erupting. We hired a car for the week as most of the places were around 2 hours drive away and needed to be visited early in the morning before the cloud came over the interior (usually around 10.30am). The roads were good but wound their way up the mountains so we drove on enough hair pin bends to last us a lifetime! We took a microlight flight over the 3 cirques and Trou de Feu waterfalls - fabulous - and Jean even got to fly hers! Did quite a number of hikes around the interior - the first being a 6 hour 'climb' up in the mountains of Cilaos to the Col du Taibit - extremely hard going and the cloud came over as we neared the top! The capital of St Denis on the north coast made a change for a gentle stroll around the many old colonial buildings and a gourmet stop at a great little ice cream parlour! Whilst we were in Cilaos they were celebrating a fetes de lentilles (lentil festival) - quite bizarre - there were no lentils to taste but instead we had a sip of the local Cilaos 'brew' - a very sweet wine and our first 'Sandwich Americaine' which turned out to be a huge french stick filled with chicken, ham, melted cheese and chips! A quick visit to one of the many vanilla plantations on the eastern side of the island scattered in amongst the sugar cane fields and we had just about covered most of the island! We also managed to get a new spinnaker pole fitting made for us at one of the stainless steel fabricators.

21 - 28th October -The sightseeing done and holiday over - time to watch for that weather window to make the last 1500nm across the Indian ocean to South Africa - something no-one looks forward to because of the infamous winds and currents - first along the south east coast of Madagascar and then on the approach to the South African coast and the Agulhas current. Fortunately we had a relatively good passage - see flotsam - arriving in Durban after 8 days and 2 hours. It's 35 years ago since we first came to South Africa so we're expecting to see some big changes! We have a 3 month visitor visa so hope to do a bit of sightseeing.

29 - 31st October - Durban - first impressions very cheap! A beer for 70p and a meal out for a few pounds - wheyhey!


                         Position on 31 October S 29.51.833 E031.01.525














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