Wednesday 5th August 2015:
This day was just insane! We slept so well and we woke up to the beautiful sound of the rain hitting the metal rooftop (la kaz en taule). We were in St Anne.
We had breakfast after our showers and ate in the garden which was amazing since the sun was up and we could hear the cockerels singing.
Awesome breakfast! Baguette with banana from Reunion Island. Just a pure and beautiful creole mix.
Fred was really tired but was ready by 8am. We overslept due to the crazy day the day before.
After getting ready, Fred kindly took us to a beautiful place near his house where he used to play when he was a kid. It was a lovely stream that opened up to a river.
We jumped from one big rock to another being careful not to fall into the freezing water.
As I made my way back to the car, my brother said: “Oh Nad, you’re not gonna believe this!” I followed jumping from the last rock and as I turned on the corner, I glanced at this magnificent scene which obviously made me incredibly happy. I thought I was in Japan again!!!!!
We embarked onto the next set of the journey. Vincent said he was on his way and Fred wanted to show us the lava river so we went quite far but as we were making our way there, Vincent called saying he had arrived in St Anne.
We greeted Vincent and got ready, packing everything that we needed to pack.
This time the sun came out beautifully and there was no messing around on our trajectory.
We decided that today was going to be the climbing of the Piton de la Fournaise.
- Piton de la Fournaise (French): “Peak of the Furnace” is a shield volcano on the eastern side of Réunion island (aFrench department) in the Indian Ocean. It is currently one of the most active volcanoes in the world, along with Kīlauea in the Hawaiian Islands (Pacific Ocean), Stromboli, Etna (Italy) and Mount Erebus in Antarctica. A previous eruption began in August 2006 and ended in January 2007. The volcano erupted again in February 2007, on 21 September 2008 and on 9 December 2010, which lasted for two days. The most recent eruption began on 1 August 2015.
- The volcano is located within Réunion National Park, a World Heritage site.Piton de la Fournaise is often known locally as le Volcan (The Volcano); it is a major tourist attraction on Réunion island.
The car drive to there was very curvy and tiresome and it felt like it was never going to end.
We stopped at many stations on the way to look at the scenery on different plateaux and absorb the beautiful sight of nature.
We came to a point where we had to walk far onto a dangerous road. Cars were coming really quick and there was no barrier to protect us. Weather was very temperamental and so quick in changing as you can see on the next few pictures.
We couldn’t stop but being in awe from the amazing sight.
We got back into the car as it was getting really cold being that high in altitude. (2,632m – 8,635ft).
We arrived at a base station and walked to this magnificent inactive volcano.
All of a sudden the weather started to change and we had to walk back quickly to the car as there were risks of being blown away.
Absolutely incredible landscape.
We left the base and started making our way to the volcano but before we could get to the volcano we had to go through a road called “Vallée de la Lune”.
This road was crazy and it was almost impossible to have a steady second due to the rocks.
Very often we would find ourselves not speaking and just loving the landscape.
This landscape looked as if we were on planet Mars.
It was just surreal.
We arrived finally at the base station of the Volcano and we stopped to enjoy a hot chocolate because the intense cold and some snacks.
We saw this dog coming from afar. The scene was insane.
We then left the station to go to the volcano but we were told that the enclosure was closed because of possible eruption. I was devastated but at the same time very content because I managed to do what I needed to do and we got as far as we could.
We decided to absorb the whole vibe one last time and then left.
On the way back we stopped many times on the ground of the plateau to take more pictures.
We laughed the whole way and we started to become tired.
We left the whole volcano area and made our way back to home.
My brother was hungry and we made a decision to stop somewhere to eat the food that we had prepared. It was at this time that the weather became better again.
The scenery was heaven for me as a photographer.
We drove back to St Anne and Vincent suggested that we should go to see the Coulée de Lave (Lava river) on the other side of the island. We got super excited and off we went.
We arrived there after an hour drive. The weather had changed again and it was so rainy.
We stopped on the hard shoulder of the road and got off the car in a heavy rain but it didn’t matter the scenery was worthy.
We were walking on cold lava which was an insane experience.
Life appeared over time on the rocks.
Fred and I decided to walk by ourselves towards the end of the river which ended in the ocean.
Samir and Vincent made their way back to the car
I picked up a lava rock on my way back and kept it with me. I still got it to this day.
Fred and I from afar taken by my brother.
My brother shot this as I was holding the Mamiya 7.
The five last shots above were taken by my brother.
The last of the day with the volcano.
We made our way to the car and I felt like I was Nathan Drake jumping from high rocks to another without injuring myself. It was so cool.
We got into the car and drove back to the house to drop Fred. It was our last day in Reunion Island as we were departing the next day around 5pm.
We arrived at St-Denis (the capital) and we had gorgeous food that Vincent’s mother had prepared. In the end we opted to go for a lovely desert in town to enjoy our journey in La Reunion.
St Denis at night was beautiful. It was weird to see France in such a tropical setting.
We enjoyed the dessert and went home ready for the last day.