Today was an idyllic, clear winter's day in La Reunion. Joseph, was taking his children up to a lookout known as Le Maido and asked if we would like to join them. Yes, we would we replied.
Reunion was formed by volcanic action; today there are three ancient calderas, so big that there are villages and walking tracks inside them. There are no roads in the Cirques as they are called and supplies have to be delivered by helicopter. There is still one active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise at the southern end of the island.
|Cirque de Mafate (N)|
|Cirque de Mafate (E)|
|Eva, Eric, Joseph and David|
Our journey up to Le Maido was on a steeply twisting road, many, many hairpins and narrow passing points, up through pine forests until we reached the rim and exceptional views. We were standing on top of the caldera looking into the crater and at the small communities which flourish on tourists hiking the trails in to and out of Mafate Cirque. This was a rare day of no clouds giving views all the way across to the other side. It is beautiful and it is cool. I can't remember when we were last at 2200m above sea level. It might be as long ago as our last skiing holiday.
We had lunch at a log cabin restaurant complete with a smoking wood fire. We could have been in the alps. A traditional creole dish of pork sausage with a tomato sauce, lentils and rice was the perfect choice on a chilly (for us) day.