Reunion island is mostly know to Francophones, after which they it link it to Mauritius. In fact, it is the other way round, being the only sister island to Mauritius in their volcanic history, both islands share a common mama of lava and eruption …. until Maurtius decided it wanted to close down its smoking crater. Reunion, still spews hot ash, smoke and lava every now and then.
Me and to-be hubby visited the island in 1999, and we particularly loved every minute of our stay there. My visits had so far been on a work basis, and enjoying freedom to wake up to the incredibly beautiful landscapes on the hilly Cilaos, always makes me want to shout out loud ‘Hey! Come and visit this place! this is as close to paradise you can get.’
St Denis is a small cosmopolitan capital city with beautiful colonial houses and modern business quarter. It has a quaint ‘bazar’ where you can pick your exotic fruits, vegetables and souvenirs. Most of it coming from Madasgacar, pretty woven raffia baskets, white embroidered table cloths, and spices. I specially love its unique gourmet artisan chocolate collection housed in a tiny ‘case creole’. Close your eyes, you would feel like being in an ethnic quarter in Paris. The chic gentry mixes with the laid back Creoles in a peaceful and romantic atmosphere.
The mountainy areas in the middle of the island is a totally different story. The cirques as they are called comes abruptly after a long winding road up steep turns, climbing and dipping in a roller coaster ride, we got to the down into the caldera, …. The feeling was unlike anything I have experienced and I did let out I shriek I must admit!
It was a beautiful sight with all the green on either side of us but what waited at the end we really didn’t expect and it literally took my breath away. An absolutely magical waterfall cascading down the mountains and into crystal pools. Reaching the second most active volcano in the world Piton de la Fournaise after a simple but copious local cuisine lunch in a nearby case, where Dominique welcomed us with generous pourings of his Rhum Arranges, we had to take a little nap, the cocktail of fruits, alcohol, exciting adventure and probably love are just too heady to take in !