Sailing around the World ( presently in Reunion Island ) " ILE DE LA REUNION "

TUESDAY  26th  OCTOBER  2010
 
The Island is Very Mountainous. It had a volcano eruption around 1640  and the lastest one was just a few years ago in 1992, Its highest mountain
is 3,069m  ( 10,069 ft )  
The sheer scale of the mountains is dramatic, Very very steep and mostly covered with srubs and trees,   The top of the mountains are mostly covered in clouds, so there are lots of waterfalls, streams and rivers.  but the roads inland through these mountains are narrow and winding. however the surface is excellent and the main roads and highways are as good as any in Europe.
 
The Island is totally French owned and well subsadised, the food here is naturally very french and very good, but with a lot of etnic stuff added for extra taste. The villages and towns are very pretty and most of the residential buildings are well spread up the hill sides, so everyone seems to have good views of the sea,     ie , they can see the tornado's and cyclone's comming a long way off.
 
Back on board the boat,
04.00hrs We heard a noise on the quay wall, not very loud, Aileen was up checking the deck, when she met the harbour Master who informed her that there was a Tsunami or big wave as he put it , outside the harbour,
He almost caused panic on the boats, but the yanks were quick to get on the net and find out the real storey from the U.S. It turned out that there had been an earthquake in Indonesia and a Tsunami warning, which was cancelled shortly afterwards, however, it seems there was some damage to yachts in other harbours around the Island. But whatever was there, we escaped.
However , for the next hour or so, we had plenty of men in uniforms on overtime on the dock.  " Top up the account with a little false alarm practice "
 
Paul from " rally control " had a coffee on board and we discussed arrangments for Cape Town and  S.A. as we leave for Richards Bay in south Africa next Saturday.
 
11.00hrs We took off in the rent a car, It is so small that it would hardly be strong enough to pull a straw out of cow dung. 
but we managed to keep her going and headed north to St Denis, the capitol and about 15 miles away.
St denis, ( the old town ) was beautifull and most of the buildings had very steep french type roofs , ( Mauritius had simular ones whice I mentioned before. )  However the collection of restaurants was great, and the buildings were in great condition.
 
First thing on the agenda , was a look at the Cathedral and as luck would have it , Mass was being celebrated at the time, so we all went along .
Following Mass, we had a walk around and then went back down towards the waterfront to " Paul's " restaurant where we had a great lunch,
Skipper had a typical french dish of " Confi Duck " while Collette had Lamb and Aileen and Terry had Fish.  It was all just excellent.
 
15.00hrs we left St Denis and headed across the NE of the Island and over to St Andre and on up the mountains to " Salazie " a Creole village.
The journey was spectacular through the mountains, They were more dramatic then the Alps in Europe and thats saying something.
We stopped at The "Wedding Veil " which was a magnificant collection of waterfalls , cascading down the sides of the cliffs towards the rivers below. 
we had to spend some time here admiring the sheer beauty of this scene. and of course taking photo's ..........
 
From there we wandered up, up and up untill we reached Heaven. well thats what it felt like. " Hell-Bourg"  above Salazie was a very pretty little village,
gowd,  you would have to ask yourself , how did the people get up and down from here when there were no cars, it must have taken days just to go one way down and ohhhh  the journey back . frightning.
 
We met Sandro, Lisa , and Bernard while up there, they were staying in a small hotel for the night, and going mountain walking next day.
On our return journey down the hill, we passed a 4x4 lying over on its side, having slipped into the deep road side gullys , at least 1m deep and 1m wide to take the monsoon rains. We carried on as there were enough onlookers and gawlkers there already.
 
We arrived back at the boat at 20.00hrs, , driving in the dark in such a little car was tough going.and we were all exhausted
and still stuffed to the gills from the lunch, so no cooking dinner. and we had a small night cap before hitting the scratchers  xxxxxxxxx
 
Thats it for today.
 
Signed :-   Stephen  Hyde   ( Skipper )