Our own family tour taking a tour on "La Coulée de 2007"
Wed 1 Nov 2017 12:15
Our crew member Johan chose to go flying parapente today so this day went exploring La Réunion as a family and we had plenty of choices. We decide Alex and Inez were to choose what to do and they chose to see more of the volcano Piton de la Fournaise, however this time on the other side. When we did the tour with the World Arc we went up to the top of the volcano. Today we chose to drive all the way South of Réunion, round the volcano to where it drops into the sea. This is the side of the volcano where the lava of the eruptions from 2002, 2004 and as late as 2007 have been flowing all the way down to the sea.
We came to the point where we could see the remainings of “La coulée de 2007” meaning the lava flow from the eruption of 2007. Up in the clouds is the top of the volcano Piton de la Fournaise. The grey parts are the lava flow that has turned into dried lava and in the front of the picture the lava has turned black. We guess this is the part of the lava that becomes fertile as small plants have already found they way out and are growing steadily from the lava.
It is amazing how nature finds its way.
The lava had been flowing down all the way to the sea, cutting off the existing road for several months. Once the lava had cooled down and turned into hard stone, then the road construction could start again. One can tell that this road is newly rebuilt.
We stopped the car and took a tour on the lava which was quite impressive. We try to imagine how it must have been to see this enormous lava flowing down the mountain and being stopped by the sea. We found this little cave created by an air bubble in the lava before it cooled down.
We all found it very entertaining to contemplate the lava and what was now coming out of it.
Beautiful view out towards the sea.
These flows are from 2002 and 2004, you can tell by the vegetation being more dense.
The East or Windward Coast is Réunion Island’s more exotic region, where tropical garden, white water and tonic streams combine with the authenticity of everyday life offer a real change of scenery. We fell under the spell of various plant, species and colours and relish its local products and cuisine such as when we found this lovely place for lunch, Le Poisson Rouge, where we were the only strangers with all the locals. We were served a 3-course lunch as is common in France.
We passed by a village called St Rose which main attraction is the church nowadays named “Notre Dame des Laves”. The church really deserves its name. In 1977, an eruption occurred causing a huge lava flow devastating everything on its way, houses, villages, etc. However once it reached the church, the miracle in this story is that the lava did not get any more oxygene to continue burning once it reached the inside of the church which made that the church was spared from burning. Some believe it was a miracle from God, other rely more on science and gave it a logical explanation. Anyhow it is an amazing sight!
On our way home, we continued up the East coast of Réunion making us driving all around the island in one loop. We passed now the Capital of Réunion, called St Denis.
Once we had passed St Denis we ended up on the main motorway connecting the Capital St Denis to the Southern part of the island. This motorway has been quite a challenge for the inhabitants of Réunion as this huge “FAlaise” drops big rocks and sometimes the motorway has to be closed down. This is a very fragile part of the island as it cuts of the infrastructure from St Denis to the rest of the West coast being the more populated side of the island.
Therefore another parallel motorway is under construction, building a 10 kms road out at sea, for XXXX million euros for an island with XXXX inhabitants. We can sometimes wonder if there was really no other “cheaper” way to solve this problem?
Being the 1st of November we were reminded that this is All Saints Day. Flowers were sold everywhere and we visited the cemetery close to the marina on our way back home to the boat.