Reunion and Mauritius are two "sister islands" but extremely different from each other even if both are of volcanic origin.

Where Mauritius is famous for its beaches, Réunion is famous for its volcano and mountains. Salazie, Cilaos and Mafate are very old collapsed volacnic cones called circuses.

Reunion Island is a magnificent destination both for its breathtaking landscapes and for its very kind and extremely hospitable inhabitants.

Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean is part of the Mascarene Islands with Mauritius and Rodrigues. Formerly named Ile Bourbon, Réunion is a French overseas department.

Close to Mauritius geographically, Reunion is not at all like its sister island. Both are of volcanic origin, but while the last volcano in Mauritius has been extinct for 10 or 15,000 years, Reunion still has one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, the Piton de la Fournaise.

And the three big circuses that are Cilaos, Salazie and Maffate still present impressive reliefs due to volcanoes certainly inactive and collapsed, but compared to Trou-aux-Cerfs in Mauritius, they look like youngsters.

Reunion Island is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers while Mauritius mainly attracts tourists in search of calm and fine sand.

 

Time and time again the lava from Piton de la Fournaise has made its way to the ocean, destroying everything in its path.

All...?

There have been historical exceptions such as this church of Sainte Rose which was spared during the dramatic eruption of 1977.

But as always, life takes back its rights even after a major trauma like a lava flow.

The following photos were taken on the RN2 which has been repeatedly cut by lava. The first plants emerge again from the cooled lava after a few years.

 

March 24 marks the beginning of a catastrophic eruption of Piton de la Fournaise which would last until April 16. The lava flow did not follow the usual course and crossed the village of Piton Sainte Rose twice.

On April 13, the lava flow destroyed thirty houses in the village and spared (miraculously?) The village church.

If some speak of a miracle, how can we explain that the gendarmerie also escaped this destructive flow.

The church was renamed "Notre-Dame des Laves".

The gendarmerie remained "National Gendarmerie" .... but was rebuilt a little further.

 

But the volcano is not only a source of desolation and destruction ...

It has given birth to a multitude of breathtaking landscapes, creating more magnificent sites than the others.

It is the meeting of fire and water that we owe these extraordinary coastal landscapes, even if they are not to the liking of beach goers.

It is also a very ancient volcanic activity that the cirques of Salazie, Cilaos and Mafate with their steep reliefs and their remarkable waterfalls must exist.

 

The Bois Court belvedere is a promontory on a very deep valley in the foothills of the Cilaos cirque. The villages at the bottom of the gorge (including the Grand Bassin islet) are several hours' walk from the first shop ... It is therefore better not to forget something when shopping.

Fortunately, a freight elevator system has been put in place to facilitate the provisioning of a few dozen inhabitants.

 

But Reunion is not just marvelous landscapes shaped by the volcanic activity of the island during the last 100,000 years.

It is also a very warm island with its extremely friendly inhabitants who live in villages full of charm.

History also shaped the island with happy and other more controversial periods such as this episode of slavery which lasted until the end of the 19th century. It is moreover slavery and especially the fierce desire for freedom of the victims (maroon slaves) which is the source of the habitat in the inaccessible circuses of Cilaos and Mafate.

The Cirque de Salazie is home to one of the most beautiful villages in France, Hell Bourg.

Gastronomy is also part of the culture of Reunion with the wonderful spices sold among others on traditional markets ...

 

about the place, Réunion :

Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean is part of the Mascarene Islands with Mauritius and Rodrigues. Formerly named Ile Bourbon, Réunion is a French overseas department.

Close to Mauritius geographically, Reunion is not at all like its sister island. Both are of volcanic origin, but while the last volcano in Mauritius has been extinct for 10 or 15,000 years, Reunion still has one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, the Piton de la Fournaise.

And the three big circuses that are Cilaos, Salazie and Maffate still present impressive reliefs due to volcanoes certainly inactive and collapsed, but compared to Trou-aux-Cerfs in Mauritius, they look like youngsters.

Reunion Island is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers while Mauritius mainly attracts tourists in search of calm and fine sand.

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Reunion Island