Friday, November 30, 2012

Beach Visits

Chilling at the beach

Topless sunbathing is a favorite pastime of the locals

Hanging out at the beach at sunset

Coral at low tide

Coral at low tide

curly wave

Kids sitting on seawall 
OK, this is my last post of random images.  My next ones will be detailing my adventures around the island.  This batch is from my numerous visits to the beach.  Réunion's best beaches on are the western to south western side of the island.  Saint Gilles is about a 45 minute drive from here and is the resort city of the island.  Etang-Sale, another drive up the road, is known for having black sand volcanic beaches.  St. Pierre has some beaches to boast of itself, with a couple of lagoons for diving and snorkeling and some good waves to go kite surfing.  The fish are quite unlike I have seen before, at least in the wild, and it's neat to be able to see them up close.  It makes me wish I had rethought getting an underwater housing for my camera.  The parrot fish are super colorful and very territorial.  They will attempt to pick fights with anything that enters into their domain (including my leg).  Humpback and blue whales are often seen around here, and great white sharks roam the waves further north.  I am absolutely fascinated with the beachy culture and I could probably stare at the waves for hours.  I have photographed the waves over and over, trying to capture the feeling they give me, but so far, I feel like I haven't quite succeeded.  Living on this island has made me re-realize that I need to live near an ocean.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I've taken a bunch of sunset images since I've been here, and it just seems appropriate to inundate you with the sunset awesomeness that I have been experiencing here almost every night.  The sunsets here are quite unlike anything I've ever seen.  I thought sunsets were spectacular in Montana (they really are), but down here, there is something different, something that makes me want to grab my camera every day to take photographs of the sun slowing sinking into the ocean.  There is this romantic notion of standing in the ocean at the exact moment that the giant glowing orb disappears into the sea.  So enjoy some of my favorite sunset moments so far on this island.

Réunion Flowers




sugar cane

sugar cane fields
I normally don't take a lot of photographs of flowers, but the foliage here is pretty unbelievable.  It's unlike anything I have seen, so it tends to interest me more than the flowers back home.  Here are some of the flowers and plants that I have encountered during my time here.  Enjoy!

St. Pierre Market

Every Saturday, there is a market in St. Pierre just one block from where I currently live.  It's a great opportunity to get fresh fruits, veggies, cheeses, meats, and various knick knacks created by the vendors.  It is also a great place to take photographs and score some fresh vanilla.  The market (marché) is very crowded, noisy, full of strange smells, and blindingly hot.  I look forward to it every week.  For a couple hours every Saturday, the Market is the center of the world.  Sugar cane juicers set up stands where they create fresh fruit juices from the various fruits on the island.  They take fresh sugar cane and juice those as well.  Mixing the two together can create something really wonderful especially on a super hot day.  Fresh roasted chickens crowd the stalls at the front of the market, while little snack shacks along the way allow for mid market snacking.  Samoussas are the snack of choice; a little triangle deep fat fried dumpling filled with different items such as crab, potato, swordfish, and cheese.  The vanilla smell wafts over you the deeper you delve into the market.  Baby pineapples get cheaper the farther in you go.  The real finds are inside the heart of the market, where produce is much cheaper. A pound of onions for less than euro; three baby pineapples for two euro (or 1 euro fifty cents depending on the time); 20 vanilla pods for 3 euro.  I try to buy all my produce every week from the market because it is the most inexpensive way to shop on this pricey island.  I also love the feel, the vibe, of the market.  It gets into my soul and makes me excited to wake up on Saturday mornings.  Here are some images of the market, taken over three weeks.  Sorry for the mass quantity, I just decided to post them all at once.  Till next time....

Trucks in line at the Market

Woman cutting up fruit

Sugar cane juicer

sugar cane

snack shop

Baby pineapples (yes they are really that color)


Vendor cutting open a jackfruit

Market Flowers

Market Truck

Neon purple eggplant

passion fruit


Vendor sacks


A pretty fruit

Dressing room at a clothing vendor

Fresh comté cheese

Amanda shopping at the Market

Large banana bunches

miniature banana bunches

h'ericot verts

Bred, a vine and a veggie