Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tour des Cirques: Mafate take two

I mentioned in my last post about a hike that Amanda, Helena, and I took through Mafate.  Since I took so many images, I decided to do a second post about that hike specifically.  Our hiking experience was beyond epic.  Amanda, Helena, and I have all lived in the same town in Montana for quite awhile, but Amanda and I hadn't met Helena until we came down here.  The three of us formed a bond while in Mafate, constantly saying things like, "Bozeman takes Mafate."  Our first day took us to Ilet des Orangers, an eleven mile hike from Sans Souci.  The walk is fairly easy, flat most of the way with climbs only at the beginning and end.  We had a nice evening of reading and passed out fairly early to prepare for the next day.  We were told that the hike from Orangers to Marla, our next destination, was going to be difficult and would take four and a half hours.  After five hours of intense up and down hiking, we discovered that perhaps the time frame was bit off.  Then it started raining.  The hike after the rain started was a bit sketchy in areas.  The last climb was literally up a rain waterfall.  We arrived in Marla dripping wet, slightly chilled, and ready for sleep after hiking for seven and a half hours.  Our host gladly offered us a lemon herbal tea, and we all snuggled in our bunks, excited to be dry and warm for the first time in hours.  The next morning we were treated to a phenomenal breakfast of banana pancakes, homemade grain bread, homemade jams, and some of the best coffee I have had on the island.  Thus fortified, we continued up to the Col du Taibit, the mountain pass.  Once I had made it to the top, I was lagging a bit behind the others, I couldn't stop smiling.  We had literally hiked from one end of the cirque to the other, we had hiked from Mafate into Cilaos, and I had just completed the longest hike I had ever done in my life.  It was a beautiful feeling.  


End of day one 

Gite owner in Orangers
Marla view from just above Ilet des Orangers

Marla from the hike to Col du Taibit

Eating ostrich billtong on the hike

Cilaos, our final destination

Falling asleep in the bus at the end 

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