Monday, November 26, 2012


I'm FINALLY getting around to editing some of the images that I have taken since being on Réunion.  Between heat, sickness, and beach time, motivation to post and edit images has been severely lacking.  This set of images is from my first four days on the island.  My friend Amanda and I hiked to a waterfall in the Cirque de Cilaos.  Cilaos is one of three Cirques on the island and it's the closest one to where I live (Saint Pierre).  The road up to Cilaos is twisty and narrow and the bus driver had to honk the horn every time we went around a corner.  The mountain town of Cilaos is breathtaking, a little European jewel in the midst of the tallest peaks in the Indian Ocean.  Piton de Neiges rises above the city, with shorter peaks creating the rest of the landscape.  The spire of the Notre Dame de Piton des Neiges pokes its way above the other surrounding buildings.  The vegetation is incredibly varied.  A type of pine tree grows in the higher regions alongside vibrant flowers, ferns, and palm trees.  The temperature is easily 15 degrees cooler than it is by the coast.  To say I liked Cilaos is an understatement.  Saint Pierre is hot and crowded while Cilaos is peaceful, calm, crisp, cool.  It's absolutely beautiful.

I have also ventured down to the marina and became fascinated with the sail boats in the harbor.  I have discovered a whole culture of sailor down here that I didn't even know existed.  Thousands of people buy up sail boats and decide to circumnavigate the planet all on their own.  Réunion is one of the many places where these solo sailors stop on their way around the globe.  My roommates and I became friends with a couple of these interesting individuals, having dinner on their boats and learning about a totally different lifestyle.  For the first week of my time here, we had a little community of American ex pats hanging out and enjoying each other's company.  Some of these sailors hadn't met another American in several months.  The ability to communicate effectively seemed to be a soothing balm for a couple of them.

Even though this is a French speaking community, I haven't found it to be too much of a problem.  Several people down here speak a little English, so with my limited French and their limited English we have found a way to communicate.  Amanda and several of the other English teachers down here have been giving me impromptu French lessons, so my grasp of the language is slowly becoming better.  It's been an adventure to learn a new language and I'm excited to be able to eventually hold a conversation with someone.

I have several hundred more images to go through, but I just wanted to post these ones for now, as a sort of teaser of what the island is like.

Bird (took this photograph for my mom)

Boats at the Marina

Boats at Marina


Walking Bridge

Sunset at the Seawall


Sunset and Clouds 

Spire of Notre Dame de Piton des Neiges 

Beach (or Plage, in French)

Road to Cilaos

On the way to Cilaos

On the way to Cilaos

On the way to Cilaos




Till next time...

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