Friday, December 7, 2012

Grand Bassin

Last week, I ventured out to the mountains of Réunion with one of my new friends, Anne-Marie.  The hike started 5 kilometers from the town of Plains des Cafres, with an overlook to the village and pool that was our destination below.  Most of the hikes on this island are backwards from what I'm used to.  The destination is often at the BOTTOM of the mountain rather than at the top.
Grand Bassin

Mountains surrounding the village


Mountains towering above the the village 


The hike turned out to be pretty intense.  It was very steep and rocky, yet the views were phenomenal.  The journey was partly what made this destination.  There was a way-station halfway down the hike that had a spigot for fresh mountain water.  It was the perfect spot to catch a little bit of shade and refill our water bottles before continuing on our hike.  The village down below also relies on this building and others up at the top of the mountain for supplies and electricity.  On our way down, we actually got to see a shipment of fresh produce on its way down to the people below.
The shipment

View of Grand Bassin from the halfway point

Part of the building halfway

Misty mountains

My F-Stop camera pack at the water spigot

Part of the hike

Part of the hike

cable lines heading down to the village

We got lost once we made it to the village and ended up asking directions from a banana farmer who let us cut across his land.  I ended up being chased by a goose type bird creature who kept hissing as I walked by.  Once we got out of the village, we were back on the trail, trying to find a way down to the crystal clear pool so we could have a swim and cool off a bit.  We had to cross a river (which I fell in) before we managed our destination, the Grand Bassin.  The water was freezing cold, but invigorating.  Anne-Marie and I swam under the waterfall and enjoyed the fresh pool before climbing onto a warm rock to enjoy our lunch.  After some time at the pool, we made our way back through the river and began the long hike back to the top of the mountain.

On the way down to Grand Bassin

Farm in village

Farm in Village

At the Grand Bassin

at the Grand Bassin

Village overview

Walking into the Village

Anne-Marie in Grand Bassin

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