Sunday, December 30, 2012

La Chapelle

It's been a busy couple of weeks here on the island, so I have been behind on my posts!  So, I'll begin my catchup with a hike I did a couple of weeks ago in the Cirque de Cilaos.  The destination was La Chapelle, a giant cave carved out of black rock about 3 miles from the town of Cilaos.  A large majority of hikes on this island are backwards from what I'm used to; the hikes start at the top of the mountain instead of at the bottom.  This one was no exception, however, it was easier than the Grand Bassin hike I had done a couple weeks prior.  The trail splits about halfway to La Chapelle, with the left fork heading up to a village and the right fork leading to La Chapelle.  The cave is huge!  Giant rocks dominate the entrance.  The air is slightly more humid, yet cooler, and the river running through the middle of the cave is a perfect place to splash around in.  Birds nest in the cave, and the rocks on the inside are covered in bird droppings.  I didn't bring my tripod (it's very heavy, I will have to invest in a true carbon fiber one later), so I set up my camera on a rock to take a long exposure of some of the colors in the cave.  Something began tickling my hand as I was positioning my camera.  I brushed it off as being moss and continued with the long exposure.  Moments later, I glanced down and noticed that my hand and arm, as well as my camera, were covered in thousands of tiny spiders.  Needless to say, the long exposure wasn't successful.  I splashed into the river to kill the creatures that were making their way up my arm.  I had to clean off my camera and dip my camera strap in the river to get rid of them all.  Needless to say, La Chapelle was a great adventure, and I look forward to a soon to be canyoning trip through the cave.

Amanda being strong

Amanda in front of La Chapelle

Rocks at the entrance

Tiny frog

La Chapelle from above

Me in front of La Chapelle

My trusty photo pack

Yellow house in Cilaos at the top of the hike


  1. Aly, these photos are breathtaking - I almost feel like I'm right there! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing journey! Happy New year

  2. Thanks, Jeanette!! Happy New Year to you too!