La Réunion #2: Piton de la Fournaise

He is the creator of La Réunion and Maurice. A so-called hot box volcano and, what is more, one of the most active around the world. Every year around August the Piton de la Fournaise erupts and extends the island to the south-east. A spectacle no local would miss to watch. They love their volcano who built 90% of the area. (The remaining 10% are white coral beaches) The whole volcano area has been appointed as national park and makes up around 60% of the island.

IMG_5763To reach the edge of the crater one has to drive a stony road that basically consists of potholes for about an hour. What you then find is this very special landscape. There are those small bushes and grasses, only a couple of species that are able to survive on top of volcanic rocks.IMG_5770IMG_5772At this point, Pas de Bellecombe, you are at 2310 m. It took a few minutes for me to adjust to the rare air and to get ready to hike.IMG_5804The famous iron gate, which is closed whenever the volcano is about to erupt. Passing the door, I finally got to see my first volcano. I got very excited because the volcanic cone and I are in fact namesakes; I mean what a coincidence?IMG_5760IMG_5757IMG_5758IMG_5809Unfortunately, the weather in the crater is very changeable. It was about 4°C when we arrived. I would have loved to do the 2.5 hour hike to Piton de la Fournaise, but with the icy wind and rain in my face the walking was incredibly exhausting. When the clouds began to cover the crater, I finally lost my motivation. I probably wouldn’t have seen anything out there. So hiking a volcano remains on my list, watch out Indonesia!IMG_5766IMG_5759IMG_5765IMG_5755IMG_5762There really is something about volcanite. It weights almost nothing and sparkles in all those colours.IMG_5808The cave, the first explorer of the volcano used to camp in during his studies.IMG_5773IMG_5754IMG_5753IMG_5761IMG_5756IMG_5771IMG_5752IMG_5769IMG_5751IMG_5803IMG_5768IMG_5805


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