Sunday, September 25, 2011

Two weeks in and Black Sand!

We're more than two weeks here now and still finding our feet really. We're all enjoying the life here so far, which of course isn't hard to do when you don't have to work and are living on a Tropical island!

Of course Reunion doesn't really fit the stereotype image of a tropical island. For one thing being a part of France it's a lot more developed, at least parts of it are, the mix of first world (do we still say first world?) and less developed elements is a bit jarring at times but not in a bad way.  Another thing is just how varied the island is, from the wild south and empty east to the busy, beach encrusted west (haven't been to the north yet) and that is just the coastline!

We've been busy this week getting more things sorted and exploring a bit more.

We bought a car (a 2005 Mazda 3, white of course) on Tuesday, picked it up on Friday, cars are a lot more expensive here than in Europe but other things are a lot less expensive so you win some and you lose some.

We also went to see a couple of houses (a lot more to see this week, more to come on this).

Spent some time at a few different beachs, one of which was a black(ish) sand beach (according to Lonely Planet it's one to the best beaches in Réunion) which we went to on Saturday afternoon. Quick geology leason, Réunion is a volcanic island made up of lots of basalt, a dark volcanic rock, when this erodes it forms black sand which mixes with the eroded coral (which is white) to form a darker sand than we are used to.

(looking south)

One effect of this is that it absorbs the heat from the sun more readily. Which means it heats up more than the sand we poor Irish folk are used to, la lot more. Cue me jumping wildly across the sand diving into the shade of a convenient palm tree before suffering anything more serious than sore feet (the rest of the clan were back at the car getting ready while brave daddy was scouting about).
Reading the information sign nearby I discovered that in addition to the usual dangerous currents and sharks the sand can give you third degree burns! Is it just me or is dangerous sand (that isn't quicksand) just the greatest thing!

(looking north)

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