Monday, March 18, 2013

Where there are no roads

Last week we went to the hauts (the heights) for some cooler weather and were able to look down into the Cirque de Cilaos.  The photos below are of one of the villages in the cirque, Grand Bassin, and of the only means by which the villagers get stuff to and from their village (other than carrying it by foot!).  One of the other three cirques on the island, Cirque de Mafate, is entirely only accessible by foot so it's like a lost world in there!

When I suggested to Aurelie that it might be cool to live in a isolated village like that, she looked at me and said in avoive that brooked no argument "for a weekend perhaps, just a weekend", spoilsport.

The village of Grand Bassin

How stuff is delivered to the village (and the rubbish collected)

The sign says "Transport of people strictly forbidden" 

Regulations for the packages that people are allowed to send (max weight and dimensions and no people or animals)


Monday, March 11, 2013

Fairy tale views

A little while ago while the kids were at school Aurelie and I went to one of the view points overlooking one of the three extinct calderas.  Looking at the photos it like looking at fairy tale towns in some sort of lost kingdom!

Ilet de Cordes

The two settlements in the caldera

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Garden Beastie!

We've been doing some gardening lately and came across this little fellow.  I'm afraid the pictures aren't great (my old iPhone isn't the best for close ups!)

He (or she) is Liocheles australasiae AKA the Malaysian tiny brown scorpion, not very dangerous but the sting can cause intense local pain for up to an hour!

Odd thing was that he (or she) kept going towards me when ever I tried to take a photo, most beasties usually try to get away as fast as possible.  I guess scorpions are just more badass!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My new best friends.

Since I have been here I have been diving and occasionally snorkeling with my Aqualung Caravelle open heel fins.  However open heel fins require the use of boots and aren't really suited to snorkeling so I deceided it was time for some new fins.  After looking about to see what was available locally and looking up the online reviews I decided on a pair of Mares Volo closed heel fins and picked them up at the local Decathalon (a big sporting goods chain in France).

My new best friends! Mares Volo closed heel fins.
Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to use them straight away as I developed a head cold which kept me out of the water for a few days but eventually I was able to get to play with them.  Our local town, Saint Pierre, is the second town of the island and the town is built on a beach with a lagoon which is a good safe place for swimming and snorkeling (it's Sam's favorite place to go snorkeling).  Being right on the town means that it's a popular place so much of the coral is damaged or dead but a bit further out from the shore there is some nice coral and fish life.

The lagoon at Saint Pierre
I spent about an hour tootleing about getting used to the fins and exploreing for the first time the further parts of the lagoon.  I'm continually amazed how much I love being in the water, being privy to the underwater world, exploreing and the freedom that the water allows us.
There was quite a bit of fish life once you got away from the shore, most of which I have seen many times before, not that that lessens how much I love to see them!  This time there was somthing different though, while pottering about I came accross a large spotted brown flying fish, I think Cypselurus sp, I've not been able to find any good images of it online but how wonderful to be just wander from the town into the water and suddenly, unexpectenly be within a meter of such a creature.  I spent a bit of time watching it flex it large fins, and getting ocasional glimses of it's colourful pectoral fins before decideing that I had better let it be and continued on my way.  I did however resolve to buy a good underwater camera (I'm thinking a GoPro) so that I can record the next time!

Random plastic rubbish I put in my pocket during my hour long snorkel

I've mentioned before on this blog that I hate plastic and whenever I am in the water I have gotten into the habit of picking up any pieces of plastic that I notice and putting them in my pocket so that I can bin them later.  Above is a picture of the plastic that I picked during my hours snorkel.  I'm in two minds about it, as far as I'm concerened any plastic in our oceans is too much but then again considering that this was just off a busy beach and the second largest town on the island mabey it's not so bad considering I covered a lot of lagoon, I don't honestly know. 

The sun setting over Saint Pierre lagoon