Friday, January 10, 2014


There are three spectacular "cirques" on the island, I've been to Cilaos a few times but in the almost two and a half years we have been here I hadn't been to either Salazie or Mafate.  So with Aurelie and the kids being away I thought I take the time to visit them starting yesterday with Salazie.

It's on the far (eastern) side of the island so it took a few hours to drive.  The eastern side of the island is the least developed coastal part of the island.  It  has a big Indian influence and it shows, at one point I passed what I took to be a Hindu offering/shrine? on the roadside as well as some men in full traditional garb. 

Hindu roadside offering
Salazie is reached by an occasionally knuckle whitening winding road and is the wettest of the cirques.  In the aftermath of the cyclone Bejisa you could really see what that means, there were lots of spectacular waterfalls (some pouring onto the road!) and there had been a lot of slope failures that were still in the process of being cleared up (at one point I saw a helicopter carrying out a cliff face inspection above where a landslide had occured, looked like fun!).

Helicoptering engineering 
Unfortunately when I got to the end of the line (literally, the road ends) at Hell Bourg (a lovely little village) the clouds really closed in reducing visibility to a hundred meters or so and the rain started in earnest so I didn't get to take many photos.  Still the image of the deep green mountain slopes draped in the mist was otherworldly and a little eerie and will stay with me!

Hell town (Hell Bourg) town square!
So next week I'm planning to take a little visit to Cirque de Mafate, this one will be a little different as there are no roads, foot access only!

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