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Not as dead as a Dodo!


Going through the pics from my now defunct phone camera I found these from the island of La Reunion.

Reunion Island is off the south east coast of Madagascar. Although it is in the Indian Ocean, it is a department of France and so is actually in Europe!

It is the first land that the ancient mariners came to after crossing the Indian Ocean from India and the far east, laden with silks, tea and spices.

Famously, it is the home of Bourbon vanilla and, infamously, it was home to the now extinct Dodo bird.

The poor old Dodo didn’t stand a chance – fat, flightless, virtually asleep on its feet…and right there in the path of hungry sailors…

For several centuries, the French colonists grew sugar and cotton with the help of, mostly, African slaves. Many Malabars (Indian subcontinent) and Chinese traders came to the island over the years. The population now is a happy blend of all these peoples, who are now French!
(The food is also a fusion of all these culinary traditions and is amazing!)

Around one hundred years ago, the authorities decided to build a road across the middle of the island. This is the journey we made on that road.

First, we travelled north along the west coast. Here and there, you suddenly see a great spout of water, out beyond the reef, then nearby a humpback whale breaches vertically out of the water and crashes back down again, sending a huge wall of water upwards into the sky…

Oops! Missed it! The white dots are whale watching boats.

Darn! Missed it again! Never did manage to get camera organised in time!

After a while, we turned east into the interior. The road follows the path of a river, up and up…

When the roadbuilders reached the summit, imagine their surprise when they found…


Over the centuries, all the runaway slaves had made their way up the river…

…and founded a little Creole town (completely unbeknown to their masters!)…

…it even had a little Chinese general store!!!

After Hellbourg, the mountains give onto a huge high plain which straddles the island…

…and reminds you, a little, of the land that time forgot…

…a forest of tree ferns…

Then…rising in the distance…on the southeast coast…

The volcano…

…with several craters…

…and one really huge one!…

…and in that, there are lots of ‘pimples’…any one of which can suddenly send out a firey plume of lava! There is a wonderful picture of a tourist taking a picture of one of these pimples, when it suddenly spits molton rock at him!!…but I can’t show it to you as it’s not mine!…

The landscape is breathtaking…and the volcano is still very active…its last big eruption was in 2008!

Needless to say, noone lives around there and when it erupts, the lava rolls down the volcano and straight into the sea…making it boil…

But…by now it was getting towards sundown…

We had been out all day and had a wonderful experience…

…there was just one thing left to do…

Planter’s Punch!

A perfect end to a perfect day…cheers!!!

More blog posts by karenfrance

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wow, wonderful blog. Looks amazing and not a place I would ever have thought of going.. Thanks

13 Jul, 2011


Thanks, Madaboutg. OH works in the oil business and travels a lot...the up side is that he collects thousands of airmiles, which allows us to go to far flung places (especially if they are good diving sites!)...the down side is that he's hardly ever home!

For us, believe it or not, La Reunion is a domestic flight - we don't really leave the country!

...and the pics don't really do it justice!

13 Jul, 2011


A lovely story. Really enjoyed that, thank you for sharing those great pictures. What a fantastic place.

13 Jul, 2011


lovely blog, super photos, glad you shared them with us,

13 Jul, 2011


Fantastic, thankyou for sharing both the history and the photo`s, they are lovely....

13 Jul, 2011


It's a beautiful place and must have been interesting to visit there.

13 Jul, 2011


Fascinating! Lovely photos!

14 Jul, 2011


Thank you all :)

14 Jul, 2011


Lovely photos Karen. This is a lovely site - Iem glad you suggested I join. When I get my head around it all I will start my own blog.

17 Jul, 2011


Hi Beelady! glad you got'll love

17 Jul, 2011


Thanks for sharing that Karen, it was very interesting...thoroughly enjoyed it...Those Tree ferns are to die for, and look how expensive they are to buy at home....thanks once again Sue x

24 Jul, 2011


I know, expensive...and how would you feel if it died????.....!

24 Jul, 2011


It doesn't bear thinking about does it!!

24 Jul, 2011


There are poinsettias (did I spell that right?) all over the island, growing wild... it's really beautiful...

24 Jul, 2011

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