Logged 132 Nautical Miles
18.25 Hours Sailing, 1.75 Hours Motoring
October 25 to November 2
Mauritius to Reunion
Reunion Island is a bit of Europe transplanted to the Indian Ocean and the sophistication is welcome. It is a French overseas territory with great diversity in landscape and culture. It is said there are a thousand different landscapes on this mountainous volcanic island from clear Blue Lagoons to magnificent mountain views and enchanting volcanic lunar scenery.
At 132 nautical miles, the leg from Mauritius to Reunion was our shortest. The beginning started with 20 knots of wind from the North West, we were close hauled and reefed for this sporty overnight sail.
Berthed alongside a wall in a commercial port, at Le Port de Plaisance the small town of Le Port was a 20 minute walk away. Our dockage, was completely free to help promote tourism. The first evening was the welcome cocktail and prize giving reception, on the dock under a tent hosted by the Western Tourism Office and the Reunion Federation of Tourism. “Misto” took first place in the multihull division. It was a fun evening with a local band and three colorfully dressed dancing ladies. Everyone had a good time drinking and dancing.
Our first day of touring was with World ARC to the Plaines and the Volcano, the road leading to the volcano passed through beautiful scenery where cows peacefully grazed on grass in the meadows of the mountain pastures. The viewpoints of the valleys, plaines and volcano were magnificent. Plaines des Sables was covered in orange and brown scorch marks that stretched out in front of us as if walking on the moon. There was a nice hike and good lunch but the bus ride was long, hot and stuffy.
We rented a car for part of our eight day visit to do more touring, provisioning and fueling. One of our favorite days of touring was with Niki and crew from “Aranui” to Cap Noir. A sixty minute challenging hike on a sheer mountain included incredible views of steep sided mountains and deep valleys. Parts of the trail were very narrow and in some places ladders were installed on the tall vertical rocks. At the top we shared some lunch enjoying the amazing views. Continuing over the flat top there was a shorter thirty minute trail down.
Another day we drove to the Cirque of Salazie, the narrow winding road had many switchbacks and some one lane bridges. The area was lunch with green vegetation and numerous waterfalls. Stopping for some pastries and information in the village of Hell-Bourg I was impressed with the brightly colored creole houses. It is known as one of the “most beautiful villages in France.” Everywhere we turned on our three hour hike in the forest of Belouve there were different panoramic views of the valleys and mountains. There were beautiful flowers and colorful birds. We got a late start on our last day of touring and after a steep winding two hour drive up to the top of Piton Maido all we saw were clouds. Driving south we enjoyed the scenery of the forest thru Trois Bassins and the Black Sand Beach on the south coast. Missing a turn we decided to follow the signs to a nearby Croc Park. It was like a zoo with large crocodiles, camels and other animals.
World ARC organized a Halloween Costume Party at Le Dodo bar and restaurant on the dock. Most of the fleet attended enjoying dinner, a great band and dancing. The French female singer was incredibly good singing a variety of Rock and Roll songs and interacting with the audience.
I enjoyed Reunion, it was modern enough to be comfortable but not overly commercialized and offered lots of amazing outdoor activities. In addition to hiking several people went canyoning, horseback riding, paragliding and on helicopter flights. Our last day was spent doing the final preparations for another challenging Indian Ocean passage. We completed the clearance formalities and attended a weather briefing as well as getting some work done on the internet. Wi-Fi continues to be a challenge for us , for $10 per day we purchased high speed internet through our service provider. In Mauritius I had purchased a sim card for $38 from Emtel but still the service was sporadic and frustrating. “Mischief” treated us to a nice dinner out at La Dodo restaurant as a thank you to Dan for fixing their freezer and for lending them our 12V cockpit cooler in the meantime. It was a nice last evening out.