Long ago, when slavery dictated life in the island for laborer forcefully brought to La Reunion from Africa . Runaways slaves and newly emancipated laborers mistrusting the intentions of their former masters settled in the beautiful, albeit inaccessible, valleys of the dormant ancient crater on the protective side of the active volcan and below the towering slope of the island highest peak. These fertile valleys , cut off from the ever growing population below did not have any roads connecting them to the coastline towns but for one easily defended climb.
This is where I tested my legs today. The road to the Maques in the cirque of Cilaos. Unbelievable. I did half the climb, starting from the shore line. It rises over 7800 feet of which I climbed 4400 until I was stopped by the cold fog. Temp was 86 degrees most of the climb , hotter at the coast level, much too cool inside the fog.
At the village the caravane of cars scooped me up to the point lookout for a family picnic In the tropical forest.
We came down by car . I didn’t want to try descending the narrow road to the coast .
Tomorrow we are leaving earlier even than today in order to head for a whole day long excursion to the active, presently erupting, volcano of Piton de la Fournaise. We hope we will be allowed very near.