Reunion – South Coast

11th October 2015. Reunion.

Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall

From Cilaos, I headed down the south coast in a counter-clockwise direction and after a while I came to this delightful series of cascades at Grand Galet.

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall

I had had an offer from a Frenchman where I was staying in Mauritius to stay with him at his house in Grand Galet and originally intended to travel my route for the day clockwise and end up at Grand Galet.  I had cancelled my intended accommodation for the night, when I checked my email before departing and discovered he had met up with a woman at the airport and would not be there.  Just as well I had a web connection.  So I sent another email cancelling my cancellation.  I hadn’t received a response from either email so I took off.  As it turned out, I don’t think either of them were received.

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall

This image and the next are at the village near the cascades where I had been expecting to stay.

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall .

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall

This is a point along the south coast where the road went beside the sea and where I stopped, probably near Saint-Phillipe.  On other journeys I had points of interest defined on routes I had created on my car GPS.  This time the download had not worked and I did not check it before I left.  Consequently, I drove past most of the places I had intended to visit and stopped at a few random ones instead.

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall

I saw a sign on a minor road showing a turnoff to Le Vieux Port or the Old Port.  That sounded interesting so I went to check it out.  I managed to park at the end of the road – with some difficulty because there were many cars and not many spaces.  Then it was on foot.  This is a flowering plant on the way.

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that the port was used in the seventeenth century for a while before moving somewhere else.  It’s hard to imagine why there was ever any kind of a port here because it’s so rugged and exposed and with no easy route inland to anywhere.  Perhaps there was once a jetty here and maybe the water is deep offshore so ships could get close inshore in favourable conditions.

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall .

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall

Fishing was a popular activity here.

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall .

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall .

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall .

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall

A little further on, this is the church Notre Dame des Laves (Our Lady of the Lava) at Piton Sainte Rose.  In 1977 in one of the many eruptions of Piton De La Fornaise, Reunion’s active volcano, a stream of lava crossed the road, stopped right at the front of the church, diverted into two streams on either side, then reunited behind the church and continued on to the coast.  Clearly a miracle.

The volcano was actually erupting while I was there but all I saw was a huge plume of smoke.  There was no point checking it out further because parking anywhere near was closed off.  I didn’t have the time to walk in and anyway, there was probably little point.

One thing I didn’t manage to see while I was there were little red shrines to St Expédit which are or perhaps were fairly common.  This saint is said to be particularly effective at placing curses on people, for which he then expects payment, hence the shrines.  The story goes that in the nineteenth century, Church officials in Reunion were anxious for some kind of holy relics to impress the credulous.  Eventually, a box of bones arrived with no label but the word Expédit (or express delivery).  The recipients concluded that these must be the remains of St Expédit.  This saint also has a different life as a Roman soldier in the Americas.  In 1905, Pope Pius X demanded that Expédit be struck of the list of martyrs and all images of him be destroyed.  No attention was paid to this in Reunion.

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Architecture, Grand Galet, Landscape, Macro, Photography, Piton Sainte Rose, Reunion, seascape, Travel, Vieux port, Waterfall

The final image is at the back of a restaurant in Saint Benoit.  I went there at the invitation of someone who worked there who I sat next to on the plane.  He was leaving by the time I turned up but one of his co-workers gave me a drink and showed me around.

As well as not having routes on my GPS, I didn’t have any power for it from the car (because the car didn’t have a cigarette lighter) and I was having to use it off battery and powered off my laptop.  I was very close to running out of power from both sources when I found my accomodation for the night.  Then I was confronted by a locked gate and it took a while to attract any attention.  Then they told me they were closed and I would have to go away.  I pointed out I had a confirmed booking and had paid a deposit so after a while they relented and at least I had a bed for the night.

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10 comments on “Reunion – South Coast

  1. leecleland says:

    What a challenging day this was, and then to have to discuss about your lodging for the night through a locked gate! Must have been frustrating with the GPS not working but you still managed some lovely shots, the cascades are beautiful.

    Like

  2. v4vikey says:

    Heavenly beautiful………………..!

    Like

  3. Beautiful – but I’m surprised about the attitude of the accommodations – that must have been unnerving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Murray Foote says:

      Finding them was tricky and then there was the problem of attracting their attention. Having got to that point there was no way I was going to let them fob me off since I’d paid the deposit and got a booking confirmation.

      Liked by 1 person

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