Island Escapes

Reunion Island Travel – Our family holiday begins

To travel is to breathe. It is the single most important thing you could do in your life that would change you for the better.

Nothing could quite prepare us for the roads of Reunion Island. We’ve been to island destinations – and I promise, we (I) don’t sit in a resort waiting for my next cocktail to arrive. We explore. We are on the road looking around, (attempting) to connect to locals, eating, drinking and taking photos.

Reunion Island Family Travel on Air Austral
Lexa did not scream or sleep on the flight, she was having the time of her life!

Meeting the roads of Reunion Island

If you’ve ever been to Zimbabwe you will know those tarred roads where if traffic comes from the front you have to scoot on over and drive one wheel in the dust… Reunion Island is the same, but far, far scarier. I will share more about the scariest road we’ve ever driven on my next post.

First night on Reunion Island

We rented a Renault Trafic, a very wide minibus with 3 seats per row. When we signed for it the rental agent showed us the damage card and it was scratched f.up on the passenger side… and then we took to the road with Google Offline Maps, in the rain, 9pm at night to find our self-catering accommodation “15 minutes away” (only because we got lost).

Reunion Island Self-Drive Family Holiday

The cottage in St Andre was hidden on a narrow street (read 1.5 cars should fit). Numbers on most of the houses were non-existent and well it was dark and raining and we were tired as we landed 8pm after 3.5 hours in the air – but you know that you pretty much lose a day at the airport when travelling. Eventually when we drove the whole street we turned around the boat of a mini bus in the dark, in a narrow street – me standing outside with a torch at the back and my dad relaying signals to husband at the wheel. Then we found it, the sign only visible from one side. Husband mounted a manhole that was almost 20cm high and tried to drive over it (because that’s what real men do) to turn into the driveway.

Reunion Island narrow road near Casa Floria St Andre

The owners must’ve heard us (me yelling in a panicked voice at husband not to floor it over the manhole) because they came out of their home across the road looking very concerned. They immediately welcomed us and got us in the gate and settled at Casa Floria that I booked via Booking.com.

The little cottage was perfect, 2 bedrooms, a huge bathroom with shower, fully equipped kitchen and livingroom plus internet – and a patio with a huge table for meals. The best part, the owners had thought of a family of 5 arriving very late in a new country and bought bread, milk, coffee, jam, butter, cheese and cold meat! It was just that touch that made us feel welcome in a French department in the Indian Ocean.

Reunion Island Family Travel Casa Floria St Andre

If you would like to find out more about our family holiday on Reunion Island, I will be sharing a few blog posts over the next few weeks. Tips to survive the roads, places to see, what to do and a lot of photos!

Read the article I wrote on our return from Reunion Island.

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