Our first day on Reunion Island had a slow start. We had to get everyone through one bathroom, feed them with the provisions our hosts provided and get out and up to Hell-Bourg.
If you don’t know, Reunion Island has mountains in the middle of the island and the cirques where they have built little towns – plus little towns dotted along the coast. However, to get to these little towns on the cirques is a story on its own…
We first set off to buy provisions for our day trip, but Google Maps just couldn’t get us to a shop and we were left buying from real dodge-looking little shops. What we didn’t know was that there was a Carrefour not too far away – and that it was actually a grocery shop. We got routed to these 2 churches instead…
Anyway, we started our trip up to Hell-Bourg… and it was one hell of a road! Turn on turn on 180 degree turn all while my husband had to change gears with his right hand while sitting on the wrong side of the car and a very narrow road with a 1m ditch and a barely there shoulder… My heart was beating a million miles a minute and I was cursing like a pirate. My husband was glued to the middle line while I had to keep my eye on the closeness of the ditch.
When we finally arrived at Hell-Bourg we were more than a little relieved. My legs were jelly and I was never that glad to walk with my 2 little feet on this planet.
Hell-Bourg is a quaint little town with an even older version 20 minutes away by foot. We couldn’t do the walk as we had Lexa and the pram as well as my very old parents.
However, we walked the main street, looked at all the sights that were open on a Monday (because most places are closed on a Monday and some shops and attractions observe a siesta. The main attraction on the cirque is to hike around, music museum (closed on Mondays), graveyard and eateries.
After a quick lunch we made our way back down the mountain and had the most beautiful views. The jagged edges stabbing the sky was just beautiful.
Vanilla Farm, St Suzanne
We then tried a vanilla farm, La Vanillerie near St Suzanne, but they did not have an English tour and could not tell me when they will have someone to do an English tour. I must add that I had emailed them 3 weeks prior and NEVER received a reply.
So, we then decided to go to La Cooperative Pro Vanille (Provanille) near Bras Panon when we drive down that way. It was lucky that I jotted down and printed out quite a bit of information on places to visit as we only found the tourism office at the end of the first day.
Temple du Colosse, St Andre
Instead of vanilla we then hunted for the colourful Temple du Colosse and a place to buy food. All the gates at the temple was locked so we couldn’t explore it but it was still impressive. It is definitely worth a visit.