Centenary World Cruise Day 87: Réunion

Today, we spent time in Réunion. It’s an island very close to Mauritius, and is about the same size. But the resemblance ends there. Mauritius has some gentle hills, but Réunion has actual mountains, including the most active volcano in the world. The infrastructure was very different than Mauritius as well – almost all roads are paved, and instead of a single large city and many small villages (as on Mauritius), there are several small cities and lots of smaller villages. We realized it was because Réunion is a department of France, and it still receives money from France, which allows it to invest in infrastructure.

We saw another vanilla plantation, but since we’d already heard about the entire vanilla life cycle, it was less cool. We did learn that there are fewer small vanilla growers than there used to be, because the labor-intensive nature of vanilla, combined with its long production cycle, make the barrier to entry very high. The few vanilla growers still on the island are family groups with multiple generations working the plantation (although, honestly, “plantation” makes it sound really grand – it couldn’t have been more than a few acres).

After the plantation, we drove up into the interior mountains to an area full of waterfalls – 20 or 30 of them in a mile or so.

The mountains are very tall and steep, so the water has a long way to come down to get to the river below, and it makes the falls extra spectacular. Houses in this area dot the landscape, tucked away just off the roads. The whole thing reminded us so much of the place where we live, where there are houses tucked in every fold and crevice of the mountain, and waterfalls all along the road into town.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was the huge amount of great murals and graffiti. Some of it was just tagging, but a lot of it was beautiful and creative. I would love to come back to Réunion and spend some quality time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: