Piton de la Fournaise

Piton de la Fournaise. “Peak of the Furnace”    Elevation 2,632m

It was a last minute decision and last chance to climb Piton de la Fournaise on the last weekend I was on La Reunion. I went with Su and Marta.  I had been a couple of weeks before but I didn’t get to climb up the volcano  I just explored the surreal area at the base called the Caldera floor which was like being on the moon.

We traveled up to the gite near to the volcano on the Friday evening . It was dark by the time we arrived there. The gite was very basic. Our beds were in a shared dorm. It reminded me of a scene from Oliver Twist.

We woke on the Saturday morning early at around 5am and quickly showered.  You had
to use a token for the shower to get hot water. It only lasted about 5 mins though so you had to be quick  washing. We set  out on the walk about 5.30am . We walked the  many
steps down to the Caldera floor. As we reached there we were able to experience the
sunrise. Amazing scene in such an unreal surreal place.

 

The climb up the volcano took about four hours  It was hard in the heat and with the sharp volcanic rock under foot. White paint marks were on the rocks on the ground, they were there to lead the way. The volcanic rock is so fragile that you can’t risk diverting off the marked path. The walk down was slightly quicker at three hours but the steps back up at the end were excruciating on our weak legs.  So pleased we made the effort to climb le volcan. A truly amazing experience I’ll never forget.

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