Réunion Island Instagram Round-Up – Island Impressions
Sunset in Saint Gilles, West coast
I was on assignment in Réunion Island, a French department, and French-speaking territory all of last week, and these are some of the Réunion Island Instagram images I shared. Réunion is a volcanic mass (there is currently one active volcano, Piton de la Fournaisse; last eruption in June 2014) in the Indian Ocean not too far from Madagascar, to assist with bearings (I know, I had to look it up too). While I had a packed morning-to-night itinerary to cover all the aspects I needed to see/taste/explore, there were at least three regions I will need to visit.
So, it is possible to see a lot in a little time, but then you would need to have the willpower of a mad documenter and a very knowledgeable guide, like Nicolas Barniche of Tours Reunion.
I was told that the country has 200 unique microclimates and sometimes in a single day, we experienced harsh mountain winds whipping through our hair and making us zip up our thick jackets, swimsuit sunshine that demanded long iced drinks, and further yet, mist tumbling in thick rolls, as if the clouds were enveloping us at higher altitudes.
Special thanks to Patricia from Reunion Tourism, for assisting me with all my queries.
A selection of Réunion Island Instagrams and SM images shared so far. Keep an eye out at FoodandtheFab – more to come.
First dinner in Reunion – we found a neighborhood diner in Saint Gilles that serves Creole food – like cari poulet and rougail saucisse
Palmiste rouge village – en route Cilaos
Village of Cilaos in the Cilaos cirque. The church – our lady of the snow
Carole and Frederika who live in Saint Denis, spent the morning sharing their family stories with me
Les Temple Colosse in Champ Borne – cultural glimpse into Reunion
The lush vegetation, waterfalls and rivers in Salazie. After entire day of rain yesterday, you can imagine the humidity here today. Beauty all around
Off the beaten track, Nicolas took us to his favourite Chinese Creole diner (plastic chairs and tables, inexpensive food) and it was excellent
Author (2nd left) with a family of local farmers – they titled this: “The Malabar returns home” – Malabar a reference to Indians, here in Reunion and as you may know, make up a significant chunk of the Creole population
“I left school when I was 15 to start working. I have no education. But, I have been working from that moment. When I look at this, and think back to what I’ve done to get here, I feel proud. But, I want us to grow. I want to see Reunion grow…It’s been my dream to earn a Michelin star. Even though we belong to the mainland, there is no Michelin here. If it never happens, I still won’t trade this life for the star.” – Marc Chappot, head chef and co-owner, Blue Margouillat
Whale watching at Cap Lahoussay
Hand pollination of vanilla in Reunion – every bud is pollinated this way and technique affects the size of the bean.
Meet Yves and Elourda Serivin. Yves’ ancestors on his mother’s side can be traced to the Anglo-Indian women from Goa who arrived as brides around 1763. When I ask Elourda about her roots, she laughs and says, “I am endemic!” And lists Malagasy and French ancestors. Locals are very proud of how integrated their cultures are (and for people who say they don’t see differences, they are open to discussing the layers and complications that define establishing identity at the first prompt)
Weaver birds and sunset. Les Avirons
Chicken roasting on the grill, St Paul market, Reunion
Black volcanic rock, clear aquamarine water, Saint Leu
Makrut limes, 3 for €2. Now perfuming the kitchen. Was tempted to leave some clothes behind and smuggle back a large bag. Too risky
red soil in the volcanic region of Piton de la Fournaise – marvellous Mars-like rocks, flat plains of dusty earth, and craters make you feel like you’re in an ET movie