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Excerpts from a traveller’s diary: The enchanting weather of the Indian Ocean (Part 2)

Make your way back to Part 1, The Mighty Indian Ocean
  • Sri Lanka

Sri-Lanka-Beach-Surf-Travel-1

My expedition of the Indian Ocean consisted visiting all the islands. I remember booking my ticket for Sri Lanka halfheartedly for the island had not the same splendor as the other ones. However my prejudiced perception of the island changed when I started touring the island. In April, the Sri Lankan weather is undeniably hot and dry. The glowing medallion stands proud and bright in the spotless blue sky the whole day. Clouds were not that visible. With the temperature at 30°C and above, I just could not resist splashing into the coolness of the mighty sea. Really relaxing! The outer hotness is nothing compared to the freshness of the water that covers your body. Needless to say, the sea is just perfected according to climatic changes and I think that’s the best part of the weather influencing the Sea-Goddess, as believed in Sri Lanka. The weather changes in April also provided me with some unforgettable memories. I could witness the epic gathering of more than a hundred elephants. I was graced by the presence of majestic whales and was privileged enough to swim in the company of friendly dolphins. Now, I really look forward to unlock more of Sri Lanka’s hidden gems under a different weather.

  • Comoros Islands

8282bdcbec4dc90080cf91501ad2a793

Comoros Islands! What can I say about it? Being an adventurer takes me places where I never imagined myself going. I’m not to be entirely blamed. Comoros Islands is a group of small islands located in the most secluded point in the Indian Ocean. Sure, it is sandwiched between Madagascar and the African continent, but it still is not that popular. Yet, one visit can alter our opinion. Under the fiery sun in the hot and dry month of July, tourists have many choices: Going sightseeing (after applying sun cream) is a great thing to do. The beauty of the nature and of the people can be appreciated under the protection of the sun. However, the best thing to do is swimming in the crystal clear and cool waters of the sea. In the waters, you feel as though the outer high temperature drops instantaneously. A pleasurable and enjoyable swim can be enjoyed.

  • Pulau Weh

Chris-Yong-Island-e1387710097552

Set as a tiny tropical rock near Sumatra, Pulau Weh or Weh Island, is an exotic place for independent adventures or bonding couples. This remote and beautiful island welcomed me in September, the summer season of the Indonesian tropical climate. Unlike other islands, Weh Island’s escalating temperatures are not unbearable. The humid atmosphere has me anticipating my visits across the island. Diving being a remarkable feature of this island, converted me into a pro. The coolness of the sea had me exploring the depths of the sea again and again and its lush coral gardens. Rainfall could be considered as an ominous hindrance to your tours across this paradise island. So without the heavy drops of rain and strong wind, I could spend time discovering the marvelous marine life, the various species of sharks(from a distant), and its unique wildlife.

  • Pemba Island

pemba island

Much people have not yet discovered the wonders of this island located in the Zanzibar archipelago. Green Island, or as called Pemba Island in Arabic, holds true to its name. It is covered in lush green forests that attract people to admire its beauty. Heavily influenced by rain in July, the island is not what you can call the prefect bling bling place for illusionary enjoyment and party. The island disconnects you from every other disturbance. It is as though I’ve entered a new world with no pollution, no advance technology, no noise and no hypocrisy. The clove producing island is a myth to many as because of its remote location and unpublicized beauty, it has rarely a place in our ‘bucket list’. Despite the rain drops and cool temperature, the island still allows you to explore the rich cultural history and landscape. Who says swimming is not pleasurable in rainfall? For me, it had been a whole new experience where I let Mother Nature take things in control and guide me…sometimes I just get carried away by my emotions.. I mean when Mother Nature is not menacing and frightening.

  • Havelock Island

Havelock_Island_by_Vikramjit_Kakati

Travelling offers you a spectrum of gifts and memories. One such is allowing you to discover the undiscovered virtues of Havelock Island. Being the largest island in the Ritchie’s Archipelago and situated in the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar, the Havelock Island is a distinguished and glorious island welcoming many tourists, be it honeymoon couples, friends, families or me. While water sports, marine life, the flora and fauna, and the mysterious tribes, people and cultures have conquered the hearts of many people, including mine, the exceptional climate still remains my favorite. It seems to me, like most of the islands of the Indian Ocean, the Havelock Island too has its climate molded into perfection. As I have visited the island in January, in my opinion it is the only best time to book your trip. Though winter, it is not that cold not to go out uncover the enigmas of the island. Actually, the cool temperature makes it all incredible great. Going out in the day, walking alongside elephants on the beach, swimming in an unusual condition, trekking in the fog, scuba diving, snorkeling, and plunging into the deep beautiful natural structures of the marine parks and marveling the exquisites of them, are all a total winter package. My coat was just an extra precaution. But I am glad that my winter trip was a real success, where I would have freezed to death in the European winter climate.

Sometimes, it is best to go with the flow and not be worried with small technicalities like the climate. The best of the things are demystified when we are not in control. What’s the use of going into an adventure when afraid of taking risks! It is better to be surprised by Nature, rather than planning it all out. Believe me, it is euphoric.

 

 

If you are planning to visit Mauritius’ neighbor, you got to know the Top 10 things to do in Réunion island before you arrive over there.

Frankly speaking, Réunion Island(French: La Réunion) is not the perfect beach destination for your holidays compared to other islands like Mauritius. Compared to its neighbors, Réunion has got major assets which well defines the type of tourism people do over there. Being a volcanic island helped La Reunion to shape its paysages over millions of years of weathering.

Sarcastically, it was just the landscape applying some makeup. The results are more than fantastic. No words in the world can describe the beauty of the landscapes in La Reunion Island.  Even the photos do not speak of the actual cliché you can see with your eyes while visiting the island.

#1 Climb the Piton des Neiges

One of the best places to be in La Réunion is Piton des Neiges, the highest peak of the Mascarene Islands. This mountain stands at 3070 m. Hiking lovers will surely love this place. Climbing is worth it once in a lifetime. You will discover wonderful paysages as you evolve along your track. For slow climbers, the ascension may take two days and one night. It is highly advised to travel light or you may well be discouraged. There is a camp base at the top where you can spend the night and enjoy the view.

Piton-des-neiges-Réunion Island
Piton des neiges Réunion Island

The difference between piton des neiges and other mountains is that there is no risk of avalanche. La Reunion being a small islands, rescue services will not take long before arriving. Till day, there has been no recorded hiking accident. Do not forget some warm clothing as it might get very cold up there in winter as well as in summer. Our advice to you: Just go ahead, hire a guide and do it!

#2 Take a helicopter tour over the island

The best scenery of Réunion Island resides in its wild interior, which features kilometres deep canyons and calderas, waterfalls, and an active volcano. There are many roads that you can follow to take you visit some great paysages in the island’s interior. On the other hand, some places are reachable only by hiking. Hiking may be very tiresome for elderly people and those who don’t have enough time. The perfect alternative is to helicopter tour the island.

 Réunion-Island-Helicopter-Tour
Réunion Island Helicopter Tour

It may be the perfect first time experience for those who have never done helicopter tours before. You will feel the adrenaline rise and will feel like a bird. Just enjoy the view.

#3 Visit Piton de la Fournaise volcano

The Piton de la Fournais is one of the most beautiful paysages that the south of the indian ocean can offer. The Reunions islands only active volcano looms over the island and is one of the most active volcanoes in the world with more than 150 eruptions recorded since the 17th century! It stands at some 2632 m high.

When you first arrive to the site, you will have to climb down a very long stairway where your hiking adventures will begin. There are several craters which you can visit along your way. There is a road which will take you to the caldera which you can hike down then up the volcano’s cone.

Piton-De-La-Fournaise
Piton De La Fournaise

The last eruption was recorded in 2007. The Piton de la Fournaise offers a great show and the pictures are simply wonderful.

#4 Visit the Le Maido

Réunion island is host to many impressive canyons. One of them is the “Cirque de Mafate” nearly a kilometer deep. Le Maido is a scenic overview of the “Cirque de Mafate”. The Cirque has no roads down into it. The best way to discover it is by doing a long hike, driving up to the viewpoint or helicopter touring which is the perfect choice. Driving up to the top is nearly half the fun. You ascend over about 3000 vertical meters in less than 24km, with dozens of twists, bends and zig zags. Event the road is paved, you have to pay attention to your driving since there a ditches with steep drop-offs on the sides.

Le-Maido
Le Maido

The sights from Le Maido are astonishing. You can see for miles into and across the Cirque de Mafate, which is full of rocky valleys that were formed by million of years of erosion. You need to get to the site by 9 AM to avoid watching into nothing but clouds. After this time, clouds start invading the Cirque. The sun is intense at the Maido. You will need to bring some sunscreen and inevitably warm clothing due to the low temperatures.

#5 Visit bassin des Aigrettes

The clear water from this natural pool at the foot of a breathtaking waterfalls will amaze you. Worth the visit during your stay in the island.

Bassin-des-Aigrettes
Bassin des Aigrettes

#6 Visit the Rivière des Remparts Canyon

The Rivière des Remparts is a creek that from the volcanic plateaus in the south-central portion of the island. All along its paths, the river sculpted a superb deep canyon, whose vertical green walls rise up to one kilometer from the river valley below. There is a viewpoint where you can admire the canyon along the road to the volcano. As for the Maido, the best time to visit the site is during the morning for the same reasons.

#7 Visit the St-Gilles Aquarium

600,000 liters of seawater dedicated to wildlife and underwater flora of Reunion Island.

The St-Gilles Aquarium is home to some 500 fish species, jack fish, sharks, seahorses, lobsters, corals. A journey at the aquarium can be fun and educational. You will find souvenir shops and restaurants where you can taste the local delicacies.

#8 Visit the beaches across the west coast

Being an island, Réunion is circled by beaches. The best beaches are found between St-Gilles and Hermitage les bains. The beaches in this zone are sand beaches which are sheltered from large waves by coral reefs just offshore.

#9 Drive to Cilaos

Driving to Cilaos is the worth the place out of the ten best things to do in the island. The road follows a canyon and rises thousands of metres in about 40 kilometers before finally arriving at Cilaos in the Cirque de Cilaos valley. To achieve this elevation change, the road twists and turns via a few hundred switchbacks many of which have completely blind turns. The street contracts in numerous spots to a single lane, so you need to be giving careful attention to your driving.

You will find spectacular views during your journey and will probably stop many times to take photos.

It is best to do the drive to Cilaos in the morning in order to get the best views as clouds tend to roll in the center part of the island during the morning.

#10 Visit the island’s incredible waterfalls

Go visit the waterfalls around the island. You have an extraordinary palette of choice. You can even go swimming at some spots.

The best ones are basin des Aigrettes and Takamaka.

La Reunion

L’île de La Réunion regorge de richesses touristiques. Si vous ne savez pas quoi faire durant votre séjour sur l’île, voilà quelque conseil pour profiter de vos vacances à la Réunion. Que  vous residiez dans une de ces résidences, ces hôtels ou ces appart’hotel ne manquez pas d’aller à la rencontre de chacune d’elles : Lieux culturel et artistique, patrimoine naturel et plages exotics… L’île de La Réunion a de quoi séduire tout les types de voyageurs du plus petit au plus grand.

 

Saint- Denis et le Nord de l’Ile

Saint Denis
Saint Denis

Commencez votre visite par le bas de la ville et le Barachois.  Le Barachois est une grande place ombragée bordée de quelques façades d’époque. Positionnée sur un espace littoral, Saint-Denis est aujourd’hui la capitale de la région-département de la Réunion, et la principale porte d’entrée de l’île de par la présence de l’aéroport de La Réunion Roland-Garros.

Personne ne peut prétendre connaître Saint-Denis sans s’être aventurée dans un petit restaurant chinois du centre pour y dévorer un plat de “mines” ou de riz cantonnais. Vous-y trouverez aussi, bien sûr, des restaurants chics, des bars à la mode et des boîtes de nuit super-branchées, comme dans toutes les grandes villes.

Cette magnifique ville a la chance d’être entourée de montagnes sur trois côtés. Il faut au moins en escalader une. Nous vous conseillons la route de la Montagne qui franchit une haute langue de lave plongeant dans la mer qui vous offrira une vue exceptionnel que vous contemplerez nulle part ailleurs.

Les Plages De l’Ouest

Plage de l'Ouest
Plage de l’Ouest

27 kilomètres de plage et une eau dont la température oscille entre 20° et 26° et sont essentiellement basées sur la côte sous le vent. Vous serez conquis par le sable noir de l’Etang-Salé ou de Saint-Paul sans oublier les lagons accueillant de Saint-Gilles. La plus proche de Saint-Denis est celle de Saint-Paul avec ses 3 kilomètres de plage de sable noir. Partiellement abritées par des cordons coralliens, Boucan-Canot et les Roches-Noires offrent un sable doré et sont excellents pour pratiquer le surf. Au sud du Port de Saint-Gilles, commence un lagon de 15 km de long : Très accessible, vous y trouverez beaucoup d’équipements : loueurs de planche à voile, pédalos. Plus loin, se trouve la plage de Saint-Leu, elle aussi protégée par un lagon et la plage de sable noir de l’Etang-Salé, la plus grande de l’île.

 

Village Créole  Dans l’Est: Sainte-Rose Réunion

 

Sainte Rose
Sainte Rose

Le charmant village de Sainte-Rose à la Réunion se situe sur la côte verdoyante de l’Est de l’île. Au milieu d’une mer sauvage et du Piton de la Fournaise, ce village réunionnais pittoresque trouvera de quoi subjuguer les visiteurs touristiques notamment le Pont suspendu, l’Anse des Cascades, notre Dame des Laves ou encore la Vierge au Parasol, l’un des lieux culte des réunionnais qui accueille la célébration d’une messe tous les ans par l’Évêque de la Réunion.

Sainte Rose, un village unique, vous souhaite la bienvenue sur un canot de pêcheurs car cette ville marine est réputée pour sa pêche. Puis les découvertes s’enchainent l’une après l’autre.

Notre Dame des Laves

Eglise Notre Dame des Laves
Eglise Notre Dame des Laves

À Sainte-Rose, vus remarquerez que les éléments s’affrontent. Avec une mer d’un bleu intense où la lave tente de prendre le dessus sur les terres ou l’océan. La petite église de Sainte-Rose, Notre Dame des Laves, devenue mythique, en a fait les frais. Le village de Sainte-Rose a une histoire particulière avec le Piton de la Fournaise.

Une partie de ce village a été créé  par le flan nord du volcan. Vous aurez la chance de tomber nez à nez avec de magnifiques plaines noires et vierges, engendrées par les différentes coulées volcaniques. La petite église s’est trouvée miraculée suite à la coulée de 1977 qui a tout dévasté sur son passage, sauf l’église, qu’elle a contourné.

Pont suspendu de Sainte-Rose

Pont Suspendu
Pont Suspendu

Un lieu incontournable dans l’histoire du village est l’immense pont suspendu de Sainte-Rose est aussi appelé le Pont des Anglais ou encore le pont de la Rivière de l’Est. Même si un nouveau pont l’a remplacé depuis plusieurs années, il reste un monument touristique du patrimoine réunionnais remplis d’histoire et à visiter absolument.

Port de La Marine Sainte-Rose

Sainte Rose La Marine
Sainte Rose La Marine

Si vous aimez la mer, un autre endroit à visiter est le petit Port de la Marine de Sainte-Rose. Coloré, bien entretenu et aux eaux turquoises, ce port est aussi chargé d’histoire. En 1810, Sainte-Rose fut le théâtre de la lutte entre les français et les troupes anglaises menées par le Capitaine Corbett qui y laissa sa vie, dans leur volonté de prendre possession de l’île comme en témoignent les canons que l’on peut voir sur le site : l’un a une fleur de lys et est français, l’autre a une couronne et est anglais.

La Vierge au Parasol

Vierge au Parasol
Vierge au Parasol

La vierge au Parasol à Sainte Rose Réunion est aussi un passage obligé à Sainte-Rose. Selon la légende, il y a longtemps un propriétaire de Bois-Blanc avait placé cette statue de Vierge au parasol dans ses champs, afin que ses récoltes soient protégées. A sa surprise, il découvrit que suite à une coulée de lave, ses champs avaient été traversés, mais la statue complètement épargnée par la lave. Aujourd’hui encore, le 15 août, une célébration se tient à Sainte-Rose.

L’Anse des Cascades

Anse des Cascades
Anse des Cascades

Anse des Cascades à Ste Rose est une aire de pique-nique. L’Anse des cascades est un lieu céleste entre terre et mer. Dotée d’une nature luxuriante et gorgée d’eau, face à la mer, il reste un lieu de calme et de beauté où il fait bon s’arrêter boire un café, faire un pique-nique ou juste se reposer en famille ou entre amis. L’Anse des Cascades est une grande palmeraie, entourée de falaises abruptes d’où s’écoulent de superbes cascades. Du côté de la mer, vous pourrez admirer sous d’immenses badamiers de charmantes barques de pêcheur multicolores très typiques.

Connue pour une nature prédominante, à Ste Rose vous pourrez visiter la forêt primaire de Bois Blanc. Classée Espace Naturel Sensible vous aurez la chance d’y découvrir d’incroyables espèces endémiques de la Réunion. Non loin de cette forêt, vous pourrez aussi visiter l’arborétum : 5 clairières, 5 types d’espèces végétales, des bois de couleur en passant par les palmiers et autres beautés exotiques.

Les Plaines et le Volcan

La Fournaise
La Fournaise

Les hauts de cette région sont de toute beauté; des pentes fleuries du Tampon, la Plaine-des-Cafres, les paysages désertiques du volcan, les décors verdoyants de la Plaine-des-Palmistes, que du bonheur pour les yeux… Le Tampon offre tous les paysages et tous les climats. Bourg-Murat est le point de départ de la route du volcan et de sentiers de randonnée vers le Piton-des-Neiges et Cilaos. Le point de vue le plus étonnant est offert par la Plaine-des-Sables. Avec un paysage quasi-lunaire, la Réunion montre qu’elle n’est pas une île tropicale comme les autres. Si vous êtes l’un de ces chanceux et que vous passez actuellement vos vacances à la Réunion, ne manquez pas d’aller admirez l’éruption de la Fournaise qui à débuter le 21 Juin 2014.

Les Cirques

Cirques
Cirques

Les Cirques de La Réunion sont une curiosité géologique. Trois grandes excavations d’une dizaine de kilomètres de diamètre, bordées de murailles immenses et infranchissables. Cilaos est une jolie ville, calme et fleurie, agrémentée d’un étang et point de départ de nombreuses promenades en voiture ou à pied, et de sentiers de grandes randonnées.

Salazie est le cirque le plus accessible depuis Saint-Denis. Il est aussi le plus survolé : ses gorges et pitons impressionnent fortement les touristes héliportés,  Salazie reste le plus grand et le plus vert des trois cirques.

Mafate
Mafate

Mafate se mérite plus que les autres sites de La Réunion. On ne peut y accéder qu’à pied ou en hélicoptère. Le monde que l’on y découvre est hors du temps et la nature se fait entendre.

Passer de merveilleuses vacances à l’ile de la Réunion et profiter pleinement de ces lieux magiques qu’elle vous offre.