Bartflechten

Day 7 und 8: Cilaos and a resting day in Cilaos

It’s about the journey, not the destination … isn’t it?

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In the morning, the ascent from Marla (1629 m) to the Col du Taïbit (2081 m) is awaiting us. We start at 8 o’clock, step by step we ascend in serpentines until we reach a beautiful forest with mimosa trees. To our right is the mighty wall of the Rempart de Mafate.

Blick auf Mafate, im Vordergrund MarlaBlick auf Mafate, im Vordergrund Marla, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 24mm, 1/100s, Blende 11, ISO 64
Aufstieg zum Col Taïbit, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 70mm, 1/80s, Blende 11, ISO 280
Aufstieg zum Col Taïbit, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 34mm, 1/80s, Blende 11, ISO 200

After 1 hour 15 we reach the top of the Col du Taïbit. Here we have a great view in both directions: back to Marla and forward into the Cirque de Cilaos with today´s goal, the small town of Cilaos. Looking back, we have the previous tour days in view for the last time. In the left third of the picture, one sees well the incision of Rivière des Galets, the western crater wall (Îlet des Orangers and the pass La Brèche) and the northern crater wall across in the background of the picture (Dos d’Âne and Roche Écrite).

Blick auf Mafate, im Vordergrund Marla, auf dem Platau La Nouvelle, dahinter der Piton des Calumets (1.616 m), die Crête des Calumets ansteigend zum Morne de Fourche (2.267 m) und nach dem Einschnitt mit dem Col des Fourche (1.946 m) les Salazes mit demBlick auf Mafate, im Vordergrund Marla, auf dem Platau La Nouvelle, dahinter der Piton des Calumets (1.616 m), die Crête des Calumets ansteigend zum Morne de Fourche (2.267 m) und nach dem Einschnitt mit dem Col des Fourche (1.946 m) les Salazes mit dem, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 28mm, 1/80s, Blende 11, ISO 80
La NouvelleLa Nouvelle, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 70mm, 1/80s, Blende 11, ISO 64
Blick vom Col Taïbit (2.081 m) auf CilaosBlick vom Col Taïbit (2.081 m) auf Cilaos, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 70mm, 1/160s, Blende 11, ISO 160

Cilaos already looks close, but with 4 hours walking time it is “so close and yet so far”. At the top we don’t take a long rest, because a group of German-speaking tourists is talking loudly about everything and nothing, not the right setting for relaxing for us.
Now we start the descent with a total of 1270 meters of altitude. It starts off steeply downhill to the Plaine des Fraises. The path is bordered by high heather bushes full of bearded lichen and grassy plains.

Dickblattgewächs, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 70mm, 1/2500s, Blende 2.8, ISO 64
Bartflechten im Sonnenschein, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 60mm, 1/250s, Blende 5.6, ISO 64
Bartflechten, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 57mm, 1/1000s, Blende 2.8, ISO 64
Vom Col Taïbit steil hinunter in Richtung Cilaos, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 34mm, 1/80s, Blende 11, ISO 280
Blick auf CilaosBlick auf Cilaos, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 35mm, 1/80s, Blende 11, ISO 110
Reunion2019_DSC1864Reunion2019_DSC1864, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 35mm, 1/80s, Blende 11, ISO 80

The path is good to walk – now it’s a bit rough, but fortunately no slippery slope today. The path is a real challenge for our knees. There’s just no end to the steps. After an hour, we take a short rest on a log and a second at a small improvised bar near the Île des 3 Salazes, which amazes us with cakes and hot tea in the middle of the forest. It is 11:50 am. We walk another hour until we reach the parking lot near the road D 242. Here Markus hopes for a mobile snack stand, of which he has already read in travel reports, dreams of hot and greasy French fries – and is disappointed, the stand is probably available only in the main season (or not at all any more).
Unser Weg, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 50mm, 1/100s, Blende 11, ISO 220
Eine Bar am Wegesrand, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 34mm, 1/80s, Blende 5.6, ISO 280
The path leads us further downhill, of course, again and again with slight uphill counterclimbs. My knees hurt meanwhile, the motivation is gone and Cilaos still not there. Not for a long time yet.
Die Kirche von CilaosDie Kirche von Cilaos, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 35mm, 1/160s, Blende 8, ISO 64
Down by the river, the lowest point of today’s route, we pass three waterfalls (Cascade de Bras Rouge, 950 m). It’s 2:30 pm. Time flies and we have the feeling that we are not really making progress. It´s crowdy at the waterfalls, most people are day-trippers with light backpacks.

Cascade de Bras Rouge, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 40mm, 1/160s, Blende 8, ISO 64
Unser Weg, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 37mm, 1/80s, Blende 8, ISO 200

Unser WegUnser Weg, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 39mm, 1/80s, Blende 5.6, ISO 900

Now we march uphill again on steps, Cilaos is situated at 1210 m. At some point we finally reach the road and from here there is a paved path up to the church – a path that reminds us a bit of the Schlossberg in Graz. After a few minutes we are standing in front of the church. Cilaos is reached! Finally, at 16:30! 🙂
A look back and we are amazed: From up there we started? 😲

Kirche von CilaosKirche von Cilaos, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 48mm, 1/320s, Blende 8, ISO 64
Col Taïbit (2.081 m) von Cilaos ausCol Taïbit (2.081 m) von Cilaos aus, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 60mm, 1/125s, Blende 11, ISO 280
Piton des Neiges (und die Kirche von Cilaos)Piton des Neiges (und die Kirche von Cilaos), © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 47mm, 1/100s, Blende 11, ISO 140

From the church we walk 10 minutes until we reach the accommodation at 5 pm. With our numerous breaks we have taken today significantly longer than the announced 4 hours. We check into a great room right next to the reception, take a shower and do our laundry. After hanging up the laundry, it has a humidity in our room of felt 100%.
We rest for 20 minutes, before we look for a place to eat. Unfortunately, we can not use the tips of the receptionist today, because the restaurants are all closed tonight. At the “Art Mile” we find on the 1st floor then a nice restaurant with very good cuisine. After days with Carri diet we take an appetizer plate with tapas Kreol, then a 300 g steak with fries and a crème brûlée as dessert, plus a bottle of rosé. Tomorrow is our day of rest, so we are allowed to go a bit overboard today. Full and tired, we stroll back to our accommodation and are surprised that it is so dark here, there is little street lighting. At 9 pm we turn off the lights, but it becomes a rather restless night – we will not have overeaten, have we?

24. September 2019
We sleep until 7:45 and get breakfast at the bakery and the small supermarket with fresh pineapple-mango juice, croissants, pain au chocolat, mini bananas and cookies. We have breakfast in the cozy garden of the hotel and read. At 1 p.m., we head downtown and have lunch at a restaurant near the pond: an appetizer platter and crème brûlée and profiteroles for dessert. Afterwards we walk through the city, see the church, the small stores in the art mile and enjoy the leisurely rest day. In the evening we visit again the restaurant from yesterday and enjoy the evening. Finally, here are some impressions of Cilaos for you.

Entspannen im Garten unserer Unterkunft, ©  — mm,
Cilaos – Eindrücke, ©  — mm,
Kirche in Cilaos, ©  — mm,
Gesundes Essen in Cilaos, ©  — mm,

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