Today is day 13 of our tour across the island, and at the same time the second-to-last day of hiking. Actually, the last, because tomorrow we’ll take only the last short part down to the sea. Speaking of down: Today it goes downhill as well, specifically 1600 meters of altitude for a distance of 18 kilometers. The first 9 kilometers are quite flat and follow the edge of the outer volcanic cone.
The trail keeps running right along the rim, with great views of the numerous small and large inner volcanic cones that we saw yesterday from the other side or the interior. Today the sun is shining, and the dark underground heats up quite a bit. Shade-giving vegetation is searched in vain up here.
On the picture above, you can see the “Puys Ramond”, a group of small volcanic cones south of the wall. Now we dive down towards the sea and again into the different vegetation levels. Markus jumps carelessly down a larger ledge, lands badly on a stone, over-ankles his right foot and doesn’t get up again for a while. Torn ligaments in the ankle are our “specialty” on tour, so at least we know what to do. For now: Cool with the hydration bladder, take a break. Then the first tentative attempts to step up again. Straight foot position works more or less, inclination in the ankle joint not at all. Strongly supported by the poles, it goes on slowly – unfortunately, the ankle is no longer resilient.
A little later we reach the edge and our view reaches the southern coast in the direction of Basse Vallée.
Unfortunately, the easy trail is now over. As soon as we enter the forest, the path is steep again, partly slippery, with high steps that require stability. This is inherently challenging, but with Markus’ offended ankle really troublesome, and we make only slow progress.
We know, today is the last day in the rainforest. That’s why we consciously pay attention to the variety of plants, which is so different from what we see in our latitudes. So funny that “houseplants” are just standing around here in the forest 😉
The last part until we reach the hut is very comfortable and a good finale. But despite today’s scrambling, we are a bit melancholic, because tomorrow we go back to civilization.
Our sleeping hut is about 5 minutes walk away from the gîte. We are already expected, we are the last to arrive today. After all, on our own legs and without a helicopter. The ankle: swollen and unhappy with all the movement. Short shower and freshen up, and then it’s already time for dinner.
Gîte de Basse Vallée, © Markus Proske — NIKON Z 7, NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S, 24mm, 1/50s, Blende 8, ISO 180
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