3rd February 2016 Reunion Island
Bicycle Day – We decided to take our bikes off the ship today. The crew took them off for us and they were waiting for us at the gangway exit. In the afternoon we got them back on the ship ourselves and they were then taken off us in the hallway above and put back into storage. Great service which we appreciate.
Ask me where we went on the bikes? No where we planned! We had planned on biking to the capital St. Denis only to find out that we could not because there was only a motorway connection. So we set off south only to find that there were bike tracks everywhere but they always led us back to the motorway. After 2 ½ hours we decided to hed back to the ship and did this via a cycle track on the motorway. Our bikes got up to 30 km per hour and we made it back in less than 40 minutes. After having a quick shower and a bite to eat we took the shuttle bus to St. Gillian, a tourist resort. We spent two hours strolling around and watching some swimmers surfing and then headed back to our ship. At last we have the chance of FREE WIFI and are uploading some photos and details for everyone. Hope you enjoy following our travels…….
By the way we once had a Peli customer on this island!
Our ship was in dock today from 10 am – 10 pm. Our destination St.Denis 9 miles away.
An island of contrasts, the French sector of Reúnion is unknown to many of the world´s travellers. Not as well known as the nearby Mauritius or not so far far away Seychelles, little Reúnion seems but a speck in the vast Indian Ocean, dwarfed by Madagascar, which is located 500 miles to the west.
The volcanic island of Reúnion is about 115 miles south west of Mauritius in the western Indian Ocean. It is an overseas department of France with a population of 845.000, of which 200,000 live in and around St. Denis, the capital on the northern coast.
Although Reúnion was discovered in the 1500´s by the Portuguese it was not settled on until 1642 by the French. Until 1717 there were only approx. 300 settlers on the island.
Things changed dramatically when coffee was introduced and African slaves were brought in to work on the plantations. In the late 18th century, the island´s name was changed to La Reúnion.
Wars in Europe also left their mark on the islands in the Indian Ocean. From 1810 until 1815 ownership of the island changed and the island became British. Not for long but a positive factor for the island was the introduction of sugar cane by the British to replace the coffee plantations which had been wiped out by the cyclones in the early 1800´s.
The French returned in 1815 and life continued as normal. Slavery was abolished in 1848. Workers were brought in from East Africa to fill the huge labour shortage.
Facts:- Reúnion is a similar size to Leicestershire-England
The Piton de la Fournaise (8,612 ft) is an active volcano.
The highest point (Piton des Neiges 10,069 ft) is more than twice the height of Ben Nevis. French is the official language and sugar accounts for 85% of all exports by value.