Local time: January 30, 2014
Finally, it is the last day of Reunion Island.
The last day’s destination is Piton de la Fournaise, an active volcano in Reunion, a volcano that has not been visible to us due to the fickle weather.
Due to the geography of Reunion Island, the mountainous areas are foggy by about 10 o’clock. Therefore, you have to wake up early in the morning in order to see the mountain views.
So we woke up early again on the last day and checked out of the hotel at 6:30. We had breakfast in the car with bread that we had bought in Saint-Denis the day before.
The road to the volcano was steep and meandering, though not as steep as the road to Siraus two days earlier.
But the weather has been good so far.
The visibility in the direction of Siraus is also good.
You can reach the foot of Piton de la Fournaise by car. As it is a national park, the road was very solid.
However, for the last few kilometers, you have to go on an unpaved road as you can see.
It was indeed a beautiful day, but the roads were damp everywhere. It must have rained the day before.
Then we went to a point called Pas de Nellecombe. You can come here by car only. From here on, you have to walk. It was 8:30 at this point.
The summit was exactly right, and there were several helicopters flying over. Yes, it should look good today. It would have been better if it had been yesterday. I felt a little frustrated, but I wanted to get a closer look, so I guess I couldn’t help it.
I guess I didn’t do my homework on the climb properly, because it took me 2 hours and 30 minutes to walk to the top where I could see the crater, and 5 hours for the round trip.
Unfortunately, I had to leave the island by plane in the evening of this day, so I gave up on the summit and decided to cut it off at a suitable place.
But fortunately or unfortunately, by 9:30, not only the summit but also the whole area around our crater was covered with fog, and all was not well.
This small crater? When we reached this small crater, we decided to quit.
The weather is really fickle. Just an hour before the transfer, the weather was as you see….
Even so, I was able to get pretty close to the volcano, so I was satisfied enough with this volcano sightseeing. So we will go down the mountain.
The drive home was foggy in places.
Once we reached our base town at the foot of the volcano, we turned northeast and crossed the island to the northeast side, opposite St. Pierre, where we had been staying for all four days.
Fog and rain here too. Especially the rain is getting stronger.
To be honest, the northeast side of the city doesn’t have any tourist attractions, so we ended up heading to Saint-Denis for the third time to find a place to have lunch. Anyway, it was convenient because we had to return the car to the airport in Saint-Denis in the evening and take off by plane.
As usual, we had a hard time finding a restaurant in Saint-Denis, but luckily we found a nice restaurant.
This is quite delicious.
I think one of the charms of French Reunion is that you can eat ordinary French food while in a tropical country.
Then we finish our meal and head to the airport to return the car.
By the way, the mystery of the gas station traffic jam that had been going on since the day before has been solved.
On the way to the airport, I had to refuel at the end of the day, but there was no line at the gas station, so I thought it was a good chance to stop by.
Apparently, I imagine that the entire island has run out of petrol and diesel stock for the month.
It’s true that the island is isolated from the rest of the world, so the resources available are limited. But as expected, such information is not available anywhere. I don’t think many people visit Reunion, but if you do, I think you should be careful enough.
Still, I’m really glad I happened to refuel on Tuesday…because I might have run out of gas.
So I couldn’t fill up the fuel tank at the time of returning the rental car, but it seemed that the person of the rental car company understood this situation, and of course I was able to finish the procedure of returning the rental car very smoothly although I was charged for the fuel later.
This is the end of the Reunion tour. All that’s left is the long, long trip home.
However, although the departure from Reunion Island was done without delay, there was a little trouble in Mauritius of the transit. It was quite annoying trouble.
Once I wanted to sort out my baggage in Mauritius, but the immigration in Mauritius, which is very strict about entry, didn’t allow me to do so, and in the end, the airport staff had to do the check-in and baggage check-in for Emirates flight. I was not even able to change my clothes to go to cold Japan, and I had to go to Haneda in my tropical clothes.
I’m worried about whether my luggage has been processed, and there’s no way to check it… It’s a really annoying country.
Even though there was a little trouble, I managed to make a connection to Emirates Airlines in Mauritius without any problem, and left here at 22:00. I flew to Dubai at 5:00am the next morning, and departed from the gorgeous Dubai Airport International Terminal (Terminal A) for Haneda a little after 9:00am.
The Haneda flight was very empty, maybe because it arrived at midnight or because it was a weekday. It was the first time for me to have such an empty flight. Thanks to that, I was able to spend a relaxing time in the plane.
And I arrived at Haneda at 23:00, about an hour earlier than scheduled. I was worried about my luggage, but I was able to receive it safely, and all I had to do was drive home.
It turns out that the free shuttle bus from the International Terminal to Terminal 2, where the P4 parking lot where I park my car is located, is not running at this time…
I might have been able to go by Keikyu line, but I was already tired, so I decided to take a taxi. Naturally 20% increase in late-night rates, it took about 1,500 yen. More than a day’s worth of parking fee is a little ridiculous expense.
Next time I’ll think about it a little more before I use it.
That said, it is still quite easy to get home by car. Once again, I was driving on the right-hand side of the road in the left lane, but I was used to dealing with this immediately after returning home. I was able to reach my home in Kawasaki smoothly.
Before I went home, I went to a noodle shop in my neighborhood and had a traditional ritual.
This is how my first trip to the southern hemisphere, which was a bit short for me, came to an end. (End)