Réunion Island – It starts…

“Ile Intense”, this place is called. Who am I to question that when the island began to belch and erupted, spewing streams of iridescent lava into the ocean a week after my arrival?

This is the Ile de la Réunion, playground of pirates long gone to ol’ Davy Jones, spire of volcanic blackness rising from the Indian Ocean depth. A rugged, dripping mountainland clad in hazy forests, concealing the last remants of a slave people defiant, and finally free.

It does rather sound like something one would find on a movie poster, doesn’t it? All it needs further is “One man, in a struggle to survive, must brave The Island - or remain lost for all time…” . One man, I got off the plane and was promptly robbed, not of posessions, but of my naïve presumption that winter equals cold. As I laboured to breathe what felt like warm milk whilst attempting to maintain all my bags on my sweaty person, I could muse but briefly on that theft, before stumbling forth into the clammy night, and being swallowed by the Ile Intense. And here, before I can proceed, I must ask the forgiveness of the multitude of French people I am about to insult. For indeed Réunion is French, and the French are a strange people indeed.

In Douglas Adams’ legendary tale, the entry on “alcohol” in the “Encyclopedia Galactica” refers to its chemical composition and intoxicating effects on certain carbon based life-forms. In contrast, the “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” tells us that the best drink in the galaxy is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, and further proceeds to instruct us on how to make it. This, roughly, is the distinction I hope will exist between my tales of the Ile Intense, and the shiny copy of the Lonely Planet travel guide resting firmly on my bookcase.

Writings to follow might include topics along the lines of “How to remain vertical on roads bent on horizontalizing one”, “The importance of knowing the English word for what one is about to eat” and “Seasons: whither have they gone?”. Through these and many more writings, I will be honoured to remain your host, and look forward to adventuring and exploring the fiery heart of this Island with you. Come back soon! It has only just begun…

Words by Jaco 11 August 2006



For more info on Reunion Island click here

Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 07:15 by Registered CommenterJam | Comments2 Comments