One day, someone was stumbling around a dried lava field from the eruption of 2004 and discovered underground tunnels. Currently, these tunnels are toured more or less in secret because they are super dangerous (the vapors inside make you pretty light headed, and also they technically could collapse at any given time...) Richard's company had a little field trip with an official tunnel guide last year...so he felt qualified enough to take us there himself.
First, we had to find the secret opening, which took us a while.
|That mountain in the background is Piton de la Fournaise, the volcano.|
|We found it! Richard lead the way...|
Richard explained many things about lava and cooling and tunnels forming and stalagmites and stalactites. I'll summarize all of this for you by saying that the tunnels and everything inside of them were formed by science.
|So in we went.|
|The "ceiling." Richard claims it looks like chocolate.|
|These little holes used to be trees...the lava formed around them and then the poor tree just burned away.|
|They say this one looks like a shark head.|
|And this one looks like a Dodo bird. Valerie pointed out ironically that these are kind of the two "symbols" of Reunion Island...|
|Starting to get hard to breathe...|
After the lava tunnels, we headed to a nearby forest for a picnic.
There were little groups of picnickers everywhere; many of them were drumming and singing Maloya, one of Reunion's traditional music styles. It was amazing.
Today's little excursion was actually the latest in a string of outdoor adventures. I promised myself I'd start exploring more...and the cool thing about Reunion is that there are no scary/poisonous beings lurking anywhere, which makes random exploring very stress free.
Earlier this week, we visited the "Savannah" as Richard likes to call it:
And the weekend before that, it was the "forbidden" 3 Basins of St. Gilles. No one really knows why they are forbidden, but you have to climb through a hole in the fence to get to them. After that, you have to traverse through watery tunnels, tightrope over cliffs, run through canyons, and climb over downed trees. Oh. I suppose maybe that's why it's forbidden...but it is sooo worth it...
|little bird home|
|This guy was kind of pissed at me for seeing through his branch disguise.|
Mission accomplished. I think it's the best one too :-) It's surrounded by the biggest bamboo forest I've ever seen!!
|Later, I found this secluded little corner in the back and hid out for a while. |
I made friends with a tiny gray mouse and an orange butterfly :-)
|On the way back I met this little guy. He kind of freaks me out. Let's just pretend he's a nice tree guardian.|
Ok!! So now I'm ready for some new adventures in the USA!!!!
ONLY 7 MORE DAYS!!!