Paying the Geologist Tax

By Colin McFadden
This post is part of a series called Reunion Island 2024
Show More Posts

When you travel to a volcano with a geologist, there are days that are going to be about rocks. Like, lots of rocks.

(before we get into the day – all the comments for this trip were gummed up in WordPress, I wasn’t trying to censor anyone!)

We planned a shorter day today, both because yesterday was a big hike, and because tomorrow’s hike starts at 3:30 in the morning. We didn’t cut short our “flopping around with coffee in the sunrise” though, nor did we skip a walk to the bakery for pastries. I mean, some things are sacred.

By around 9:30 we hit the road for the eastern side of the island. This is where the most recent eruptions have taken place – as recently as last summer. There’s a lot less development on that side, for obvious reasons. Our goal was to explore the site of the bigger 2007 eruption, which took out the highway and spewed lava down to the sea.

Our hike started out with a mild diversion, looking for a lava tube marked on the map. After slipping and sliding the wrong way, we eventually found the (collapsed) tube, which was somewhat less than spectacular. Then we set out on the real hike!

The trail started with a nicely paved descent, before ending at a sign with a lot of French writing and a picture of a person with a red X. Since we don’t speak French, we walked around the sign and kept going.

Before long, we were on the lava field. And here, we turn the blog over to the rock nerd…

Way more interesting was the shipwrecked Tresta Star, which is slowly being reclaimed by the sea. The ship made some unreal noises when waves hit it just right. A very large part of me wanted to climb on board, but I chose life. The hike itself was like walking on another planet. A very, very sharp planet. The kind of planet where, if one of you is prone to looking at rocks instead of their feet, they might fall and end up with some nasty cuts. That kind of planet.

The hike ended with a not-really-that-steep ascent back to the car. We drove home, got gas for tomorrow, and set about getting ready to get in the car at 2am for the drive to our hike.

2 thoughts on “Paying the Geologist Tax

  • Deb January 9, 2024 at 3:52 pm Reply

    Fabulous! Love the olivine so much. And the pastries!

  • Susan January 9, 2024 at 4:05 pm Reply

    Another “wow!” Thanks for the explanation about the olivine and all these fabulous photos (including a snail, a dog, and a ship covered with graffiti). I can’t wait to find out where you’re going tomorrow at such an early hour.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *