Today was a bit of a washout. We woke up to beautiful sunny skies and enjoyed our last (we thought) morning on Reunion. Ominously, around 6am I got a WhatsApp message from our Airbnb host letting us know about a cyclone approaching the island. By the time we got on the road for a hike though, the rain had moved in, and was coming down in pretty substantial amounts. We kept on driving, hoping that maybe we’d climb above the clouds. And the weather here changes quickly – maybe it’d be fine.
It was not fine. Our destination was the site of the most recent eruption, Piton Fournaise. We got within about 5km of the parking lot, but when the pavement ended, so did our bravery. Trying to get up a very muddy dirt road on a volcano at 8000 feet of elevation during a cyclone didn’t seem entirely smart. A few other cars were stopped pondering the same thing, and we all decided to turn back.
By the time we got back to the city, things had cleared up (naturally) and we planted ourselves at a cafe for a bit. Then we went back to the Airbnb to read and paint and enjoy the view.
Around 7pm, we got a message from Air France letting us know our flights home were cancelled due to the storm. Gulp.
The storm is set to be its most intense from later on Sunday (tomorrow) through Tuesday. We rolled the dice and rebooked with Air France for a Thursday departure, hoping that’ll give enough time to get the airport running and get a plane in. In the meantime, we’re going to head back to Saint Denis (the capital, where the airport is) first thing tomorrow morning. We’ve got a hotel booked for the week, and we’ll hope they can take care of us for a couple days. We’ll bring plenty of snacks and water just in case.