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La Reunion – Crater Piton de la Fournaise

03.12.2022

After the exhausting hike the day before we needed a bit more time to rest so we started our day quite late. We went to the east to Piton de la Fournaise. A huge volcano crater with spectacular views if its clear. We arrived at the car park (not a good road) at 1PM but the weather was awful. No view just fog and clouds and rain 🙁

The car park is quite high at 2362m elevation. To get to the crater you have to descend first and then hike back up. The total elevation gain is about 500hm. The total distance is around 13km roundtrip. The highest point is 2512m.

We waited for some time but it seemed to get worse every minute. According to the mountain weather it should be clear. Well, we thought back and forth if we should try or drive back. At some point i saw a small glimpse of blue sky through the clouds and gathered some hope.

Luckily we decided to try, because after we started our descend into the crater valley we spotted the volcano now and then (the path is well marked!).

As we continued the clouds cleared more and more!

the first small crater along the way

We started our way back after the sun set. Luckily the path is well marked plus we had the light from the moon. Shortly before we arrived at our car clouds came in again blocking all the views and rain started.

This was close!