Wed 31st Oct Col de Taibit path starts here! (Cirque de Cilaos)

Wed 31st Oct Col de Taibit path starts here! (Cirque de Cilaos)

Up early to make for the little town of Cilaos and the footpath to the Col de Taibit. The
talk the previous night was of clouds forming usually by midday on the mountains - so it was
important to get an early start if I wanted to get a good view from the top of the col
before the cloud formed. As I got to the beginning of the path, I was surprised at the
steepness of it, with logs across forming steps - little did I realize that this was to be
the norm for my next two days of hiking!!
It was certainly a tough climb and I was very happy when I came across a hut selling a
herbal infusion a short time later - I needed it!! That hut was unusual - all the rest of
my walking was along paths in otherwise virgin countryside with the occasional other hikers
met with along the way. The paths are generally well-marked, so a map wasn't needed, but I
had much further to walk than I expected and got very worried by the afternoon that I might
be stranded in the woods overnight... especially when, in crossing a river, I lost sight of
the marks for a time!!
The area I was walking in was basically made up of three huge old craters with steep walls
between them - on which were the cols I had to cross. To get from Cilaos to La Nouvelle, in
the Cirque de Mafate, I had to climb up to the Col de Taibit... and, of course, down the
other side to the tiny hamlet of Marla, after which I followed a deep ravine for quite a
way, zig-zagging down along its sides and occasionally crossing the river in its bottom....
With shoes clearly not adequate for the test I was putting them to, my toes & nails decided
they were not happy - which slowed me down rather... I eventually reached my 'gite' by
5.30pm - a very pleasant experience, meeting with others at dinner after a gorgeous, long,
hot shower. I've not slept in a dormitory for quite a number of years, so that was an
amusing experience also!!

Life is precious - make the most of it!

Written by : Mike

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