Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Hellbourg to Belouve hike

bamboo growing near the start of the hike

The hike from Hell-Bourg to Belouve is 3.5 km long, and climbs about 530 metres. The ONF sign (see below) says 1¾ hours are needed, but it only took us an hour and twenty minutes.

sign at the beginning of the hike, start of the path to right.

the hike up to Belouve is only one of several hikes
possible from the same starting point

Although Severe Tropical Storm Fakir had barrelled past Reunion only a few days previously, the path and surroundings were in a surprisingly good state. 

shrine beside the path

view from the path across the cirque of Salazie;
flat-topped Piton Enchaing to the left

fuchsia growing wild

Hydrangeas growing alongside the path

view across Salazie higher up the path, higher up;
this time Piton Enchaing is to the right

Towards the end of the path you suddenly come across two concrete pillars sticking out at a 45° angle. These are remnants of a now-defunct cableway that was inaugurated on 24th November 1954 and which linked Belouve and Hell-Bourg. It had a span of 1 202 metres, a gradient of 805 metres, and used a 1500-mètre long cable. 

concrete pillars near end of path

Then the path turns a corner and you come across more vestiges, together with another small shrine.

more relics of the cableway

path between the cableway and gîte

Once we arrived at the top we had a picnic lunch before heading back down the same way we came. Incidentally it's said the name of Belouve comes from the Malagasy word Belova which means "important or rich heritage" in English.

It took us 1 hour 20 to hike back down

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