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On the way from Roche Plate to Marla.

Auf dem Weg von Roche Plate nach Marla.

The Cirque de Mafate is a caldera on Réunion Island (France; located in the Indian Ocean). It was formed from the collapse of the large shield volcano the Piton des Neiges.

The very remote and inaccessible cirque was settled in the 19th century by maroon slaves (i.e. slaves who had escaped from their masters), then later by poor white laborers. It owes its name to one maroon leader.

The cirque is entirely enclosed by mountains, especially tall cliffs, known as remparts, save for the sole river exiting, the Rivière des Galets ("river of the pebbles"). Inside the cirque, there are considerable declivities. The îlets are pieces of more-or-less flat lands, on which the hamlets are located.

The name "Mafate" comes from the Malagasy word "Mahafaty", which means lethal, an allusion to the difficulty for accessing the Cirque.

The cirque has one village, La Nouvelle, and several hamlets: Marla, Roche-Plate, the Îlet-aux-Orangers, etc.

The Cirque is entirely public property, managed by the Forestry service, from which the inhabitants rent inexpensive concessions.

There is no main electrical supply. Inhabitants thus produce their own electricity using solar panels (with battery storage), and occasionally diesel generators. However, fuel for the latter must be brought by helicopter at high cost. Because of the reduced available power supply, inhabitants systematically use low-consumption (fluorescent) light bulbs.

Similarly, all inhabitants use solar water heaters. These can be supplemented by gas-powered heaters — but gas canisters must also be brought by helicopter.

La Nouvelle and hamlets have grocery stores where staples can be bought from. Typically, these stores also provide some limited bar and restaurant services (hot coffee and local fast food, such as samosas).

Many inhabitants have opened gîtes (dormitories, WC and showers) where hikers can stay for the night, and often dine, for a fee.

La Nouvelle and several of the hamlets have elementary schools. In 2005, the school at Marla reopened with 6 pupils after being closed for an insufficient number of schoolchildren. There are no secondary nor higher education facilities.

There are several dispensaries between which a few nurses rotate, as well as scheduled visits of a physician, but no permanent health care facilities. All emergencies have to be evacuated by helicopter. There is no Gendarmerie station

One originality of Mafate is that there are no roads. Because of this, it is a major attraction for hikers willing to experience some unspoiled nature, while still benefiting from grocery stores and other amenities. For this reason, with the impending creation of a national park on the heights of Réunion, it seems very unlikely that roads would be ever built.

All access, including for supplies, is by foot or helicopter. There are a number of footpaths for accessing the cirque, among which:

By the Col des Bœufs ("pass of the oxen"), from the Cirque de Salazie, leading to La Nouvelle. This way is the easiest, since there is a forestry road leading to parking lots at the pass.

By the Col du Taïbit from the Cirque de Cilaos.

By the Canalisation des Orangers on the heights of Saint Paul (Réunion).

(Wikipedia)

Der Cirque de Mafate im französischen Übersee-Département Réunion ist die nordwestliche Caldera des Piton des Neiges. Der Talkessel, der größtenteils auf dem Gemeindegebiet von La Possession liegt, erstreckt sich in Nord-Süd-Richtung über etwa zehn Kilometer und in Ost-West-Richtung über etwa fünf Kilometer. Vom Gipfel Grand Bénare fallen die fast senkrechten Felswände über rund 1600 m ab. Der Cirque de Mafate ist die isolierteste Caldera in der Region, die nur zu Fuß oder per Hubschrauber zu erreichen ist. Die Versorgung der lokalen Ortschaften erfolgt heute hauptsächlich durch Hubschrauber, bis vor wenigen Jahren noch in hohen Maße zu Fuß, meistens über den Pass Col des Bœufs (1956 m), der auf einer gut ausgebauten Forststraße vom Cirque de Salazie erreicht werden kann.

Seit August 2010 gehören neben dem Cirque de Mafate auch noch der Cirque de Salazie, der Cirque de Cilaos und der alles überragende Vulkan Piton des Neiges, die alle im Nationalpark Réunion liegen, unter dem Titel Pitons, cirques et remparts de l’île de La Réunion (dt: Gipfel, Talkessel und Steilhänge der Insel Réunion) zum UNESCO-Weltnaturerbe.

(Wikipedia)

Tags:   Canon EOS 6D EF 16-35 16 35 f/4 f 4L IS USM Voyage Travel Travelling Reise Vacation Urlaub Frankreich France Île de la Réunion Reunion Indian Ocean Indischer Ozean océan indean Maskarenen Maskarenische Inseln Insel Mascarene island islands Mascareignes Cirque Mafate Roche Plate Marla hike hiking walk walking Wanderung Wandern randonnée randonnee canyon Schlucht Kessel Talkessel basin Wasser Fall Wasserfall water waterfall

N 482 B 11.7K C 58 E Apr 27, 2016 F Nov 23, 2016
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The Lauterbrunnen Valley, Lauterbrunnen-Tal at Automne time . Canton Bern, Switzerland. No. 842.

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