At the Piton Rouge mountain pass, we can see the colours much more clearly, we feel like we’re closer but it’s just an optical illusion. This is because Rivals is in the foreground, blocking the other craters from view.
At the foot of Rivals crater, there’s little over one hour of walking left. The area around us has been marked by a significant amount of lava flow over the past two years and it’s not easy to walk on.
Very quickly, we come face-to-face with the spectacle. From the viewing platform, with some other hikers who have already arrived, down below we can see the real crater, lit up with spurting lava. We’ve still got a lot of ground to cover as we need to reach the crater before sunrise.
Near Château Fort, to the right, we can see the crater erupting, it’s a festival of sound and light. Mission accomplished for the photographers who wanted to get to the foot of the crater just before the sun appeared over the horizon, and so the spectacle begins. After this fantastic sight, they decide to explore the area below the crater where the lava has flowed. The guide assures participants that it’s not dangerous, despite the heat. The flow has already slowed down considerably and there’s no lava flow on the surface anymore, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still flowing underground, so we have to be extremely careful. The safety distances are adapted depending on the lava flow.
This natural phenomenon is exceptional, and the spurting lava is fabulous, especially on this clear night.