With its stunning mix of water and rocks, canyoning really feels like getting away from it all.
Canyoning and thrill seeking
Feeling completely safe, guided by experienced professionals, I experienced several adrenaline rushes as I descended the Trou Blanc canyon, in the cirque of Salazie.
It was early morning in Hell-Bourg, rightly listed as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France”. In the hills of the lush green cirque of Salazie, I met Simon, the canyoning guide. Yes, today was the day I had decided to go thrill seeking by heading into Trou Blanc canyon. It’s one of the most spectacular on the island, if not “THE” canyon that’s a must for thrill seekers who like white-water canyoning!
Canyoning cannot be improvised, but when it is supervised by experienced professionals like Simon, it’s accessible to anyone in good physical shape. I’m living proof: you just need to know how to swim and not suffer too much from vertigo.
Once our group was gathered, we got acquainted with our equipment: the 5mm neoprene wetsuit, to cushion against bumps and keep us warm, the harness for abseiling, the large sealed drums to carry our snacks.
After walking for 40 minutes, we reached the starting point. The fast flowing water of La Rivière du Mât, whose source is at the foot of Piton des Neiges, has carved a
n incredible route as it hurtles down the tropical mountain. It has polished the volcanic rock until it has become white and softened it to create real waterslides down which we will soon be sliding.
Enjoy the rapids!
Descending Trou Blanc canyon is a sequence of walking, sliding, swimming and jumping several meters high into pools of clear water for those of us who are bold enough. The most spectacular passages have been given imaginative names: the washing machine, the particle accelerator. Halfway down we reached the “dining room”. You guessed it: this is where we hungrily munched our sandwiches!
We passed through magnificent scenery and tunnels several meters long. After six hours of moving and several adrenaline rushes, we reached the end. This was one of the most intense days of my life. With Simon I also learned all about the exciting geological history of Reunion Island !