GRR2 Day 5: Roche Plate>Marla, all details about this part of one of the best trek in Reunion island. Our last night in Mafate during the GRR2.
GRR2 Day 5 North to South
- Duration: 4h30
- Distance: 10,42 km
- High Elevation: 902 meters high / 441 meters down
- Markings: Good / How is the path: Good
The GRR2 normally passes through Le Bronchard and La Nouvelle, but spending the nights in a tent, we preferred to go through Trois Roches to take a “swimming” lunch break!
1/2) Roche Plate > Trois Roches
Roche Plate village
As we slept a little before Roche Plate, we start our GRR2 day 5 by crossing the village. We are of course waiting for our friend Eric who is joining us for the 2nd time to do 1 stage with us! He brings us a king’s breakfast (fresh fruit juice, large sugar brioche…), a good start for this new sunny day.
- Water: Yes, behind the information pannel in front of Roche Plate’shcool.
- Bivouac: Yes, a bit before the village on your left (close to a small stream) for 1 tent, or close the the bifurcaction pannel (2 tents).
For your information, since the Maïdo fire, we can no longer take La Brèche path from the Maïdo. A priori we can still cross the Roche Plate village even if most of the inhabitants had to leave and the village school to close.
Trois Roches’ bifurcation
At the junction sign just after the village, we turn right towards Trois Roches. On the way there are a few bivouac spots possible and very beautiful panoramas!
We pass in front of the Tisanerie which is open, but since we have just had a great breakfast, we decide not to go. The walk is uphill and downhill in the sun, but it’s okay.
We arrive at Trois Roches, where we stop for a long lunch break. Swimming, cleaning a few t-shirts in the river, which we put in the sun on the rocks to dry while you have lunch.
After this refreshing and relaxing break, our friend Eric leaves in the other direction and lets us finish our way to Marla!
- Water : Yes, the river!
- Bivouac : Yes, many spots before and after Trois Roches.
2/2) Trois Roches > Marla
The climb up to Jimmy’ snack
We first walk along the river, then a first climb in the sun which offers a beautiful view of Mafate and the climb to Marla.
We go back down and it’s flat again until the last climb… leading to Marla. We can do one last swim here … after that it goes up!
First in the sun, we are then under the trees. Looking back, the view of what we have already accomplished (towards Roche Plate) is very beautiful.
Before entering the village, there is the Marla honey farm on the right and the 1st cottages. We find a first possible bivouac spot but prefer to push to the village to go have a beer at Jimmy’s.
Our bivouac spot in Marla for the night
We enter the village and walk in front of Marla gite, to go to Jimmy’snack and our well deserved fresh beer!
Before nightfall we set off again towards La Nouvelle to find a camping spot for our last night in Mafate. Indeed, we could sleep right next to the bar, but it’s Saturday and on weekends, there is noise until late here!
Not far, on the left after the church, we find our little paradise. Beautiful view of the mountains and the 3 Salazes and we are not visible from the path … great! On the other hand, as soon as the sun goes down, freshness / coldness sets in …
- Water: Yes, next to the snack bar at Jimmy’s.
- Bivouac: YES. Altitude: 1600 meters. Several spots possible next to Marla’s school, towards Nouvelle and very few towards Trois Roches.
- Food supplies: Yes, shop or snack at Jimmy’s in Marla.
It is clearly the coldest night of our trek (from Cilaos to the end we will sleep under a roof) . At 7 pm we were already locked in the tent and when we woke up there was frost all over the ground and on the tent! At the same time, we are in August (it’s winter at home in Reunion) at 1600 meters altitude!
Conclusion of this GRR2 Day 5 in Reunion Island – Roche Plate> Marla, in bivouac:
Despite a good vertical drop, it’s a super pleasant stage, not very hard and rather fast. The break at Trois Roches is particularly nice. Next time we will stop at the Tisanerie!
Next stage: Marla > Cilaos