GRR2 Day 7: Cilaos > Bourg Murat (Plaine des Cafres), all details about this part of one of the best trek in Reunion island.
GRR2 Day 7 North to South
- Duration: 6h45
- Distance: 18 km
- High Elevation: 968 meters high / 702 meters down
- Markings: Good / How is the path: Good
Second path: by “Le coteau de Kerveguen” (former official path)
As we climbed Piton des Neiges by “Le Bloc” just 2 weeks before our GRR2’start, we decided to climb Le Kerveguen instead. This is the old GRR2 route which today is a variant. You can therefore also climb Le Bloc to the Piton des Neiges’ gîte and descend to La Plaine des Cafres by the same path as the one reached via Le coteau de Kerveguen.
1/3) Cilaos > Kerveguen’s top
After a great breakfast (waffles, pancakes, homemade jams and so on) at the Au Cœur du Paradis gîte, our friend Geneviève drops us off at the bottom of the “Coteau de Kerveguen”. We gain almost an hour, which is not bad as we have a long day ahead! At the bottom of the Kerveguen:
- Bivouac: Yes
- Water: Yes
The ascent is steeper than “Le Bloc” but shorter. The path is quite narrow and steep with several “ladders” or stairs, but OK. It’s in the shade and pretty, with a beautiful view of Cilaos and Bras Sec.
On the way on met a nice “tangue” (like a hedgehog)!
After about 2h we arrive on the coteau de Kerveguen’s summit, with a nice view on “le Piton des Neiges” on our left.
2/3) Coteau de Kerveguen > Plaine des Cafres
We take the right path and the landscape changes completely. From the forest we pass to a typical Grand Bénare landscape. It is raining a bit, nothing bad. There are many rocks and muddy passages, but you can keep your feet dry without too much difficulty.
Several bivouac spots possible, including a large one at the junction for Piton de l’Entre Deux (photo below). Great for several tents, with a clear view of the Piton des Neiges, on the other hand, not at all sheltered if it’s windy, rainy or in a strong sun!
Ensuite on arrive dans un chemin type foret, ça change encore. Superbe, avec vue sur la Plaine des Cafres à droite et de temps à autre un paysage type volcan à gauche.
Then we arrive in a forest, that still changes. Superb, with a view of the Plaine des Cafres on the right and from time to time a volcano-type landscape on the left.
Again, some mud, but not enough to have wet feet. There are also many paths with stones or wood that help you to avoid mud.
We arrive on a nice plain, with le Piton Tortue on the left, and le Piton Bleu on the right.
A little more and it’s the countryside! In addition we are lucky, the weather is super nice!
Un paysage qui vous dit bienvenu à la Plaine des Cafres. Pâturages, vaches, petites fleurs jaunes… un vrai changement de décor jusqu’au parking de Mare à Boue.
A landscape that welcomes you to the Plaine des Cafres. Pastures, cows, little yellow flowers … a real change of scenery up to the Mare à Boue car park.
It is possible to go to the right to follow what we thought was a variant of GRR2 (in fact the new trail) or do as we did and continue on the old GRR2 route, towards the road.
3/3) Plaine de Cafres > Bourg Murat
The village of Bourg Murat is located a few kilometers further south, towards Saint-Pierre. We go down to the “city center” to buy some food. It’s Monday, there isn’t much, but you can find the essentials between the Chinese store and the gas station’s shop. We then go back to our AirBnb, the “Petit Pointu”, which belongs to the Bellevue gîte next to the Grillanoo.
Possible to bivouac on the Pont de Trente picnic area (with kiosks), opposite the path that continues towards the Volcano. There is another area, on the left when closer to Bourg Murat.
- Bivouac: Yes at the Pont de Trente pin nic area, with kiosks
- Water: No, in town only i think
- Bin: Yes
- Altitude: 1600 meters
Conclusion of this GRR2 Day 7 in La Reunion – Cilaos > Bourg Murat (Plaine des Cafres):
A beautiful day with different landscapes. Almost 7 hours of walking and less mud than expected! Our bungalow is perfect, small, warm. It heats up very quickly and has what it takes to eat without cooking (fridge, microwave, coffee maker, kettle, etc.).
Next stage: Bourg Murat (Plaine des Cafres) > Volcano