GRR2 Day 8: Bourg Murat>Volcano

GRR2 Day 8: Bourg Murat (Plaine des Cafres)>Volcano all details about this part of one of the best trek in Reunion island. Hard to realise that tomorrow will be the last day of the trail!

GRR2 Day 8 North to South

Bourg Murat>Volcano

  • Duration: 7h15
  • Distance: 19,9 km
  • High Elevation: 1063 meters high / 471 meters down
  • Markings: Good / How is the path: MUDDY!

Wet crossing of the Plaine des Cafres

After having spent a good night in the warmth, we leave Le Gîte du Volcan fresh and rested. At first, the weather is very nice… but it won’t last!

1/2) Bourg Murat > Piton Textor

Until here, everythings all right!

We join the next step of the trail, towards “Piton de la Fournaise” in front of the Pont de Trente picnic area, but we notice that the marks are only white. Normally those of the GRR2 are white and red, but we think of an error and we continue.

Direction "Piton de la Fournaise" the reunionnese volcano. Start of our grr2 day 8.

We continue between pastures, cows and meadows, no doubt, we are at the Plaine des Cafres!

We start our grr2 day 8 in Reunion Island on La Plaine des Cafres, between cows and pastures.

At the junction “Piton Textor by the plains or by the peaks”, we follow the direction “by the peaks” (as written in our guide). It’s already starting to rain and we have little visibility, or to be honest, no view. But hey, it’s the 1st day out of 8 when the weather is bad, so we put things into perspective quickly and keep smiling.

Junction Piton Textor par les plaines or par les pitons, during the grr2 trail in Reunion.

We go up and down several times to reach the top of several peaks. The trail is very muddy. There are a few bivouac spots, but clearly it’s super humid and we not sure that it’s often better!

And the path is getting more muddy!

After Piton Rouge and Piton Misère, things get worse … We reach a portion (long portion) that we be could call “the mud pool”! Very relieved to have left Huaca, our dog in Cilaos. We try to avoid the mud as much as possible but of course between the rain and the mud, we end up with soaked and dirty sneakers. We move forward… “very slowly” (no really, it’s not a joke, we barely do 1km / h, it’s a bit scarry).

One part of the trail is very very muddy... longest stage of our ggr2 trail in Reunion.

We finally arrive at Piton d´Argamasse, but unfortunately still no view. However, the ground is improving.

We arrive on the volcano region, during the grr2 day 8.

We can speed up a bit, to finally get to the foot of Piton Textor, we are soaked to the bone. At the picnic area, we stop under a kiosk for a lunch break. We eat standing up, hopping to continue trying to warm up, yes … clearly, to tell the truth, we are frozen!

  • Water: No
  • Bivouac: YES, at the picnic area, for several tents but ground is not super nice. There are kiosks and bins.
Under the rain for more than 4h but still smiling, hardest stage of our grr2 day 8.

1/2) Piton Textor > Gite du Volcan

Hey, it’s getting better, we didn’t believe in it anymore …

From there, the marking is red and white again , we recover the real GRR2 trail. We follow the direction of l’Oratoire Sainte-Thérèse, passing by the Josemont Lauret memorial. The ground and the landscape become volcanic and the weather gradually gets better.

Josemont Lauret's memorial close to the Piton de la Fournaise, during the grr2 trail in La Reunion.
Ok, the wheather of this Grr2 day 8 is becoming great!
After almost 5h walking, we arrive at the Oratoire Sainte Therese information pannel.

Arrived at the Oratoire Sainte-Thérèse information pannel and after nearly 4 / 5 hours of walking in the rain, that’s it. Not a single cloud, the sun returns and the view is magnificent on the Plateau des Basaltes on the left and on the Plaine des Sables right in front of us. When we arrive, there is a rainbow … white, this is the first time we see it … then the clouds fade … perfectly splendid!

A white rainbow at the Plateau des Basaltes, on the right, the Piton de la Fournaise.

We keep walking anc enjoy a great view on the Dolomieu, piton Hauy and piton Chisny.

That is the view we enjoy on La Plaine des sables, Dolomieu, piton chisny et piton hauy during our grr2 day 8.

We then descend to the Plaine des Sables, a magnificent arrival, then we pass between the Demi-Piton and the Piton Hauy to finally arrive at the junction of the Griffe du Diable… it smells the end of our GRR2 Day 8.

In the Plaine des Sables towards the gite du volcan after almost 7h walk from Bourg Murat.
The end of our GRR2 day 8, walking towards our hostel for the night.

This junction is chere we will go back tomorrow to go down to Saint-Philippe. Just 15/20 minutes left to arrive to the Gite du Volcan!

Between Piton Hauy and piton chisny at the Plaine des Sables, towards le gite du Volcan.
  • Point: No or just at the gite
  • Bivouac: YES, at the bottom of the descent between l’Oratoire Sainte-Thérèse and tLa Plaines des Sables (2 or 3 tents). Or a little after Devil’s Claw, but this one is harder to find (for 1 tent) unless you put our tent anyhere.
  • Altitude: 2300 meters
The evening at the Volcan gîte

Super happy to arrivea at the gîte after more than 7 hours of walking, including 4 hours in the rain.

We arrive at the Gîte du Volcan at Piton de la Fournaise, after more than 7h walking.

There isn’t much choice here… but it’s okay, even if the price is a bit high(118 € for 2 for the night in a room + evening meal and breakfast – compulsory pack due to covid situation). The room is good (okay, SUPER kitsh decor) and warm.The evening meal is good and plentiful but the breakfast is average (there is enough to eat but too bad that there is not a lot of choice or local products). And on the shower side… the water is hot, but in an unheated room with broken pods in the shower room… humhum, who wants his shower?
But clearly, it’s much better here than being outside at 2300 meters in the middle of winter ! The site of the cottage is here !

We also where lucky enough to enjoy a magnificent sunset at Piton de la Fournaise from the cottage!

Great sunset at ht Gite du Volcan at the end of our grr2 day 8.
Conclusion of GRR2 Day 8 in Reunion Island – from Bourg Murat to the Volcano:

It wasn’t necessarily the best day of our trip (the weather and the mud played a big part), but our arrival at the volcano caught up with everything. From the Oratoire Sainte-Thérèse everything was really beautiful and pleasant. Also, when you know that you will be able to dry your things at night, that changes the game.

The next and last step: Volcano > Saint-Philippe

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