When I first saw my itinerary for Reunion, the activity that intrigued me most was the aquatic hike. Not having the slightest idea what an aquatic hike actually is, I had very little idea on what to expect. Coupled with the fact that rainfall had been low in recent months, I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to be aquatic about it.
Heading into the mountains by bus, we left behind the busy roads and little postbox houses and headed into steeper terrain while crossing over little bridges and getting deeper and deeper into the forests that line the mountainside.We had completely left the seaside and as we disembarked from the bus, were met by three characters.
I wasn’t sure what to make of these guys at first. They seemed like they were just hippies that had stolen a truck full of wetsuits and had decided this was going to be their business. The business of course aquatic hikes, which at this point were still a confusing concept for everybody involved. Remy, tall and lanky with some pretty aged dreadlocks, explained that for safety and comfort, we’d all be wearing two-piece wetsuits, a life jacket, helmet and a ‘nappy’. We had to be wearing closed shoes as we would be walking in addition to aquatic hiking.
Still unsure of what exactly was expected, we began the 10-minute ascent in full kit towards who knew what. After an agonising walk in the heat, we had all sweated through the wetsuits and lost approximately 3kgs to be greeted by a gorgeous natural pool. Only thing is, it was on the other end of a six-metre jump. I was instantly terrified.
Six metres is basically ridiculously high when you’re standing at the top of it, in a wetsuit that feels too tight and restricts all your movement. After an internal debate with myself, and an external debate with those around me, I jumped. Although I’m glad I did, I honestly never thought I’d do it again. That was of course until after we had drifted down the river in a long chain and had to do it again!
It’s hard to explain the experience really, beside wriggling about like Benny Boekwurm on the floor for 20 minutes to get the wetsuit on, the guys are chatty and fun and typically French. They make jokes amongst themselves and deal well with terrified jumpers like myself. If you’re into adventure, this is a really fantastic day trip option followed by rum, naturally, when you finish. A very sweet and strong reward for a shaky body.
Luckily, you can relive my terror through my little GoPro video, thanks to Darling Lama for sifting through the footage and putting it together for me quickstix!
If you’re keen to jump off cliffs and enjoy the comfort of a your first wetsuit experience, get in touch with Oasis Eaux Vives. They also offer kayaking and they’re not too badly priced considering everything involved in the activities!
My Trip to Reunion Island was part of the Reunion Island Tourism Board’s Mascarun campaign. As with all posts, I maintain full editorial control.