I wish I was talking about surfing. Not yet.
On the other hand, this is what Lonely Planet says about biking on Reunion:
“The traffic, the haste of most motorists, and the steep and precarious nature of the mountainous roads means that those considering cycling as a form of transport in Reunion should be prepared for some hair-raising and potentially dangerous situations.”
This explains the incredulous looks I get from pretty much everybody when I explain that I bike to school every day from Saint-Pierre.
To get to the point, I had my first “hair-raising and potentially dangerous situation” on my bike today. I was descending the switchbacks from my middle school, which is at about 900 feet of elevation above the coast, and a truck coming up the mountain took one a little wide and forced me onto the shoulder where my wheels caught loose gravel and I sideswiped the concrete wall at the edge of the cliff. I felt kinda like a Nascar sliding out and smashing into the wall on a turn, except that there was no shower of sparks or flying debris, and I was going about 180mph slower than a Nascar. But you get the image. A couple bandaids to the calf and I was ready to roll again.
In other news, the government has designated this weekend as an occasion for anti-mosquito initiatives and awareness campaigns to prevent bug-born diseases, like Chikungungya, which is both a mouthful to say and something you really don’t want to catch. Everyone keeps complaining about how bad the mosquitos are, but I literally have only been bitten once and rarely ever see them. My German housemate insisted on installing a mosquito net above her bed, which is just absurd. Mosquitos here got nothin’ on our American suckers.
There’s something to be thankful for.